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Single molecule nanocar with functional wheels driven by electron tunneling

Foresight Update 24.12—December 9, 2011
ISSN 1078-9731

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Foresight Holiday Celebration with New President Larry S. Millstein
Monday, December 12th, 6:30pm reception, 7:15pm dinner
Ristorante Don Giovanni - 235 Castro St, Mountain View, CA
http://www.foresight.org/nanodot/?p=4881
We invite you to join us for an informal reception and holiday dinner celebrating this year's accomplishments and welcoming newly elected Foresight President Larry S. Millstein. Reception with drinks and mingling will begin at 6:30pm; at 7:15pm dinner will be served, where we will give brief remarks and thoughts on Foresight's program for next year.

To RSVP: Paypal $40 to foresight@foresight.org by midnight Saturday, 12/10/11. Please list fish, chicken or vegetarian as your meal option in your Paypal note!

Please bring your holiday cheer, and your ideas and enthusiam for Foresight!

Foresight Positions Open: Office Manager
http://www.foresight.org/about/jobs.html
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Discuss these news stories at http://foresight.org/nanodot.

In this issue:

Foresight Events
Foreseeing Future Technologies - Join Foresight
Events
Contact Foresight

Foresight Board Elects New President, Larry S. Millstein, for 2012

Foresight is proud to announce that Larry S. Millstein, Ph.D., J.D. has been elected President of the Institute by the Board of Directors. Larry has been a Foresight member since 1998. He was instrumental in establishing the Foresight Communication Prize in 2000 and in ensuring its funding since then; he has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2009.

"We are thrilled to have persuaded such a technically accomplished and experienced leader to be President of Foresight and to take on the task of accelerating the development of transformative nanotechnologies and their beneficial uses," said Foresight co-founder and current President Christine Peterson, who will continue to be a member of the Board and active advisor to the Institute and will collaborate closely with senior staff in making the transition.

"I look forward to forging new tools for Foresight to catalyze the development of truly transformative technologies," Larry says. "Foresight has a key role to play in forcefully communicating the power and potential of atomically precise technologies to transform the world in remarkably beneficial ways, and its activities will be a seminal catalyst for ideas and actions that will — by harnessing the power of atomic precision — realize some of humankind’s most fervently wished for goals." …

Lecture by Eric Drexler at Oxford on physical law and the future of nanotechnology (video)

Eric Drexler presented a lecture at the University of Oxford Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology that addressed two key questions:

  • What will be the next great revolution in the material basis of civilization?
  • How can we establish reliable knowledge about key aspects of such technologies?

New light-sensitive polymer to control drug release from nanoparticles

One of the major challenges in using nanomedicine for drug delivery is how to get the nanoparticles carrying the therapeutic drug to release the drug when they arrive at the proper place. Thanks to Jessica Moore of the Center of Excellence in Nanomedicine, University of California, San Diego for sending news of a new polymer that degrades in response to near infrared light. …

Darpa seeks nanotechnology defense against novel pathogens

One of the great successes of twentieth century medicine has been the use of antibiotics to treat formerly fatal bacterial infections. This success is now at risk of being reversed by the ability of bacteria to evolve resistance to antibiotics, and by the recently developed ability to engineer particularly lethal new pathogens for military or terrorist purposes. Darpa wants to deploy nanotechnology to maintain the upper hand against both evolving and engineered bacterial threats. …

Will new piezoelectric materials lead to new tools for nanotechnology?

One of the key technologies in the development of nanotechnology has been scanning probe microscopy, and one of the key technologies that has made scanning probe microscopies possible is piezoelectric materials. Researchers have now integrated a single-crystal material with “giant” piezoelectric properties onto silicon. Improved actuators for nanopositioning devices are listed among the several possible applications of improved piezoelectric materials. …

Geometry of DNA nanostructures used to program molecular recognition

… Since the publication of the DNA origami technique by Paul W. K. Rothemund in 2006 it has been possible to fold a long single strand of DNA with the help of numerous short DNA ‘staples’ into larger and more complex two-dimensional and three-dimensional nanostructures on the order of 100 nm in size. In a recent publication [abstract], Rothemund and Sungwook Woo use a different type of molecular coding derived from DNA—blunt-end stacking interactions at the ends of DNA helices—to create molecular shape complementarity on a larger scale. …

DNA nanosensors profile gene activity to reveal state of cells

A clever use of a simple DNA nanodevice demonstrates how relatively simple present day nanotech can contribute substantially to solving very important problems in biotechnology and medicine. …

Leveraging nanoforces to increase biosensor sensitivity

This contribution has been forwarded by Ivo Rivetta.
The primary forces on the nanometer scale are scaled versions of what we experience on a day to day basis. Instead of gravity, surface forces such as water tension and electric charge dominate. …

Single molecule nanocar with functional wheels driven by electron tunneling

The cover of the November 10, 2011 issue of Nature featured a new, 4-wheel drive, electric nanocar, only four by two nanometers in size. …

Humanoid robot for military showcases advances in robotics

… Last month we noted the impressive progress achieved by Boston Dynamics’ AlphaDog project to develop a robot “pack animal” for the US military. Apparently there has been equally impressive progress in developing a humanoid robot capable of faithfully mimicking human movements to test protective suits for use by the military, and ultimately, to replace humans in a variety of arduous and dangerous tasks. …

An artificial molecular clock to control artificial molecular machines

One of the challenges in developing advanced nanotechnology, sometimes called molecular manufacturing or productive nanosystems, is learning to control systems of molecular machines by using other molecular systems for timing and turning machines on and off. The more complex the desired output of a molecular machine system, the more different kinds of molecular machines that need to be controlled, and therefore the more complicated the problem of control systems. A molecular system to time molecular motion and production has been demonstrated by a team of scientists …

—Nanodot posts by James Lewis and Ivo Rivetta.

Foresight Events – Lectures

Foresight Holiday Celebration with New President Larry S. Millstein
Monday, December 12th, 6:30pm reception, 7:15pm dinner
Ristorante Don Giovanni - 235 Castro St, Mountain View, CA
We invite you to join us for an informal reception and holiday dinner celebrating this year's accomplishments and welcoming newly elected Foresight President Larry S. Millstein. Reception with drinks and mingling will begin at 6:30pm; at 7:15pm dinner will be served , where we will give brief remarks and thoughts on Foresight's program for next year.

To RSVP: Paypal $40 to foresight@foresight.org by midnight Saturday, 12/10/11. Please list fish, chicken or vegetarian as your meal option in your Paypal note!

Please bring your holiday cheer, and your ideas and enthusiam for Foresight!

Panel: Tour of the Human Condition-Life
January 19, 2012
Palo Alto, California

Christine Peterson will be a panelist for the "Life" panel of "An Interdisciplinary Tour of the Human Condition in Three Stages: Time, Life, and Mind".

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:
http://foresight.org/members/index.html

Events

Media Partner Events

NanoManufacturing Conference & Exhibits 2012
March 28-29, 2012
Boston MA USA

This conference highlights the current and near-term applications of nanotechnology and how they are transforming the way we manufacture products.

Upcoming Events

IPAS 2012
February 12-15 2012
Chamonix, France

The aim of the Sixth International Precision Assembly Seminar is to discuss the rapidly evolving field of micro-assembly, including the development of microfactories and microsystem fabrication.

Contact Foresight

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