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Foresight Nanotech Institute Weekly News Digest: August 31, 2005

In this issue:

Foresight Nanotech Institute News

"Nanotechnology is Not Little in Washington"
Floyd Kvamme Keynote
13th Foresight Conference Focuses On Nanotech Vision, Applications, Policy and Research

Floyd Kvamme, Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, will present his view on Washington policies and nanotechnology at the 13th Foresight Conference: Advancing Beneficial Nanotechnology: Focusing on the Cutting Edge.

His keynote, "Nanotechnology is Not Little in Washington" will be held Tuesday, October 25, 2005 at 9 a.m. As part of the Applications and Policy program, Kvamme will cover Washington’s perspectives on nanotechnology and discuss why top policy-makers think nanotechnology is strategically important to U.S. technical leadership, competitiveness and job creation. The session is open to the public and individuals may register online at http://www.foresight.org/conference2005.

Read more

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 recharging process has been confirmed by an independent source and will be developed on a large-scale.

Headline: World’s First Rechargeable Long-Life Solar Cell
News source: AZonano.com

Solar Nanosciences has demonstrated a completely rechargeable dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC or Graetzel Cell) creating the lowest manufacturing cost, long-life photovoltaic system in the world. DSSCs which are based on low cost materials and simple construction, have to date suffered from limited operating lifetimes due to the degradation of the sensitizer dyes.


Solar Nanosciences

2. Providing abundant clean water globally

Foresight note: Article discusses how current nanotech applications could be applied to the challenge of clean water.

Headline: Water – The New Oil: Nanotech Nanotechnology could help solve the world’s water problems—all it needs is funding.
News source: Red Herring

Traditional remedies, such as filters, desalination, and water recovery systems, are limited in scope because they cost too much, are inefficient, require lots of maintenance, or use too much energy…

The use of nanofiltration, which is common in most industrial filtration processes, is the first application to trickle into the water sector. KX Industries, a privately held company in Orange, Connecticut, that produces consumer and light-industrial water filters, is producing nanoscale filters that will screen out items as small as bacteria and viruses for the specific purpose of eradicating waterborne disease, one of the main killers in developing countries. Switzerland’s Membratec and Germany’s BASF are also applying nanotechnologies to filtration.


3. Increasing the health and longevity of human life

Foresight note: Article outlines another area where nanotechnology will impact medical diagnostics by making tests portable and reasonably priced.

Headline: DNA Printer – Cheap DNA Tests
News source: SciencCentral News

Francesco Stellacci and his colleagues at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a nano-scale printing technique they hope might make DNA analysis an everyday thing, available to all of us.

"Our dream, our long term goal, would be to bring them (DNA diagnostics) to a cost of… say $50 apiece… so that this analysis of DNA becomes as common as a blood test," explained Stellacci.


Francesco Stellacci

4. Maximizing the productivity of agriculture

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

The following panel will be held on Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Panel: Nanotech for Food Production and Reducing the Environmental "Footprint" of Agriculture

Norman Scott, Dept of Biological & Environmental Engineering, Cornell University
Peter Singer, Director, University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics
Michael Riedlinger, President, Natural Nano


5. Making powerful information technology available everywhere

Foresight note: This research gives new meaning to small type and has the potential of making a very large impact on molecular electronics and biosensors.

Headline: Writing at the Nanoscale
News source: NanoTech Wire

"Our new 'writing' method opens up many new possibilities for creating nanoscale patterns and features on surfaces. This may have a significant impact on developing nanotechnologies that involve nanopatterning, such as molecular electronics — tiny circuits built using single organic molecules," said Brookhaven Lab physicist Yuguang Cai.

Cai and his colleagues call the technique "Electro Pen Nanolithography" (EPN). They sweep a very thin metal tip across a film of organic molecules. The tip carries an electric voltage, which causes the region under it to "oxidize," or undergo a reaction that changes the chemical makeup of the film. In a single sweep of the pen, organic "ink" molecules are transferred from the tip to the oxidized regions, creating an extremely thin line.


Brookhaven National Laboratory

6. Enabling the development of space

Foresight note: Experts estimate that the space elevator tether, made of carbon nanotubes, could be a few decades into the future. Michael Laine of Liftport Group will discuss their approach at the upcoming Foresight Conference.

Headline: Space Elevators of Carbon Nanotubes, Instead of Rockets News source: National Geographic News by Stu Hutson

Blasting a space shuttle away from Earth's gravity and through atmospheric friction at 15,000 miles an hour (24,140 kilometers an hour) is the most dangerous and costly part of every mission.

Why not just take an elevator instead?


Brad Edwards

Ray Baughman

Space Elevator Primer

Productive Nanosystems Roadmap


"The incredible promise of nanotechnology has continued to be twenty years away for the past twenty years. History has shown that goal oriented science can achieve great breakthroughs. If we are to realize the incredible promise of nanotechnology we need milestones to achieve, goals we can accomplish and a plan to get us there. I believe by putting the best minds together to resolve technical differences and to identify the key breakthroughs we can then potentially focus the vast resources being deployed globally and dramatically accelerate progress in the field. I look forward to contributing to Foresight's roadmap effort and its mission of ensuring the beneficial implementation of nanotechnology."

—Ted Waitt, 2005
Founder, Gateway Computer

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

Register Tomorrow – September 1, 2005 – Save $100

The Advancing Beneficial Nanotechnology Conference offers the most comprehensive program, with days dedicated to Applications and Policy, Research, and a Vision Weekend. Here speakers will discuss key advances, funding and applications — and we have assembled debates to thrash out the more controversial issues in this next Industrial Revolution.

Link to program:

Here is a sampling of the debates and talk topics on the program:

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

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 Biophan Technologies, Inc.

Corporate Member – Biophan Technologies, Inc.

Meet Michael Weiner, Biophan CEO, when he speaks at the Foresight Conference.

Biophan uses nanotechnology for biomedical device and pharmaceutical applications. Our thin film coatings can resolve image artifacts, including making stent restenosis imageable non-invasively, under MRI. We use nanotechnology for active drug delivery, eluted when needed from the surfaces of implanted medical devices reacting to non-invasive electromagnetic fields, tuned to specific frequencies. An artificial hip, for example, can have an anti-inflammatory drug that releases on demand, months or even years after implantation. In addition, toxic drugs can be made non- toxic until they are at the point of use, and then activated, non-invasively. We are also using nanotechnology to produce longer lasting batteries by using body heat instead of chemicals, working with NASA.


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.

September 8, 2005 - Nanotechnology and Materials Showcase
Santa Clara, California
Sponsored by The Girvan Institute of Technology

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

September 16-18. 2005 – Accelerating Change 2005
Organized by Acceleration Studies Foundation
Stanford, California

"Artificial Intelligence (AI) broadly defined, improves the intelligence and autonomy of our technology. Intelligence amplification (IA) empowers human beings and their social, political, and economic environments. As in previous years, a collection of today's most broad-minded, multidisciplinary, and practical change leaders will consider these twin trends from global, national, business, social, and personal foresight perspectives."

Foresight members are eligible for a $75 discount off the registration fee. Simply follow this link and use the following discount code: AC2005-FORESIGHT when registering.

Nanotech Events & News

Headline: Teaching people about nanotech
News source: Wisconsin State Journal by Jason Stein

For nanotechnology to ever live up to its promise, somebody is going to have to talk to Gail Vick.

Headline: From confusion to action
News source: Industry Week by Teresko

"In the last decade, the explosion in nano knowledge and capability defies easy understanding and application. Unfortunately the hype and confusion accompanying nano slows corporate decision-makers, even as their researchers start to flex newfound abilities to picture, analyze and model nano materials," said Martha Collins, technology manager at Air Products and Chemicals Inc.

Report on UK Nanotech:

The Nanotechnology (MNT) Network recently produced a report that maps UK activity in Micro and Nanotechnologies, listing 372 companies with profiles and breakdowns of their capabilities. This report is available free of charge on request from the web http://www.mntforum.com

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.


These flowers could eventually be used for waterproofing glass and buildings. No timeline mentioned for application but the promise of self-cleaning, water proofed glass is an application to look forward to.

Headline: Nanoflowers – Teeny, tiny flowers
News source: ScienCentralNews


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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