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Foresight Update 32

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A publication of the Foresight Institute


Foresight Update 32 - Table of Contents | Page1 | Page2 | Page3 | Page4 | Page5

 

ERATO Project Investigating How
Proton Flow Drives Molecular Motors

Japan's Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology (ERATO) has launched a new research project to study how proton flows drive molecular motors that exist in nature, for example to spin the flagellar motor that spins the "propeller" some bacteria use to obtain mobility.

The new project was described in the most recent (1997-98) annual ERATO program description pamphlet, published by Japan Science and Technology Corporation. The 64-page English language pamphlet describes all research initiatives being funded by ERATO. As is typical of ERATO projects, little or no information is available on the World Wide Web.

The new program is headed by Dr. Keiichi Namba, Research Director, International Institute for Advanced Research, Matsushita Electric. The five-year research project will have funding of about $14 million (1.65 billion Yen) and will employ 12 to 14 researchers, Dr. Namba told Update.

Molecular machines have "characteristics quite different from human-made ones in that they are designed with individual atoms as functional parts and therefore of nanometer size; they self-organize a structure at the optimum time and place within the cellular organization; and they have flexibility and adaptability because of weak interactions of hydrogen bonds that form the structure," the project description says.

The project aims to "understand the physical processes and mechanisms unique to biological molecular machines, which efficiently transmit, amplify and transform extremely fine energy and conformational changes through proton exchange."

The project expands on earlier ERATO research investigating the molecular motor assembly for the flagella of bacteria. Using more advanced research equipment and techniques than were available earlier, the Namba project will concentrate on "the atomic-resolution structure analysis of macromolecular complexes and the analysis of energy-transduction dynamics of the system by measuring proton flows close to the present limit of experimental detection, which is expected to produce important clues to the unknown principle of the macromolecular machine."

The study, for example, will attempt to measure how many protons flow when a flagella motor rotates. Proton flow is the energy source of the rotation, which is estimated to be 1,000 protons per revolution.

Imaging large-scale molecular machinery is almost impossible at the moment, but could be achieved by freezing proteins in crystal form and then looking at the layout of the atoms as static structure, the report says. "A dynamic analysis is realized by looking at a series of static structures." u

Dr. Namba can be reached by e-mail at npn.office@npn.jst.go.jp.


Foresight Update 32 - Table of Contents

 

Thank You

Special thanks this issue go to Eric Raymond and Todd Anderson, for their work on open source software, http://www.opensource.org. See the history section for Foresight's role in this effort. Others helping include Kelly Plughoff for timely PR help, and Virginia Postrel and John Gilmore for personal contacts.

Major meta-level assistance was received from Pat Wagner of Pattern Resources http://www.pattern.com in the form of a full-day workshop for the Foresight staff. We should have done this years ago; thanks, Pat!

For extensive and ongoing support of the server providing CritSuite, Crit mailing lists, and sci.nanotech, we heartily thank Peter McCluskey.

An unlooked-for boon is the assistance that Foresight Europe is receiving from new Executive Secretary and longtime Foresight member Graham Houston. Thanks to Marcia Seidler for traveling to London to help set up the office there.

Thanks to Tim Freeman (hardware upgrade and software installation) and Josh Hall (hardware donation), Foresight now has voice recognition capability. If you now hear more from us than you ever planned to, these are the two to blame.

Thanks to Barry Cammarata, who has kicked off the 1998 conference sponsor program early by signing up his company, AMP, as the first corporate sponsor.

For notifying us of his new nanotech-related company and products, we thank Tom Rust of Nanochip Inc. http://www.nanochip.com.

For help with testing the CritSuite software, we thank Mark Gubrud; for promoting CritSuite in his new book The Transparent Society, we thank David Brin.

Thanks to Lauren Williams and Gayle Pergamit for finding our new staff member, Harriet Hillyer, and to the former holder of Harriet's position, Judy Hill, for convincing her to join us.

For continuing development of our soon-to-come online database, and for getting my Palm Pilot to back up, ongoing thanks go to Carol Shaw (who, years ago, computerized our accounting as well).

For sending information, thanks to John Burke, Doug Denholm, Keith Farrar, Dave Forrest, John Gilmore, Josh Hall, Ted Kaehler, Joy Martin, Thomas McCarthy, Mark Miller, Gerald and Sherron Portis, Jack Powers, Richard Smith, John Walker.

—Chris Peterson Executive Director, Foresight Institute


Foresight Update 32 - Table of Contents

 

Upcoming Events

Device Applications of Nanoscale Materials Symposium, March 29-April 3, 1998, Dallas, Texas, at the 1998 National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. Invited speakers who were also speaking at the November, 1997 Foresight Conference include James R. Von Ehr II, James M. Tour, and Jie Han. For more information or abstract form, contact Dr. Sean C. O'Brien, c/o John St. John, Box 298860 TCU Chemistry Department, Fort Worth, Texas 76129, tel (817) 921-7195, email stjohn@gamma.is.tcu.edu

The Alcor Third Annual Cryonics Conference will be held April 3-5, 1998, in Scottsdale (near Phoenix) Arizona. Registration by March 3rd is $149. More info at http://www.alcor.org/eventsb.html#con or call Alcor at 1-800-367-2228.

International Symposium on Electronics & the Environment, May 4-6, 1998, Hyatt Regency Oak Brook, Oak Brook, IL. Sponsored by IEEE Computer Society. Advanced registration deadline: April 3, 1998. Includes talk "End-of-Life No More: The Application of Nanotechnology to Industrial Ecology" by Vincent DiRodi, Electronic Recyclers. For information, write IEEE ISEE Registrar, 445 Hoes Lane Piscataway, NJ 08855-1331 USA, tel (732) 562-3875, fax (732) 981-1203.

Nanoscience for Nanotechnology, May 16-19, 1998, Hindsgavl Slot, Denmark. "The European Commission has ... decided to support a series of three conferences in 1998, 1999 and 2000 on the subject 'Nanoscience for Nanotechnologies'. The conference is ... open for participants from EU Member States and associated countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Israel)." Workgroups will be established as a result of the conference. Preference will be given to: "young researchers (35 years and under); researchers from Europe's less favoured regions; female researchers." http://www.cismi.dk/nano.htm

4th Int'l Conference on Nanostructured Materials, June 14-18, 1998, Stockholm. "NANO'98 will focus on the key issues associated with the science and technology of Nanostructured Materials while promoting their commercialization for both short and long term applications." http://www.kth.se/conferences/nano98/

1998 Gordon Research Conference on the Chemistry and Physics of Nanostructure Fabrication, June 21-26, 1998, Tilton School, Tilton, New Hampshire. Sessions on atom lithography, "messing with molecules", making micro lithography systems, next generation lithography with electrons, ions, X rays, DUV and EUV, DNA computing technology, nano electronics, micro electro mechanical systems, and artificial life in a computer system. http://www.grc.uri.edu/progra~2/nano.htm. For information about Gordon Research Conferences, including how to apply: http://www.grc.uri.edu/

Workshop on Computational Nanotechnology, July 8-10, 1998, Colorado Springs, Colorado. To register, contact Dr. Salley Meyer, The Chemistry Department, The Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, phone (719) 389-6437, email smeyer@cc.colorado.edu. Register by May 15, 1998. "Nanotechnology is an interdisciplinary field so researchers from all areas of science are welcome! Let's brainstorm and see how we all might work together to advance Computational Nanotechnology. Computational Nanotechnology is now a rapid growth research area. The purpose of this workshop is to facilitate the various researchers working on Computational Nanotechnology in sharing their results and methods in a timely manner. We hope this will reduce duplication of effort, broaden the areas of research, and possibly lead to useful collaborations."

Superlattices, Microstructures, and Microdevices, July 27-Aug 1, 1998, Egypt. Includes nanostructures, nanotubes, self-assembly. Contact Khalid Ismail, IBM Watson, Rt 134, Yorktown Hts, NY 10598.

Fifth Int'l Conference on Nanometer-scale Science and Technology, Aug 31-Sept 4, 1998, Birmingham, UK. Contact Institute of Physics, tel +44-171 470 4800, fax +44-171-470-4900, email ivc98@iop.org. Meeting combines The Fourteenth International Vacuum Congress (IVC-14), the Tenth International Conference on Solid Surfaces (ICSS-10), the Fifth International Conference on Nanometer-scale Science and Technology (NANO 5), and the Tenth International Conference on Quantitative Surface Analysis (QSA-10). Second Announcement for the conference (Abstract Deadline: 20 February 1998) is available at http://www.iop.org/IOP/Confs/IVC/

2nd Intl. Conference on Evolvable Systems: From Biology to Hardware, Sept. 24-26, 1998. Lausanne, Switzerland. Self-replicating hardware, self-repairing hardware, applications of nanotechnology. Email Moshe.Sipper@di.epfl.ch, http://lslwww.epfl.ch/ices98/

American Vacuum Society 45th International Symposium, November 2-6, 1998 at Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland. Includes technical symposium on Nanometer-scale Science and Technology. "This year's program will emphasize experimental and theoretical advances in understanding atomistic processes, novel measurement techniques, fabrication of small structures, and new applications of devices, all in nanometer sized systems." Additional information: http://www.vacuum.org/call/cfp.html

Sixth Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology, November 12-15, 1998 at the Westin Hotel in Santa Clara, CA. An intensive Tutorial on Critical Enabling Technologies for Nanotechnology will be held on November 12. Enabling science and technology, computational models. Extended abstracts due 30 June 1998. Contact Foresight, tel 650-917-1122, fax 650-917-1123, email foresight@foresight.org, http://www.foresight.org/Conferences/

Molecular Modelling in THE LARGE: bridging scales in space, time, and complexity. 1998 International Meeting Molecular Graphics and Modeling Society, Dec. 6-10, 1998. San Diego Princess Resort, Mission Bay, San Diego, California. Eric Drexler will give the Capstone Address on Dec 10. A meeting catalysing discussion and collaboration on complex molecular systems by bringing together computational and experimental scientists working across spatial and temporal resolutions. A forum for the latest results and methods in visualizing, analyzing and designing systems from pharmaceuticals to materials science, from bioengineering to nanotechnology. Contact: Peggy Graber; (619) 784 2526; mgms98@scripps.edu, http://www.mgmsoa.org/

First ELBA-Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology, spring 1999, Rome. Contact EL.B.A. Foundation, tel +39-6-35420728, fax +39-6-35451637, email elbafound@nexis.it.


Foresight Update 32 - Table of Contents | Page1 | Page2 | Page3 | Page4 | Page5


From Foresight Update 32, originally published 15 March 1998.



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