Hip-Hop Atoms

Roland Piquepaille writes "For the first time, a team of physicists of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has controlled "the movement of a single atom back and forth between neighboring locations on a crystal." This will allow to build nanoscale devices atom by atom. Not happy enough with this technological breakthrough, the NIST team also discovered that the atoms were 'noisy' when moving on the crystal surface. They converted the electronic signals emitted by the atoms into audio ones and they were quite surprised to hear something similar to a 'hip-hop' musician's rhythmic 'scratching'. The audio files also helped the team to know in real time that atoms have moved into desired positions. Read more for pictures and references or jump here to listen to the hip-hop atoms (Real Player necessary, 2 minutes and 40 seconds)."

The Self-cleaning NanoHouse

Roland Piquepaille writes "In "Technology at your service," Australian IT looks at how some emerging technologies will improve our lives. The list goes from solar-powered robotic lawn mowers, network-controlled appliances such as microwaves or air-conditioners, to even full houses. For example, in the MajikHouse, all the home's systems, such as heating, electricity or entertainment are wirelessly controlled via touchscreen panels and smart phones. There is also the NanoHouse, co-developed by CSIRO and the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). The NanoHouse is a new type of ultra-energy efficient house using the new materials being developed by nanotechnology such as self-cleaning glass or dye solar cells. The NanoHouse is currently a concept going from one exhibit to another. But prototypes should appear in 2007 while manufacturing should start around 2009. Read more about the NanoHouse here for other details and references."

New beginnings in nanotechnology policy

Writing in The New Atlantis, Adam Keiper points to "some new beginnings in the world of nanotechnology policy." Keiper cites a change in focus by Eric Drexler to more forcefully minimize "the gray goo scenario" in order to shift attention to more serious potential threats of nanotechnology, and to create a roadmap toward molecular manufacturing. Keiper also describes new leadership at the NanoBusiness Alliance and at the Foresight Institute as committed to more relevant efforts to addressing pressing issues in the development of nanotechnology.

Self-assembling 3D Nanostructures

Roland Piquepaille writes "Chips holding 10 terabits of data? Copper as strong as steel? Ceramics tough enough to be used in car engines? All this will be true in five years, thanks to two new methods to create self-assembling 3D nanostructures. These methods used pulsed laser deposition to create layers of nanodots organized in a matrix. These arrays of nanodots are consistent in shape and size — 7 nanometers with nickel for example. But the real beauty of these methods is that they can be applied to almost any material, like nickel for data storage or aluminum oxide for ceramics. These methods also reduce drastically imperfections, leading to future superstrong materials. Read more here for other details and an image of a single nickel nanocrystal, or nanodot."

Nanorobots Inside Our Bodies?

Roland Piquepaille writes "In this very short article, Genome News Network (GNN) looks at the work of a Brazilian researcher, Adriano Cavalcanti, and his colleagues. Cavalcanti is working in nanorobotics, an emerging field in medicine which states that nanorobots soon will travel inside our bodies, digging for information, finding defects or delivering drugs. The GNN article contains spectacular images, and Cavalcanti's page about Nanorobotics Control Design includes additional ones. Even if the computer-generated images are impressive, please notice that real uses of nanorobots for health care will only appear progressively within the next ten years. Finally, this summary contains more details and a third set of images of simulated nanorobots at work. [Additional note: I didn't flash about Cavalcanti's work when Nanodot wrote about it last July in Collective Nanorobots Control Design. Now, I think it's worth mentioning a second time.]"

Organ Printing, no sweat

Patrick writes "Medical Rapid Prototyping. The nonchalant tone of the last paragraph is most amusing. http://www.economist.com/science/PrinterFriendly.c fm?Story_ID=2724491"

A New Use for Old Printers: Treating Burn Victims

Roland Piquepaille writes "Researchers in the US are using old inkjet printers to produce sheets of human skin to be used on burn victims. The printer cartridges are filled with living cells that are printed one by one into skin tissue. They think that this 'skin-printing' method will minimize rejections by patients and reduce post-operative complications. In this article, the Wall Street Journal (paid registration needed) writes that while the technology is still in its early stages, it could be used clinically within two years. This could be a life-saving technology for the 20% of burn patients who have the most extensive burns. Considering that each year, some 45,000 people are hospitalized with burns in the U.S. alone, this 'skin-printing' method is a very useful advance in regenerative medicine. You'll find more details, previous references and an illustration in this overview."

Nanotechnology Could Speed Internet 100x

Roland Piquepaille writes "Using a new hybrid material made of nanometer-sized "buckyballs" and a polymer, Canadian researchers have shown that nanotechnology could lead to an Internet based entirely on light and 100 times faster than today's. This material allowed them to use one laser beam to direct another with unprecedented control, a featured needed inside future fiber-optic networks. These future fiber-optic communication systems could relay signals around the global network with picosecond (one trillionth of a second) switching times, resulting in an Internet 100 times faster. Please note this discovery appeared in a lab: we'll have to live with our current networks for some time. This overview contains more details."

Nanotech Hits the Roads

Roland Piquepaille writes "When you hear the word 'nanotechnology,' I bet you immediately think about nanochips or ultra-small medical devices. But do you know that nanotechnology is starting to be used in highways, bridges and other buildings? In "Small Science Will Bring Big Changes To Roads," a very long article from Better Roads Magazine, you'll discover that "research in structural polymers could lead the way to guardrails that heal themselves, or concrete or asphalt that heal their own cracking." Nanotechnology is also used to design better steel or concrete. And there are even nanosensors in place on the Golden Gate Bridge to monitor its behavior. The nanotechnology revolution is on its way, even if self-healing potholes and guardrails are still science fiction. This long article discusses nanotechnology advances in concrete and cement, self-cleaning traffic signs or better steel. This shorter overview contains selected excerpts about embedded nanosensors, self-healing pavements and smart dust."

Photonic chips go 3D

Roland Piquepaille writes "Building computer chips which use light instead of electricity will be possible in a few years, thanks to the new techniques developed by two separate research teams from the MIT and Kyoto University. Both have built photonic crystals that can be manufactured using processes suited to mass production. Technology Research News says that "the techniques could be used to make smaller, more efficient communications devices, create optical memory and quantum computing and communications devices, develop new types of lasers and biological and chemical sensors, and could ultimately lead to all-optical computer processors." Please read this overview for more details and references about the two different approaches towards photonic chips, which measure only hundreds of nanometers — right now."

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