Foresight Update 41

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A publication of the Foresight Institute

Foresight Update 41 - Table of Contents | Page1 | Page2 | Page3 | Page4 | Page5


Web Watch.41

by Jim Lewis

Jim Lewis
A new targeted web search engine for nanotechnology. Nanospot focuses on nanotech only, indexing the contents of over 250 carefully selected sites, including Foresight. There is also a small links page, and plans for a daily news section as well.
A guided tour of nanotechnology, with guide Steve Lenhert, includes pages on nearly 30 nanotechnology-related subjects — e.g. modeling, molecular motors, nanolithography, self assembly, etc, with a half dozen or more key links for each subject. In addition there are feature articles, including ones on bio-molecular self assembly, DNA-mediated energy transfer, scanning probe microscopy, nanomachines, molecular simulation, etc. There is also a useful dictionary of nanotechnology terms.
A new nanotech incubator, Technanogy, has been founded. As you'll see from their site, to date most of the ideas brought to them for funding are in space technology and defense. The company helped sponsor the Gathering in May.
Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science & Technology: a weekly multijournal compilation of the latest research on nanoscale systems, one of a series of virtual journals published by the American Institute of Physics and the American Physical Society, in cooperation with other participating publishers. Weekly issues began with January 17, 2000, containing 36 articles, mostly drawn from the Applied Physics Letters and Physical Review journals. Issue 19 from May 22 contained 124 articles drawn from a half dozen physics journals. Table of contents and article abstracts are freely available; for those who do not subscribe to the source journal, full text access, including online purchase of PDF files, is available for the rather hefty price of $17 per article. Although useful for a quick overview of developments in a half dozen nanotechnology-related areas of physics, this convenience would quickly become quite expensive.
The first issue of Single Molecules, a new journal from Wiley Interscience, is currently available online, including the review article "Single Molecule Detection in Life Science" by Y. Ishii and T. Yanagida. Full text access via PDF download is temporarily available. It is to be hoped that the publishers will allow permanent free access of the initial issue, but there is no guarantee this will be the case.
The home page for the Molecular Motors Group in the Biology Department at the University of York. "We use single molecule techniques to investigate the mechanism of molecular motors." These pages describe projects like "Studying cellular dynamics by visualizing single molecules within living cells" and "Single molecule fluorescence and optical tweezers: application to molecular motors," and explain terms like "optical tweezers" and "total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy". There is also a resource page for those who want to analyse protein sequences for the presence of alpha helical coiled-coils. Also useful are several pages of links on molecular motors, optical tweezers, and molecular biology.
The MITRE Nanoelectronics & Nanocomputing Home Page has been enhanced with a downloadable 69-page research article "Architectures for Molecular Electronic Computers. 1. Logic Structures and an Adder Built from Molecular Electronic Diodes". The paper discusses how molecular devices that have already been experimentally demonstrated might be combined to design molecular-scale electronic digital computer logic. The paper was published in the March issue of the journal Proceedings of the IEEE and is the topic of a MITRE press release.
The Web site for the Northwestern University Center for Nanofabrication and Molecular Self-assembly. The new center will be directed by Chad A. Mirkin and Mark A. Ratner and includes researchers from the chemistry, physics, material science, and biomedical engineering departments. The impressive range of research to be included in the center can be seen from their selected publications page.
The Immortality News Web site poses provocative questions, like How long to do you want to live? — 80 years? 100 years? 100,000 years? There are pages, each with a short introduction plus links to recent news stories, devoted to nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and robotics, cryonics, and biotechnology.

Finally, in the spirit of the recent Senior Associates Gathering, "Confronting Singularity," the following "transhuman" web sites address issues like immortality or radical life extension that arise from considering the likely consequences of advanced technologies.
The Extropy Institute, "a networking and information center for those seeking to foster our continuing evolutionary advance by using technology to extend healthy life, augment intelligence, optimize psychology, and improve social systems."
World Transhumanist Association: "Transhumanism advocates the use of technology to overcome our biological limitations and transform the human condition."
Transhuman World Culture InfoMark: "Transhumans are a new evolutionary being resulting from the monumental breakthroughs of the late twentieth century."
Anders Sandberg's Transhumanist Resources "Transhumanism is a philosophy that humanity can, and should, strive to higher levels, both physically, mentally and socially. It encourages research into such areas as life extension, cryonics, nanotechnology, physical and mental enhancements, uploading human consciousness into computers and megascale engineering." One of the earliest and best transhumanist sites on the WWW.
Alexander Chislenko's public page is an exceptionally good collection of Web resources, which makes his recent tragic death all the more painful. "Sasha" memorial Web site at

Foresight Update 41 - Table of Contents


News and Discussion of Coming Technologies at

Those of you already familiar with the Slashdot community website will be glad to hear a Foresight version is up and running at An earlier name, Foreslash, was not available as a domain name. Senior Associate Dave Krieger will be maintaining and extending the Slash weblog system for Foresight Institute. The new site is part of the Engines of Creation 2000 Program (see cover article). To help fund improvements, see "Engines 2000: Phase III" at Members of the Foresight community are encouraged to post to the new site. The software includes a reputation system, so please post your best thoughts.

Foresight Update 41 - Table of Contents


IMM to Sponsor Special Session on Nanotechnology at ASM Conference

A special session devoted to molecular nanotechnology, co-sponsored by the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing (IMM), will be held at Materials Solutions 2000, the annual conference of ASM International in October. ASM is a society for professionals concerned with industry, technology and applications of metals and materials.

There will be five sessions at this conference (ASM's largest annual event) devoted to nano-materials. One of them, "Advances in Molecular Manufacturing," will be dedicated to molecular nanotechnology. The session will provide an overview of molecular nanotechnology to a part of the materials community that has been largely insulated from progress in this area.

ASM has over 40,000 members who are engineers, managers, scientists, researchers, teachers, students, marketers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers.

The session chair is IMM President David Forrest, along with co-chair Srikanth Raghunathan of Nanomat, Inc. The session is being sponsored by Nanomat and Nanophase Technologies Corporation, along with IMM.

The intended audience is senior level corporate management involved in technology strategy, research directors in government institutions, conference attendees involved in technology policy, and academic researchers looking for new pursuits in materials synthesis or interested in education policy.

The session will cover the substantial progress occurring to develop assembler technology (whether specifically directed to this end or not), and the important consequences for all materials systems and the devices made from those materials.

The session will include the following presentations:

The ASM Materials Solutions 2000 conference will be held in St. Louis from 9-12 Oct. 2000. For further information, go to

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Upcoming Events

Atomic Clusters and Nanoparticles - a Summer School at ECOLE D'ETE DE PHYSIQUE THEORIQUE, July 3-28, 2000, LES HOUCHES, in the French Alps. "The school aims at providing advanced doctoral and postdoctoral researchers with the state of the art of theoretical concepts and methods that have become extremely powerful in investigating the structure, dynamics, kinetics and thermodynamics of atomic and molecular clusters and nanoparticles." Contact ECOLE D'ETE DE PHYSIQUE THEORIQUE, La Côte des Chavants, 74310 LES HOUCHES, FRANCE, Phone: +33 -4 50 54 40 69, Fax: +33 -4 50 55 53 25, Email: Web:

TransVision MM, July 15-16, 2000, London, UK. The third European transhumanist conference, co-sponsored by WTA and Alcor-UK. Web:

SCSC 2000: 2000 Summer Computer Simulation Conference, July 16-20, 2000, The Coast Plaza Suite Hotel, at Stanley Park, Vancouver, B.C. Canada. "The theme for this year's conference is: MAINSTREAM Simulation. SCSC 2000 addresses the MAINSTREAM of simulation the MAINSTREAM of world-wide government and industry." The print version of the journal Simulation reports that SCSC 2000 topics include "Nanotechnology and Molecular Manufacturing". Web:

World Future Society, 2000 Annual Conference, July 23-25 2000, Houston, Texas.

Nanostructure Fabrication, a Gordon Research Conference, July 23-28, 2000, Tilton, NH. Includes nanomechanical systems, biologically-inspired nanofabrication, limits in lithography.

Fourteenth Symposium of the Protein Society, August 5-9, 2000, San Diego, CA. Includes concurrent symposia on protein design, supramolecular complexes and other topics and workshops on combinatorial biology and selection methods, single molecule methods, and proteomics. Contact The Protein Society Symposium Office, 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814-3998. Tel 301-530-7010, fax 301-530-7014, email: Web:

Drug Discovery Technology 2000, IBC's 5th Annual World Congress, August 14-17, 2000, Boston, MA. The World Trade Center & Seaport Hotel. Includes material on genomics, combinatorial chemistry and molecular devices, which might be relevant to nanotechnology. Web:

Molecular Motors: New Data & Research in Applications for Nanotechnology and Nanomedicine, September 14-15, 2000, Royal Sonesta Hotel, Cambridge, MA USA. "With the goal of cross-fertilization between disciplines, this exciting new conference brings together an international faculty to examine molecular motor mechanisms and discuss the exciting potential for integration of biological motors with micro and nanofabricated structures." Contact: The Knowledge Foundation, Inc., 18 Webster Street, Brookline, MA 02446. Phone: 617-232-7400; Fax: 617-232-9171 Email:

NanoTech 2000: Technologies for the Future, Sept 24 - 29, 2000, The South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center, 50 miles south of Houston Intercontinental Airport, Texas. The International Conference on Integrated Nano/Microtechnology for Commercial and Industrial Applications. "The goal of NanoTech 2000 is to inspire a revolution in the development of industrial applications, utilizing MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS), Nano-scale sciences, Nano/Micro Electronics, and Application Specific Integrated Micro Instruments (ASIM's)." Web:

NanoBioTec: Nanotechnology meets Life Sciences, 28-29 September, 2000, in Münster, Germany. "For the first time nanobiotechnology combines the innovative potential of nanotechnology and biotechnology. While molecular biotechnology is revolutionising almost every aspect in the life sciences, new tools to visualise and manipulate single molecules are developed in the nanotechnology field. The combination of these disciplines will create novel opportunities in science and technology." Web:

47th International Symposium of the American Vacuum Society: Vacuum Thin Films, Surfaces/Interfaces, Processing & NANO-6, October 2-6, 2000 Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts. Includes magnetic interfaces and nanostructures; processing at the nanoscale; nanotubes: science and applications. Web:

IBC's Annual Biochip Technologies Conference, November 6-9, 2000, The Philadelphia Marriott, Philadelphia, PA. Includes protein arrays, microarray mechanics and applications, microfluidics, emerging technologies, bioinformatics. Web:

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From Foresight Update 41, originally published 30 June 2000.