Get a NanoJob — Start with NanoIntro

from the diamonds-not-a-girl's-best-friend dept.
For friends of yours just getting oriented on nanotechnology, here's an interview of Foresight Advisor Ralph Merkle. Based on the interview is a digested article with photos and video clips (Windows Media Player only, unfortunately). One of the less-technical questions: "So what do I give my girlfriend when I want to get married." Merkle: "Diamonds arenít going to be that valuable. Youíre going to have to give something that shows a certain creative input that you provide." After this interview, Merkle left Xerox PARC for nanotech startup Zyvex, which is hiring

Gene Mods for Malaria Mosquito

from the no-more-need-for-bzzzz-slap dept.
Greg Burch told us about the first stable germ line changes to the species of mosquito that transmits malaria. (Malaria kills an estimated 2.7 million people a year.) Researchers at Imperial College London and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, inserted a fluorescent marker gene in Anopheles mosquitoes. This is a first step toward making anti-malarial changes to the mosquito, such as making it produce antibodies against the malaria parasite. Greg comments: "What a great breakthrough in gene-engineering PR it would be if this line of research would prove fruitful against malaria!"

Geckos use 200-nm hairs to climb

from the no,-literally-climbing-the-walls dept.
ChrisPhoenix writes "Researchers have discovered how gecko lizards stick to walls and ceilings. They have 500,000 hairs on each foot; each one subdivides into hundreds of 200-micron 'spatulae'. They speculate that these hairs are small enough to use the van der Waals force to adhere to, well, anything–even glass. A single hair will support 20 milligrams. Now they're talking about manufacturing similar stuff for robotics applications. A remaining puzzle: how does the gecko keep its feet clean?"

You can view an SF Chronicle article if you hurry, or some cool pictures and movies on the researchers' web site.

First Draft Map of the Human Genome Completed

from the turn-left-at-IL2;-you-can't-miss-it dept.
William Dye writes "No doubt most Nanodot readers already know that a complete first-draft map of the human genome will be be announced on Monday. Slashdot posted a discussion article about the matter, based on a CNN story, but if anyone has some thoughts specific to the strong-MNT mindset, Nanodot is probably a better place to start the discussion. Public & private funding, intellectual property issues, lawmakers, ethical concerns, technical details, enormous potential medical benefits, all centered on really really tiny stuff — it's a pretty good testbed for MNT-related ideas."

Tensile Strength of Carbon Nanotubes Measured

from the is-that-a-beanstalk-in-your-pocket? dept.
Alison Chaiken tells us of a story in the newsletter Physical Review Focus (from the American Physical Society) about how a U.S. team has now made the most direct measurements yet of the strength of carbon nanotubes. "The results confirm that nanotubes are among the strongest of all known materials, and the measurement technique is likely to lead to a more detailed characterization of nanotubes in the future. (Min-Feng Yu et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 5552.)"

Alison adds, "This is the work that Rod Ruoff and his students presented at the 1999 Fall Foresight Conference. " The abstract is online but viewing the full paper (in Physical Review Letters) requires a subscription or purchase.

DoD Funding Nanotechnology

from the nano's-real-it-has-a-military-acronym dept.
Steven C. Vetter alerts us to the new Defense University Research Initiative on Nanotechnology (DURINT) "to enhance universities' capabilities to perform basic science and engineering research and related education in nanotechnology critical to national defense…The DoD expects the DURINT program will promote nanotechnology research, primarily for defense but also for civilian applications." Areas include Nanoscale Machines and Motors, Nano-System Energetics, and Characterization of Nanoscale Elements, Devices, and Systems. Read More for the official announcement.

Light traveling faster than c

from the next-step:-IP-routing-through-Alpha-Centauri dept.
WillWare writes "There is a story in the Sunday Times in London about an NEC physicist in Princeton NJ planning to publish the result that light pulses have moved faster than the speed of light." [The scientist's home page which announced the results now simply carries a statement that the research is awaiting peer review. — Dave] "The big question, of course, is whether superluminal light can be modulated with information, essentially carrying that information into the past if you can correctly juggle inertial frames of reference. Investing opportunities aplenty here. " Doubtful; as the New York Times article states, most physicists agree that such a pulse can't be used to transmit information.

Viral route to semiconductor self-assembly

from the but-what-if-the-viruses-unionize? dept.
Bryan Bruns writes "Researchers have found viruses with protein strands on their surfaces which bind to semiconductors. A Washington Post article, with supporting quotes from some leading researchers, suggests this approach might create templates for nanofabrication, self-assembled like seashells. This reports on an article by Belcher et al. in Nature." It looks like the researchers used artificial selection to enhance the viruses' ability to bond to specific semiconductor materials.

NYU Chirality Switch

from the yet-another-actuator dept.
Jeffrey Soreff writes "Richard Terra and Christine Peterson originally pointed me towards an article on a chirality-switching molecule from NYU described at link

Quoth the press release web page:

A New York University team led by chemist James W. Canary has developed a molecule with switchable chirality*. (FOOTNOTE: Nearly all biomolecules are chiral compounds. That is, they exist in two forms (enantiomers) which are non-superimposable mirror images of each other. …) …The investigators were then able to switch the molecule's chirality by the addition or removal of an electron.

For more analysis by Jeffrey Soreff, click "Read More" below.

Minsky on Machine Emotions

from the AIs-will-even-be-better-at-emoting dept.
ChrisP writes "James Matthews interviews Marvin Minsky on machine emotion and consciousness. Sample: 'Future machines will be capable of all sorts of emotions, and eventually they will invent new ones whenever this is found useful for solving different kinds of problems.' "

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