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Foresight Nanotech Institute Weekly News Digest: August 24, 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: General Electric’s R&D is paying off with clean energy alternatives and performance implications for solar photovoltaic.

Headline: GE's Discovery Advances Solar Energy
News source: Renewable Energy Access

"The discovery of a photovoltaic effect in our nanotube device could lead to exciting breakthroughs in solar cells that make them more efficient and a more viable alternative in the mainstream energy market," said Margaret Blohm, GE's advanced technology leader for nanotechnology. "GE's success in developing the 'perfect' carbon nanotube device has not only ushered in a new era in electronics, it has potentially opened new doors in solar energy research."


GE Research

2. Providing abundant clean water globally

Foresight note: We are hosting a panel to discuss current applications for each Foresight Nanotechnology Challenge at the Advancing Beneficial Nanotechnology Conference.

Kevin McGovern, Chairman, McGovern & Associates (for KX Industries) is a panelist on the Nanotech for Clean Water panel on October 24, 2005 at 2:30 p.m.

Other panelists include:
Todd Barker, Partner, Meridian Institute
William Lee, President and CEO of eMembrane
Fred Tepper, President, Argonide

Corporate Profile: KX Industries
News source: KX Industries website

"KXI has developed a revolutionary nanotech microbiological water filter (MB) that incorporates anti-bacterial and anti-viral agents into its structure. The MB technology is patented and is the basis for a full range of water filter products that effectively produce sterile, chemically-purified water from virtually any water source (e.g. river water in Africa). Further, the nanotech MB is nationally certified to U.S. EPA and California Department of Health Services standards."


See conference program for panel details:

3. Increasing the health and longevity of human life

Headline: Targeted pH Sensitive Nanoparticle Releases Drug Inside Tumor Cells
News source: NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer

A multidisciplinary team of investigators at the University of Tokyo in Japan has created a self-assembling nanostructure that targets human cancer cells and releases drug molecules in response to a change in pH that is characteristic of many types of cancer. This work was published in the journal Molecular BioSystems.


4. Maximizing the productivity of agriculture

Foresight note: The nanotechnology intellectual property race hits the agriculture industry. Mark Lemley of Stanford University will present at our conference on "The Race to Patent Nanotechnology: What Makes Nano Patents Different?"

Claim: Nanofood patents could close down innovation
News source: Foodnavigator.com

Food companies are patenting nano-scale products and processes like other sectors. The trend is likely to accelerate. Since the research is still in its infancy legal battles could still be part of the industry's future.


5. Making powerful information technology available everywhere

Foresight note: The following is a big breakthrough that got a lot of press this week. Edwin L. Thomas, a materials scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said it for us, "There's nothing like this out there."

Headline: Fine Fabric: New, fast way to make sheets of nanotubes
News source: Science News Online by Sid Perkins

Scientists have come up with a way to efficiently produce thin, transparent sheets of carbon nanotubes that are several meters long and could have applications as diverse as automobile windows that double as antennas and electronic displays that can bend like paper.

Nanotubes, minuscule cylinders of carbon atoms just a few nanometers across, are lightweight and stronger than steel, and they can conduct electricity. Now, Ray H. Baughman of the University of Texas at Dallas and his colleagues have developed a way to produce sheets of nanotubes with an ease and speed that could make their manufacture commercially viable.


Ray Baughman

6. Enabling the development of space

Foresight note: There will be a lot of cross-commercialization, as the recent carbon nanotube developments are better understood.

Headline: Space Program: Looking Up
News source: TechCentral by Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a Foresight director

"I've written here in the past about NASA's work on space elevators, and on the new leaner, meaner, prize-oriented approach favored by NASA Administrator Mike Griffin. Now there are some signs of real progress on a number of fronts.

"As I noted earlier, NASA was offering prizes for space elevator research. That's still going on, but there are some new studies suggesting that space elevators may be closer to practicality than previously thought."


Productive Nanosystems Roadmap

One of the unanswered questions in nanotechnology circles has been, "How do we get from where we are today to the more robust forms of nanotechnology of the future?" Nanotechnology trackers often look at current applications versus the envisioned capabilities of the future and ask how one will lead to the other.

Scott Mize, President of Foresight Nanotech Institute, is interviewed by Rocky Rawstern of Nanotech-Now. Mize explains the importance of the Roadmap Initiative and the steps that are being taken to create this powerful tool.

Link to interview:

For more Roadmap information:

Roadmap Lectures

Eric Drexler will give a talk on the Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems at the Vision Weekend, October 22-23, 2005. Eric Drexler is the Chief Technical Advisor, Nanorex, and Founder, Foresight Nanotech Institute.

A Luncheon Seminar on the Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems will be given on October 27, 2005 at 12:10 p.m.

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

This conference gets more compelling by the day. We have added several speakers to discuss key advances, funding and applications – and we have assembled debates to thrash out the more controversial issues in this next Industrial Revolution.

Our program is making this conference a "can't miss" for those who are tracking nanotechnology applications, policy issues and research.

Policy & Applications

Link to full conference schedule and downloadable brochure:


Link to research days:

Register Now and Save $100

Early Registration Discount - deadline September 1, 2005

Non-profit, Academics, Government, Participating Members (3-1/2 days)
Attend for $495 before September 1, 2005
Attend for $695 after September 1, 2005

Regular (3-1/2 days)
Attend for $695 before September 1, 2005
Attend for $795 after September 1, 2005

Full-time Students (3-1/2 days) - current student ID required
Attend for $195 before September 1, 2005
Attend for $225 after September 1, 2005

One-day only option
Attend for $225 before September 1, 2005
Attend for $275 after September 1, 2005

Two-day only option
Attend for $425 before September 1, 2005
Attend for $460 after September 1, 2005

Optional Events:

Foresight Vision Weekend (Sat-Sun, October 22-23)
Participating members only
Attend for $295 before September 1, 2005
Attend for $395 after September 1, 2005

Feynman Prize Banquet (Wed, October 26, 2005)
Attend for $75 before September 1, 2005
Attend for $90 after September 1, 2005

Foresight Participating Members Discounts

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

If you are attending 3-1/2 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 – Vision Weekend

One of the premier benefits of a being a participating member of the Foresight Nanotech Institute is attending the Vision Weekend.

Hear speakers including Peter Diamandis of X Prize Foundation, Aubrey de Grey of University of Cambridge, Eric Drexler of Nanorex, and Richard A.L. Jones, University of Sheffield, discuss the future of nanotechnology candidly and off-the-record.

Scheduled for October 22-23, 2005, there is also a featured debate

"Nanotechnology: Revolutionary or Questionable?" between Jerry Mander, Director, International Forum on Globalization, and Ralph Merkle, Georgia Tech.

The Vision Weekend is exclusive to Foresight Participating members. We encourage individuals interested in how nanotechnology will change the world to become members and share their views.

Other speakers include:

Reaching the Nanotech Vision: a Practical Approach
Carl F. Kohrt, CEO, Battelle

Nanotechnology: New Capabilities in Security, Defense, and Offense
Sharon Smith, Director of Technology, Lockheed Martin

Moderating Nano Controversies
Derrick Boston, Partner, Guth Christopher and former Senior Vice President, California NanoSystems Institute

To become a participating member, follow this link:

Foresight Partners

tinytechjobs – tiny technology. Big Opportunities
tinytechjobs is a unique career website devoted to jobs at the convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, and information technology. On the site you will find both academic and industrial positions in such disciplines as chemistry, physics, materials science, biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, micro- and nano-electromechanical engineering, biomedical engineering and devices, microfluidics, microarrays, information technology, optics, mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering, and other relevant fields.

Nanotech Events & News

Headline: Nano coalition unveils environmental, health and safety database – International Council on Nanotechnology collects diverse scientific finding
News source: Rice University Press Release

The International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON) and Rice University's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) today launched the world's first online database of scientific findings related to the benefits and risks of nanotechnology. The database can be accessed at http://icon.rice.edu/research.cfm

Press Release

Buy your own nano-trinket — Nanoflags auction on eBay

The nano-American flag was created by scientists and engineers at Cornell University to celebrate the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act. It is probably the only nano-trinket to be presented to two Presidents of the United States. It was a gift to President George W. Bush on March 30, 2004 and to former President William Jefferson Clinton on May 29, 2004.

The nanoflag is being offered on E-bay as a limited edition with all proceeds being donated to Main Street Science, a not-for-profit that supports the development of science learning activities for children and adults.

To bid follow these directions:
Click http://www.ebay.com
Search for 'nanoflag.'
or click here

September 14-19, 2005 – Integrated Nanosystems 2005
Berkeley, California
Sponsored as a Joint Event by ASME and the MIT·Stanford·Berkeley Nano Forum

Editor’s Pick

When reviewing news for this digest, I often read about something that I think is cool, but it doesn’t fit within the editorial confines of the news digest. This section highlights a nanotech advance that I think is especially cool.

The waterproof process mentioned here was discovered by accident. It has the potential to reduce some packaging, will not require extensive retooling by the paper industry, and could be in place industrially within 18-24 months.

Headline: Making paper waterproof—and writable
News source: CNET

News Source


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.

Visit our blog Nanodot and join the discussion led by Christine Peterson

Foresight Nanotech Institute is located in Menlo Labs in the Menlo Business Park, in Menlo Park, California. Our space is a generous donation from Tarlton Properties. If you are seeking space for your nanotechnology or biotechnology company, please contact them at http://www.tarlton.com.

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