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Foresight Nanotech Institute Weekly News Digest: August 3, 2005

In this issue:

Foresight Nanotechnology Challenges

Foresight has articulated six critical challenges that humanity faces which can be addressed by nanotechnology. In the Weekly News Digest we identify news items, research breakthroughs, and events citing current research and applications providing the stepping-stones to solutions to these challenges.

1. Meeting global energy needs with clean solutions

Foresight Note: This article doesn’t mention a power source but references technology with the potential to make construction materials self-cleaning.

Headline: Smog fight aided by self-cleaning materials
News source: The Washington Post by Karl Ritter, UPI

In a test in 2003, the company coated 75,000 square feet of road surface on the outskirts of Milan with photocatalytic cement. It found nitrogen oxide levels were reduced by up to 60 percent, depending on weather conditions.

A similar experiment in France found nitrogen oxide levels were 20 percent to 80 percent lower in a wall plastered with photocatalytic cement than one with regular cement.

Encouraged by such results, the European Union last year earmarked $2.27 billion for a project to develop "smart" construction materials that would break down nitrogen oxides and other toxic substances, such as benzene.


2. Providing abundant clean water globally

Foresight note: Israeli University creates prototype device that is quick, portable and evaluates water toxicity

Headline: Bacteria drive biochip sensor
News source: Technology Research News

Researchers are working to connect living cells to computer chips to gain the best of both worlds. Living cells are terrific sensors, and can also be used to evaluate and emulate biological behavior, while electronics are exemplary at serving up data. Researchers from Tel Aviv University in Israel have built an electrochemical nano-biochip that detects toxic water.


3. Increasing the health and longevity of human life

Foresight note: Two stories this week for Foresight Nanotechnology Challenge #3, both feature carbon nanotubes.

Stanford unveils targeted cancer treatment, and University of California, Riverside envisions growing bones

Headline: Nanotech used to target, kill cancer cells
News source: San Jose Mercury News by Lisa M. Krieger

Nanotechnology, long used in electronics, is being enlisted to improve cancer treatment. Chemistry professor Hongjie Dai and his graduate student, Nadine Kam, have found a micro-targeted way to kill cancer cells while preserving healthy cells.

In simplest terms, the approach uses a thin beam of light to strike objects in cancer cells, killing them. It exploits the tendency of things to behave differently at the ``nano,'' or one-billionth, scale.

So far, it has been tested only in individual cells, not in animals or people. The approach is at least three to four years away from clinical testing in patients, Dai said.


Professor Hongjie Dai website

Headline: Nano Bones
News source: ScienCentralNews

Every year, millions of Americans injure a joint or break a bone. Now, as this ScienCentral News video explains, one researcher says that instead of replacing bone, he has found a material that might help bone grow back: "…materials scientist Robert Haddon of the University of California, Riverside and his team hope to someday grow bone back — using carbon nanotubes."

Follow this link to article and video download

Professor Robert Haddon website

4. Maximizing the productivity of agriculture

Foresight note: Potential nanocomposite use in food packaging and automotive industry at Wayne State University spin-out company.

Headline: NSF Awards Grant to Wayne State
News source: Small Times.com

nanoScience Engineering Corporation (nESC), a Wayne State University spin-out company, has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research grant of nearly $100,000 from the National Science Foundation.

The award, "SBIR Phase I: Supercritical Fluid Processing of Polymer/Clay Nanocomposites," aims to develop a manufacturing process to achieve superior properties of nano-structured composite materials.


5. Making powerful information technology available everywhere

Foresight note: Veeco Instruments and Picogiga International team up to speed volume of Advance Gallium Nitride (GaN)-on-Silicon substrates for commercialization. Check research link at bottom about GaN Nanowire research at Berkeley for background.

Headline; Veeco and Picogiga International to Advance Gallium Nitride (GaN)-on-Silicon Technology
News source: Azonano.com

Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will team to create the first industrial MBE reactor optimized for use on Picogiga's patented GaN-on silicon process. To speed this endeavor, engineers from Picogiga International will share their expertise in GaN MBE technology with Veeco's MBE system experts. The initial work will take place in Veeco's Process Integration Center in Saint Paul, Minn. Upon completion, the new GEN200(TM) system will be delivered and installed at Picogiga's production facility in Les Ulis, France — enabling the company to produce up to 6-inch GaN-on-silicon epi wafers.


Berkeley nanowire research

6. Enabling the development of space

Foresight note: NASA’s Center for Nanotech is scheduled to demonstrate a chemical sensor they developed using (surprise) nanotubes on mission into space aboard a Navy rocket.

Headline: The Next Giant Leap in Space Exploration
The science of nanotechnology could lead to radical improvements for space exploration.
News source: RedNova

When it comes to taking the next "giant leap" in space exploration, NASA is thinking small — really small.

In laboratories around the country, NASA is supporting the burgeoning science of nanotechnology. The basic idea is to learn to deal with matter at the atomic scale — to be able to control individual atoms and molecules well enough to design molecule-size machines, advanced electronics and "smart" materials.

If visionaries are right, nanotechnology could lead to robots you can hold on your fingertip, self-healing spacesuits, space elevators and other fantastic devices. Some of these things may take 20+ years to fully develop; others are taking shape in the laboratory today.


NASA vision for space exploration

Advancing Beneficial Nanotechnology

Focusing on the Cutting Edge
13th Foresight Conference on Advanced Nanotechnology

October 22-27, 2005
San Francisco Airport Marriott Hotel

Early Registration Discount – deadline September 1, 2005

Customize your conference experience – Choose the days and sessions that provide the kind of nanotechnology information and contacts you seek. Foresight Nanotech Institute offers an "a la carte" conference so you can select the days that are most valuable to you. Or attend all six days and receive a comprehensive overview: from Vision, through current Applications and Policy work, to Research on the cutting edge of advanced nanotechnology.

Updated program:

To register:

Keynote — Nanotechnology Is Not Little In Washington

Floyd Kvamme, Co-Chair, President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and Partner, Kleiner Perkins
Tuesday, October 25, 2005 - 9 a.m.

Link to complete program:

Floyd Kvamme bio

Do The Math

Foresight Nanotech Institute’s Participating Members receive deep discounts to the Advancing Beneficial Nanotechnology conference. What you save in registration pays for the membership.

If you are attending 3.5 days of the conference and register by September 1, 2005, the registration fee is $695. If you become a Participating Member your price is $495, and you receive additional membership benefits, including the opportunity to attend the invitation-only Vision Weekend.

For a complete list of Participating Member benefits:

Participating Members can join online:

Spotlight On Foresight Members

Foresight Nanotech Institute has updated its membership levels and added new benefits. One of the new levels is the corporate membership. This week’s spotlight is on Foresight corporate member NaturalNano.

Corporate Member – Naturalnano

Discovering, refining, and commercializing naturally occuring nanomaterials — including halloysite nanotubes extracted from clay — is the focus of NaturalNano Inc. The company, headed by president Michael Riedlinger, has identified more than 200 applications — including additives for polymers, absorbent materials, specialty coatings, and electromagnetic interference shielding. The benefits of these new forms of nanotubes include large quantities available for commercial uses and the ability to provide precise, controlled release of compounds stored inside the aluminosilicate nanotubes. NaturalNano has also developed patent-pending technologies for separation and classification processes for halloysite nanotubes and for many applications that utilize this unique material.

NaturalNano http://www.naturalnano.com

To explore becoming a corporate member, contact Jillian Elliott, jillian@foresight.org or +1 650 289 0860 ext 257.

Foresight Partners

If you attend or use any of our media partners’ events or services, please tell them you heard about it from Foresight Nanotech Institute.

August 8, 2005 - Field Hearing on the Commercialization of Nanotechnology
Hosted by Congressman Honda and House Science Committee
San Jose, California

The purpose of this field hearing is to address how technology transfer for economic benefit can be improved and what the appropriate federal role should be in nurturing the commercialization of nanotechnology research advances. Witnesses include Dr. Clayton Teague, Dr. Bill Miller, Mr. Dhaval Brahmbhatt, Mr. Rich Helfrich, Mr. R. Sean Randolf, and Mr. Andy Watson.

The event is free and open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to Noon at the San Jose City College Theater. Please RSVP to Michael.Wang@mail.house.gov

August 21-23, 2005 - Targeted Nanodelivery for Therapeutics and Molecular Imaging
Sponsored by Cambridge Healthtech Institute
Washington, D.C.

The goal of targeted therapeutics is to create drugs that by the specificity of their design and delivery will be more effective in treating disease and less toxic. Nanotechnology offers the possibility of a device and a drug in one, with novel capabilities. This meeting will address the challenges in implementing nanotechnology for drug delivery systems and imaging agents, and promote dialogue between diagnostic and therapeutic development.

Nanotech Events & News

Article: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Funds Study to Examine Filter Efficiency for Nanoscale Particles
News source: Occupation Hazards.com by Josh Cable

Some see the field of nanotechnology as having the potential to yield exciting medical, environmental and consumer product breakthroughs. EHS [environment, health and safety] stakeholders may very well share in that excitement, but they also see some important unanswered questions pertaining to the safety of the workers who are and could be exposed to nanomaterials.

A NIOSH-funded study being conducted by scientists at the University of Minnesota aims to answer one of those questions: Will the same respirator filters that protect against silica and other traditional airborne containments be sufficient to capture materials that can be tens of thousands of times smaller than a single human hair?

For other nanotechnology resources at NIOSH:

Article: Sub-angstrom microscope targets nanotechnology
News source: Electronic Engineering Times by R. Colin Johnson, EE Times

FEI Co. unveiled a new device at the Microscopy & Microanalysis conference this week in Honolulu. FEI says its commercial instrument resolves at the sub- angstrom scale for the first time. Designed for nanotechnology development, FEI's microscope, called the Titan 80-300, enables sub-angstrom (atomic scale) imaging and analysis.

Vahe Sarkissian, FEI's chairman and CEO, called the microscope "a significant breakthrough for researchers, developers and manufacturers needing greater access to the nanoscale."


FEI Company

August 22-25, 2005 - Course: New Electronic Materials for Extending Moore’s Law
Palo Alto, California
Sponsored by Stanford University

August 28–September 1, 2005 - ACS National Meeting & Exposition Washington, DC
Sponsored by the American Chemical Society

Includes short course:
Designing Novel Advanced Materials Using Molecular Structure-Property Relationships

About The Foresight Nanotech Institute Weekly News Digest

The Foresight Nanotech Institute Weekly News Digest is emailed every week to 15,000 individuals in more than 125 countries. Foresight Nanotech Institute is a member-supported organization. We offer membership levels appropriate to meet the needs and interests of individuals and companies. To find out more about membership follow this link:

Judy Conner, Director of Communications at Foresight Nanotech Institute, is the editor of the Foresight Nanotech Institute Weekly News Digest. If you would like to submit a news item or contact her with comments about the news digest, please send an email to: editor@foresight.org.

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