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Foresight Update 23.25: Nanomachinery goes mainstream - June 18, 2009

Discuss these news stories at http://foresight.org/nanodot.

Top News of the Week

More signs of mainstream interest in nanomachinery

This Physorg story gives the details, hat tip to Sander Olsen…

Scientists from A*STAR's Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), led by Professor Christian Joachim, have scored a breakthrough in nanotechnology by becoming the first in the world to invent a molecular gear of the size of 1.2nm whose rotation can be deliberately controlled…

In this issue:

Foresight Events – Lectures
Foreseeing Future Technologies - Join Foresight
More Events
Contact Foresight

Buckytube-filled aluminum

Brian Wang over at Next Big Future has an article about improving the properties of aluminum as a structural material by filling with buckytubes, the way plastics are made stronger by filling by fiberglass…

Physical Intelligence

About a month ago, the web was all agog over the announcement of DARPA's Physical Intelligence program — Wired wrote:

The idea behind Darpa's latest venture, called "Physical Intelligence" (PI) is to prove, mathematically, that the human mind is nothing more than parts and energy. In other words, all brain activities — reasoning, emoting, processing sights and smells — derive from physical mechanisms at work, acting according to the principles of "thermodynamics in open systems." …

A cautionary note

One of the constraints laid down by DARPA at the recent Physical Intelligence proposers workshop was that the model of intelligence that was to be proposed had to have a physical implementation. It seemed odd to some of the attendees that this should be a hard constraint, since many models of intelligence have a perfectly reasonable implementation as software …

A cautionary note, concluded

Last week I posted a story of strange behavior in the simulation of molecular machines.

One commenter asked if this was due to something unusual in the starting configuration of the atoms. This was the first thing we investigated, and didn't seem to be the case…

—Nanodot posts by J. Storrs Hall

Foresight Events – Lectures

Foresight Lectures

July 30, 2009
Singularity University
Mountain View, California
Christine Peterson will moderate and Foresight advisor Stewart Brand will serve on a panel on time horizons in an accelerating world, for Singularity University participants.
Click here for conference details

August 20-22, 2009
Gnomedex: a technology conference of inspiration and influence
Seattle, Washington
Christine Peterson will speak on life extension.
Click here for conference details

Foreseeing Future Technologies

Advancements in technologies such as nanotech, robotics, and biotech are promising to make major differences in our lives in the not-too-distant future, as the Industrial Revolution did to the agrarian world — to do for the physical world what the computer and Internet have done to the world of information.

Since 1986, the Foresight Institute has been in the forefront of a worldwide community of visionaries who work to help shape these possibilities into a positive, beneficial reality. If you would like to help us understand the potential of these technologies, and influence their direction, please consider becoming a member of the Foresight community. With your support, Foresight will continue to educate the general public on these technologies and what they will mean to our society.

To join:
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More Events

Converging Technologies for 21st Century Security
Organized by the Institute of Nanotechnology
November 25, 2009
The Royal College of Physicians, London, UK

Organised crime, terrorism, civil conflict, and natural disasters are sadly commonplace in global society and have developed increasingly complex dimensions. To counter such threats, civil security and emergency response teams are looking towards new technologies that offer more sensitive, rapid, and accurate detection methods; that provide the means to neutralise or effectively deal with the outcomes of such incidents; and that provide greater protection to personnel.

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