What do 3D printing, jelly, liver transplants, chainmail, dental fillings, ferrofluids, and the Six Million Dollar man have to tell us about our future? Materials scientist and engineer Mark Miodownik lets us know in this Royal Institution lecture
Defense contractor takes break from F-35 JSF, finds a way to eliminate 99% of the energy cost of desalination.
Lockheed-Martin has developed a way to craft sheets of carbon a single atom thick, which can filter the salt (and just about anything else) from water with a tiny fraction of the energy required by current processes. "Lockheed officials see other applications for Perforene as well, from dialysis in healthcare to cleaning chemicals from the water used in hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," of oil and gas wells." Previously
At Cambridge University, the Project for Existential Risk
is considering threats to humankind caused by developing technologies. It will be developing a prospectus for the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, to be launched by the Astronomer Royal
, a co-founder of Skype
and the Bertrand Russell professor of philosophy
. More detail
from the university, while the news excites some journalists
. [more inside]
The highest possible resolution images — about 100,000 dots per inch — have been achieved, and in full-colour, with a printing method that uses tiny pillars a few tens of nanometres tall. The method, described today in Nature Nanotechnology, could be used to print tiny watermarks or secret messages for security purposes, and to make high-density data-storage discs. [more inside]
At Ross Nanotechnology
, we have developed a super hydrophobic coating that completely repels water and heavy oils. Any object coated with our NeverWet™
coating literally cannot be touched by liquid. Any liquid placed on this coating is repelled and simply rolls off without touching the underlying surface. Not only is this amazing to see
, but it solves a myriad of problems.
The world's lightest material
-- 100 times lighter than styrofoam -- has been created at UC Irvine & CIT
. It's a metal alloy with surprising compression strength
A Mexican anti-technology terrorist organization called Individuals Tending to Savagery/Wildness (ITS) has claimed
responsibility for two
on researchers in Mexico.
The Guardian speaks to suffers of Morgellons
, a disorder that, depending on whom you ask,is a delusional psychosis, an epidemic that's whitewashed out of medical research, or for conspiracists, alien nanotechnology
The Cultural Cognition Project at Yale
looks at the cause of polarizing debates such as: global warming, gun ownership, school shootings, terrorism, nanotechnology, public health, nuclear power, foreign wars and just about every heated thread in Internet history. In short, the polarizing issue is "risk"- the perception of risk, and the proposed solutions to risk. It turns out people see risk in polarizing ways according to where they stand on a scale of cultural beliefs. [more inside]
Nanotech researchers have developed
, quite by accident, the first all-natural metal organic framework (MOF) made from renewable sources. And it turns out, you can eat them too.
“They taste kind of bitter, like a Saltine cracker, starchy and bland”
Doesn't sound very promising as a snack food, but it is very interesting to those looking to use MOF to store gases
, say hydrogen, in a more renwable manner.
You can actually make these for yourself
, you just y-cyclodextrin, potassium benzoate, water, and, well, Everclear. Yum?
Researchers at MIT and in Korea have developed
a new, efficient desalinization nanotechnology
that could theoretically lead to small, portable units
powered by solar cells or batteries, yet deliver enough potable fresh water from seawater to supply the needs of a family or small village
. As an added bonus, the system would simultaneously remove many contaminants, viruses and bacteria. MIT Press Release
and Supplementary Information
from Nature Nanotechnology. (pdf) [more inside]
Chemically Driven Carbon-Nanotube-Guided Thermopower Waves
) are "a new scientific area for research
" and may be able to provide 100 times more energy by weight than a standard lithium-ion battery.
Nanoparticles often get a bad rap in popular media. From discredited scenarios (grey goo
) to more plausible concerns (cancer
), often the emphasis in reporting is on its risks rather than its potential rewards. But this has been a good week for the tiny science. [more inside]
(trained to kill cancer cells) [more inside]
The Nano Song.
Teaching the wonders of nanotechnology to puppets. This is one of the submissions to the NanoTube Contest
is an online quarterly publication focusing on transhumanism
, a product of the futurist movement that supports science and technology to enhance the mental and physical capacities of the human being
. Sometimes referred to as posthumanism, Francis Fukuyama calls it one of the world's most dangerous ideas
. If you feel like you're lagging behind, George Dvorsky
is kind enough to inform us ~>H
's of the must-know
for today's intelligentsia. [more inside]
"Nanobliss is a gallery of visualizations of small-scale structures of carbon nanotubes and silicon, created by John Hart."
I came for the awesome Nanobamas [Flickr set here]
, but was impressed enough with the rest to share the whole. Enjoy---particularly the informative techniques
page. At the very least, have a look at some of the pretty nano pictures.
The Autonomous NanoTechnology Swarm
(ANTS) "...is a
generic mission architecture consisting of miniaturized, autonomous, self-similar, reconfigurable, addressable components
forming structures. The components/structures have wide spatial distribution and multi-level organization. This ‘swarm’
behavior is inspired by the success of social insect colonies...."
may one day teem through the solar
.... (last two links large QT files) [more inside]
Researchers working on optofluidic microscopy
at the California Institute of Technology have developed a minuscule microscope
that works without lenses.... (via
) [more inside]
The Kanzius Machine: A Cancer Cure? 60 minutes
(12:38) investigates an amateurs garage technology that some are saying "in 20 years of research this is the most exciting thing that I’ve encountered" and one Nobel Prize winner said it "will change medicine forever." The nanotechnology-based cancer therapy without side effects is nearing trials.
The Nokia Morph
concept phone is currently featured in The Museum of Modern Art “Design and The Elastic Mind
” exhibition (warning: flash interface). This 'self-cleaning' shape-shifting mobile follows Nokia's other recent phone concept, the environmentally-friendly Remade
, unveiled at Mobile World Congress
earlier this month.
is an information goldmine, aimed primarily at scientists and engineers engaged under the broad umbrella of nanotechnology research, funded by the NSF
, and based at Purdue University
. Start with a series of nano tutorial lessons at the undergraduate
level. Move on to seminars
from top researchers
on a variety of topics, or try some self-paced learning modules
. Then run (real, useful) simulations
in your browser. [some stuff requires free registration]
It took a long time for many achievements of the ancient world to be duplicated. The first city to reach one million people was Baghdad in 775 CE
(or possibly Rome
nine hundred years before), a feat that would not be duplicated until London and Beijing grew in the 19th century
. The largest building in the world was the Great Pyramid
for forty centuries until the 19th
, and the world's current longest canal
is over two millenia old. Some mysteries still remain, such as the formula of Greek Fire
, but it looks like a different ancient weapon's secret has been discovered, that of Damascus steel
. The key ingredient -- nanotech
(youtube) is an animation visualizing how a nano-factory manufacturing devices with atomic precision
might work. Artist's page on Nanotechnology Now here
. Production model here
(though it looks much bigger than what the video hints at).
University of Arizona physicists have discovered how to turn single molecules into working transistors
. The research could result in much smaller, more powerful computers and other devices with the ability to process many more channels of high-resolution audio and video than current products can manage. The abstract is available in PDF
"We are living in science fiction
Miracles You’ll See In The Next Fifty Years
Some more up-to-date predictions: science
, space travel
, mental health
, smart machines
, robots, mind uploading
What is your prediction
Never wanna work/Always wanna play/Pleasure, pleasure every day.
What happens when the jobs go away and don't return?
Should we take the surpluses generated and pay people not to work?
What happens to the assumption of scarcity when nanotechology
allows us to generate potentially anything we want from grass clippings?
Maybe Marx had it wrong all along. Maybe, instead of fetishizing work and the authoritarian mindset that it generates, we should have been reading Paul Lafargue instead.
Just as a thought experiment, what would you do if your job category disappeared? How would you spend your time? Would you invest more time and energy in friendships and other relationships? Hobbies? If you were your employer, what technologies would you use to get rid of your position and save money?
New hope for blind hamsters.
According to the Guardian, scientists at MIT have repaired brain damage and restored eyesight to rodents using nanotechnology. In the study, minute particles were injected into damaged parts of the brain, and subsequently arranged themselves into a "scaffold" gel throughout the damaged area. The scaffold allowed severed nerves to regrow and form new connections. 75% of test animals' injuries were improved with the new technique. (The article did not note if the test subjects offered any resistance to the therapeutic measures.)
Nanocrystal technology shows promise for cheaper
, more efficient
solar energy generation [more inside]
Building on a Robert A. Frietas theory
(4th paragraph down) from his book, Nanomedicines, Vol 1: Basic Capabilities
, a 6 cm x 5 cm programmable display embedded
into your skin made up of 3 billion display pixel nanorobots could be used to monitor and direct medical nanobots within your body.
has recently completed work on a three minute animation of the concept, available in both QT
(8.1 megs) or WMV
Formula One car "skin" provides it's own power.
A potentially very cool application of nanotechnology might appear on F1 cars as early as next season.
Australian scientist Cameron Jones
puts nanocrystals on the bottom of his CDs. And prints fractals
on them. And grows bacteria, yeasts, and fungi on them.
What's perhaps the most surprising about this is that when these CDs are actually played, they sound pretty cool.
More details can be found here
and here. [Last four links are MP3, MP3, PDF, and PDF, respectively.]
The Washington Post
has one of the better articles about nanotechnology that I've seen, providing both a view of the billions of dollars of investment in the technology, and the concerns of environmentalists and consumer health advocates. The article predicts upcoming regulatory battles over how and when this technology should be released.
Perhaps one of the brighter points of light is that concerns have shifted away from the superlative grey goo
(IMHO: if a grey goo was chemically possible, bacteria would have done it already) towards the possible risks of disease due to exposure. Rice University has a page devoted to current information
on research regarding nanotechnology and health.
Nanotech? Kids stuff.
The nanotech industry and research community has been plugging away steadily since Eric Drexler
's cheerleading for it in the early 80's. Now the National Science Foundation acknowledges (in the form of this Request for Proposals
) that kids as young as 7th grade must be prepared for living in a nanotech world.
Little robots in your pants
-- Popular Science calls Dockers to investigate their claim that the stain-repellent "Go Khakis" use nanotechnology. Certainly my favorite headline of the day thus far.
The Grey Goo guys gain ground.
"The controversy involves the potential perils of making molecule-size objects and devices - a field known as nanotechnology ... The ultimate nightmare was the so-called Gray Goo catastrophe, in which self-replicating microscopic robots the size of bacteria fill the world and wipe out humanity."
While 'gain ground' may not be wholly accurate (it was alliterative), the theory is being given lots of play in scientific circles as nano-devices approach practical status.
Kurzweil teleports to nanotech conference
. Well, nearly... it looks like an oversized teleprompter - but according to those who were there, a lifesized 3D image of ace tech-visionary Ray Kurzweil
did indeed appear at a conference in Richardson, Texas, March 7, 2002.
"I thought it worked really well," said Steve T. Jurvetson, Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson. "I thought it was at least 95% of the real thing. In fact, the person that followed strangely enough seemed pale and flat. In comparison Ray almost was more realistic and three-dimensional." But will it share a Bud in the after-meet schmooze? In any case, we always knew that, in terms of the tech-spec, The Force Was With Us.
Japanese artist builds a sculpture of a bull that can only be seen with an electron microscope. It's the size of a single red blood cell. Next? Christo will wrap the head of a pin in pink tissue paper, I assume.
Nanotech Machines overrun by (relatively) giant bugs.
Electron Microscope imagery has such a great look to it. Here's a series of images from the folks at Sandia Labs, who - while imaging their micro-machines - placed some interesting creatures in the frame for scale.