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The Lycurgus Cup

This 1,600-Year-Old Goblet Shows that the Romans Were Nanotechnology Pioneers. The Lycurgus Cup appears opaque green under normal light, but the ancient dichroic glass vessel transforms to a translucent red color when lit from behind. Roman artisans achieved this by impregnating the glass with particles of silver and gold as small as 50 nanometers in diameter. Inspired by the cup, modern researchers have created the world's most sensitive plasmon resonance sensor. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Aug 31, 2013 - 28 comments

 

Better, stronger, faster kidneys.

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.
posted by cthuljew on Mar 22, 2013 - 8 comments

Tony Stark, eat your heart out.

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.
posted by Morriscat on Mar 15, 2013 - 67 comments

The end of the world is nigh. We need to publish papers on it.

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]
posted by Wordshore on Nov 25, 2012 - 25 comments

Really, really hi-res printing

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]
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 13, 2012 - 22 comments

Nano tech to the rescue

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.
posted by leigh1 on Feb 24, 2012 - 85 comments

Bad Reception? This'll make it oakey-dokey.

Spray-on Nanoparticle Mix Turns Trees Into Antennas.
posted by storybored on Feb 20, 2012 - 35 comments

Electron cloud computing...

"Researchers at I.B.M. have stored and retrieved digital 1s and 0s from an array of just 12 atoms, pushing the boundaries of the magnetic storage of information to the edge of what is possible." [NYT]
posted by BobbyVan on Jan 12, 2012 - 27 comments

Keeping it light

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.
posted by msalt on Nov 22, 2011 - 42 comments

ITS

A Mexican anti-technology terrorist organization called Individuals Tending to Savagery/Wildness (ITS) has claimed responsibility for two bombing attacks on researchers in Mexico.
posted by jeffburdges on Aug 10, 2011 - 42 comments

The nonexistent epidemic

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. (Previously.)
posted by mippy on May 9, 2011 - 127 comments

The Cultural Cognition Project at Yale

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]
posted by stbalbach on Mar 26, 2011 - 46 comments

Not included: Tiny Dungeons and Dragons creatures, Tiny URLs

Kitten wearing a tiny hat. Tiny plaid ninjas [Flash]. Tiny houses and tiny apartments. Tiny train set. Tiny horse. Tiny wind turbine. Tiny food [slideshow]. Tiny Breakout [Flash]. Tiny plastic soccer players and tiny streakers. Tiny Obama family. Tiny car. Photographs of really tiny things. Tiny trucks pulling realistic sushi rolls. Tiny actual cupcakes, tiny knitted cupcakes. Tiny fingernail art. [more inside]
posted by NoraReed on Dec 18, 2010 - 28 comments

You can even eat the dishes....

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?
posted by cross_impact on Sep 2, 2010 - 47 comments

Anything is better than...bug day

Bugging Bugs (By Listening To Their Insides) - "A team of Clarkson University scientists led by Prof. Igor Sokolov are using atomic force microscopy (AFM) to record sounds emanating from inside living insects like flies, mosquitoes and ladybugs. " [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan on Jun 7, 2010 - 19 comments

I'll have a glass of sea water, hold the salt

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. Abstract and Supplementary Information from Nature Nanotechnology. (pdf) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 24, 2010 - 32 comments

That's (Electron) Entrainment!

Chemically Driven Carbon-Nanotube-Guided Thermopower Waves (VIDEO) 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.
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal on Mar 10, 2010 - 19 comments

Good things come in small packages. And in Threes.

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]
posted by Hardcore Poser on Dec 15, 2009 - 24 comments

Cancer cells, covered in bees!

Nanobees! (trained to kill cancer cells) [more inside]
posted by msalt on Sep 29, 2009 - 29 comments

The Nano Song

The Nano Song. Teaching the wonders of nanotechnology to puppets. This is one of the submissions to the NanoTube Contest. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 1, 2009 - 13 comments

What is a human being? An acorn that is unafraid to destroy itself in growing into a tree.

H+ Magazine 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 transhumanist terms for today's intelligentsia. [more inside]
posted by ageispolis on Dec 19, 2008 - 107 comments

Nanobliss: now with extra audacity, hope and change!

Nanobliss "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.
posted by kosem on Nov 12, 2008 - 11 comments

ANTS in Space

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...." ANTS may one day teem through the solar system.... (last two links large QT files) [more inside]
posted by Kronos_to_Earth on Sep 14, 2008 - 14 comments

Microchip microscope

Researchers working on optofluidic microscopy at the California Institute of Technology have developed a minuscule microscope that works without lenses.... (via) [more inside]
posted by Kronos_to_Earth on Jul 29, 2008 - 5 comments

Nanotube City

Nanotube Radio. "We have constructed a fully functional, fully integrated radio receiver, orders-of-magnitude smaller than any previous radio, from a single carbon nanotube". (via)
posted by Kronos_to_Earth on Jul 9, 2008 - 19 comments

Kanzius Machine: A Cancer Cure?

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.
posted by stbalbach on Apr 15, 2008 - 36 comments

Phone Porn

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.
posted by chuckdarwin on Feb 28, 2008 - 20 comments

A Map of the Cat

Richard P. Feynman { Information Junkie PhD Atomic Bomber Professor/Lecturer on Physics + Mathematical Artist [DIY] + Nanotech Knowledgist 33.3% Nobel laureate + QEDynamic Speaker + Tiny Machinist + Challenger of Conclusions + Best-Selling WriterXBusted [outside Tuva] Star Trek TNG Shuttlecraft Pepsi Black/Blue U.S. Postage Stamp }
posted by Poolio on Sep 16, 2007 - 51 comments

nanohub rulz ok!

nanoHUB 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 or graduate 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]
posted by sergeant sandwich on Aug 25, 2007 - 2 comments

Secrets of the ancients, revealed! ... or never bring a knife to a nanotube fight.

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!
posted by blahblahblah on Jan 25, 2007 - 29 comments

LEGO building LEGO

While thinking about nanotechnology, Jamais Cascio found a six-minute YouTube video of a LEGO Mindstorms factory that builds a LEGO car.
posted by cgc373 on Jan 4, 2007 - 26 comments

Your Replicator is Ready

Productive Nanosystems (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).
posted by Burhanistan on Jan 2, 2007 - 14 comments

QuIET is the New Loud

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.
posted by terrapin on Nov 28, 2006 - 17 comments

Welcome to the 21st century

"We are living in science fiction." --William Burroughs
posted by jason's_planet on Oct 24, 2006 - 33 comments

Miracles You’ll See In The Next Fifty Years

Miracles You’ll See In The Next Fifty Years (Feb, 1950)
Some more up-to-date predictions: science, invention, space travel, colonisation, immortality, water shortage, flooding, nanotech, techno-apocalypse, extinction, mental health, smart machines, robots, mind uploading, AI, Asia, economics, demographics, goverance, cities. What is your prediction?
posted by MetaMonkey on Oct 5, 2006 - 54 comments

Never work.

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?
posted by jason's_planet on Jun 25, 2006 - 43 comments

Nanogoose

On the heels of microscopic jewelry rides golden buckyballs (full text).
posted by Mr. Six on Jun 1, 2006 - 11 comments

MIT researchers play Borg God

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.)
posted by rob511 on Mar 14, 2006 - 18 comments

"In the long run, we'd like to power the world:" Nanotech and solar energy

Nanocrystal technology shows promise for cheaper, more efficient solar energy generation [more inside]
posted by expialidocious on Mar 13, 2006 - 21 comments

How would this work with the pron?

Dermal Displays
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.
Nanogirl has recently completed work on a three minute animation of the concept, available in both QT (8.1 megs) or WMV (10.4 megs).
posted by fenriq on Sep 29, 2005 - 8 comments

Nanotechnology to power F1 cars.

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.
posted by Jazznoisehere on Aug 24, 2005 - 34 comments

Fungal remixes

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.]
posted by Johnny Assay on Aug 1, 2005 - 4 comments

The ongoing debate about nanotechnology

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.
posted by KirkJobSluder on Feb 1, 2004 - 18 comments

It's a small world after all.

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.
posted by badstone on Oct 21, 2003 - 2 comments

Little robots in your pants

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.
posted by logovisual on Jul 18, 2003 - 16 comments

Pictures of microbes and the machines that may one day fight them...
posted by Fabulon7 on Oct 4, 2002 - 7 comments

The Grey Goo guys gain ground.

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.
posted by o2b on Aug 19, 2002 - 26 comments

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.
posted by theplayethic on Mar 12, 2002 - 19 comments

Nano-art.

Nano-art. 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.
posted by rev- on Aug 23, 2001 - 12 comments

Nanotech Machines overrun by (relatively) giant bugs.

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.
posted by kokogiak on May 7, 2001 - 12 comments

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