Judges named: will they pick Nanosystems Institute?

from the sooner-or-later-it-will-happen dept.
UC Santa Cruz chemist Stephanie Corchnoy brings to our attention this press release, which explains that the proposed California Nanosystems Institute is indeed one of six finalists for funding by the state, with 2:1 matching funds required from non-state sources. Of the six, three will be funded. The judges: Richard Lerner (chemist, president of Scripps); Erling Norrby (Secretary General of the Royal Swedish Academy); John Hennessy (electrical engineer, president of Stanford); Harry Gray (chemist, Caltech); John Brauman (chemist, Stanford). The other five proposals are in biology and computers; with three chemists in this group, does the Nanosystems Institute have a good chance, or not?

Help with IF Claims on Protein Synthesis

from the would-you-know-it-if-you-saw-it? dept.
Two Idea Future claims on the Foresight server were created that concerned developments in building computational elements using "protein synthesis techniques". Please help us clarify the claims and ensure that they mean what was intended. Read More for details.

UCLA wants $300 million for Calif. Nanosystems Institute

from the sooner-or-later-it-will-happen dept.
Three Univ. of Calif. Institutes for Science and Innovation will be selected from proposals made by UC campuses, according to a report in the San Jose Mercury News: "California Nanosystems Institute would focus on the science, engineering and manufacturing of molecular-based structures. Lead campus is UCLA." It's unclear from the article whether this proposal is one of six semi-finalists for the $300 million each new institute will get from combined state and industry matching funds–but if not this time, then soon, somewhere.

Idea Futures Activity at the 2000 Senior Associates Gathering

from the never-too-late dept.
At the Foresight Senior Associates gathering in 1999, an Idea Futures market was set up for attendees to "put their money where their mouths were" on a variety of questions related to Foresight's goals. The market is now available on an ongoing basis for those who've opened accounts. This article reports on events at this year's gathering: Two new claims were added concerning how and when AI will appear. The most contentious claims during the gathering were those related to the date that the Feynman Grand Prize will be awarded. The odds on those claims have see-sawed back and forth as people with different viewpoints have weighed in on the question. Senior Associates can join by sending money to the Foresight office.

ABA and smart contracts

from the OK-who's-the-smart-lawyer-behind-this-one dept.
Senior Associate Charles Vollum writes "The American Bar Association is meeting today (in London, England?) to discuss a draft report of the ABA Global Cyberspace Jurisdiction Project. According to the press release, one of the report's suggestions is that '… intelligent electronic agents can be programmed to electronically communicate jurisdiction rules, thus enabling these preprogrammed agents to do business with each other.' Sounds a lot like smart contracts to me."

Get a Nanobiotechnology PhD at Cornell

from the when-you-need-that-piece-of-paper dept.
From the press release: "The emerging field of nanobiotechnology could hasten the creation of useful ultra-small devices that mimic living biological systems — if only biologists knew more about nanotechnology and engineers understood more biology. They soon will. Starting in June 2000, the first 12 PhD candidates will hit the laboratories of Cornell University's new W.M. Keck Program in Nanobiotechnology…the devices that will emerge could someday solve human problems: Micro-mobile smart pharmacies, propelled through the human body with biomolecular motors that run on nature's ATPase energy, to dispense precisely metered drugs wherever and whenever cells (such as cancer cells) signal the need."

Reputation-based Idea-Futures-style investing

from the talk-about-"Group-Genius"(TM) dept.
Senior Associate Charles Vollum writes "When I entered the Mutual Minds web site, I thought I'd been transported to the world of Earth Web…A mutual fund whose stocks are selected by the best forecasts of its investors. According to the FAQ, "Participants visit the site and predict future stock prices. Over time, forecasts are compared against actual stock prices and each participant earns a score that reflects their historical performance. A computer model combines the forecasts from all participants that are invested in the fund based on their scores. The combined forecasts determine the investments for the fund (those with the highest risk adjusted return potential). The forecasts are used by a portfolio optimizer similar to those used by fund managers today to determine what % should be invested in each security. The result is a well-diversified portfolio consisting of the preferred investments of the community." CV: It will be interesting to see how this works out."

Gene Scientists bet on size of Human Genome

from the is-that-what-they-mean-by-a-gene-pool? dept.
A New York Times article (forwarded by Robin Hanson) describes a betting pool among geneticists on the number of genes of the human genome. The mean of the 228 bets so far cast is 62,598 genes, with a high of 200,000 and a low of 27,462. By comparison, 19,099 genes are apparently required to run the C. elegans roundworm and 13,601 genes for the Drosophila fruit fly, the only two animals whose full genomes have so far been decoded.

Nanotech safety guidelines released

from the thank-you-Neil dept.
Yakira Heyman writes "Foresight has issued the first public release of our guidelines for the safe and responsible development of nanotechnology. Included are specific development principles and initial guidelines for device design." The linked page has the press release, guideline text, and background on the process by which the guidelines were produced. Also available are instructions on how to endorse the guidelines.

To make suggestions for improvement, comment below or you can annotate the text directly.

How do you find a nanotechnologist now?

from the get-a-nanojob dept.
Phil Wolff writes "Should our community operate a career site for people working in MNT and related science, business, or policy? Possibly something to complement this and sister sites? Couldn't hurt. But do you think this would be interesting or useful? Please chime in."

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