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Foresight Nanotech Institute Weekly News Digest: September 21, 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 discusses how nanotechnology could assist towards creating an "Intelligrid" for power distribution.

Headline: Rethinking Energy
News source: San Jose Mercury News by Matt Marshall

Now, with regional energy bottlenecks and spikes in the cost of oil and natural gas, some Silicon Valley venture capitalists and technologists are saying the country needs to radically overhaul its energy infrastructure.

"Our culture is crisis driven," said Scott Mize, president of the Foresight Nanotech Institute, a Palo Alto technology think tank. "We go from event to event, waiting for something to push us over the tipping point."

Built on a technology and platform set in the 1950s, the current grid remains unable to store energy, is too centralized — and thus prone to bottlenecks — and cannot efficiently transport electricity without huge losses in power along the way, he and others say.

One solution: the "Intelligrid."


Note: Clark Gellings, VP of Innovation, Electric Power Research Institute will be speaking on a panel at our conference on Monday, October 24, 2005.

2. Providing abundant clean water globally

Nanotech for clean water (panel at our conference)
William Lee, President and CEO, eMembrane
Kevin McGovern, Chairman, McGovern & Associates (for KX Industries)
Fred Tepper, President, Argonide

See conference program for details:

3. Increasing the health and longevity of human life

Foresight note: Cancer treatment and nanoscience education get a financial boost

Headline: National Cancer Institute and National Science Foundation Launch Collaboration; Training Grants Awarded for Nanobiotechnology
News source: PharmaLive

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a collaboration that will establish integrative training environments for U.S. science and engineering doctoral students to focus on interdisciplinary nanoscience and technology research with applications to cancer. Through this partnership, $12.8 million in grants are being awarded to four institutions over the next five years.

"We believe that by providing a critical mass of individuals who are prepared to work in a multi-disciplinary environment, these grants will accelerate the application of nanotechnology to specific cancer needs, such as the development of research tools to identify new biological targets, agents to monitor and predict molecular changes, imaging agents and diagnostics to detect cancer, novel targeting devices to deliver therapeutic agents, and systems to provide real-time assessments of therapeutic and surgical efficacy," noted Leland Hartwell, Ph.D., President and Director, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

4. Maximizing the productivity of agriculture

Nanotech for Food Production and Reducing the Environmental "Footprint" of Agriculture (panel at our conference)
Norman Scott, Dept. of Biological & Environmental Engineering, Cornell University
Peter Singer, Director, University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics
Aaron Wagoner, Director of Research and Development, Natural Nano

Maximizing productivity of agriculture (presentation at our conference)
Peter Singer, Director, University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics, Canada

See conference program for details:

5. Making powerful information technology available everywhere

Foresight note: Smell transmitting sensors and lenses that follow eye movement will assist communication and translation. Two links here – one leads to the announcement and the other to British commentary.

Headline: Phones that can smell, minus the breath mints
News source: JoongAng Daily

In the next five to 10 years, mobile phone users will be able to detect changes in the facial expressions and even in the smell of the person they are talking to, according to Jeong Kim, president of Bell Labs, the research arm of the U.S. firm Lucent Technologies.

Tony Smith of The Register comments.

6. Enabling the development of space

Foresight note: Space elevator to begin tests on early "lifters."

Headline: Space Elevator Gets FAA Lift
News Source: Space.com by Leonard David

The LiftPort Group, the space elevator companies, announced September 9, 2005 that it has received a waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to use airspace to conduct preliminary tests of its high altitude robotic "lifters."

The lifters are early prototypes of the technology that the company is developing for use in its commercial space elevator to ferry cargo back and forth into space.

More info about this news item at
(scroll down for space elevator info)

Liftport Group

Michael Laine, President of Liftport Group, will speak "Enabling the Development of Space – From Carbon Nanotubes to the Space Elevator" at our conference.

See conference program for details:

Productive Nanosystems Roadmap

Roadmap Luncheon Lecture

A Luncheon Seminar on the Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems will be given on October 27, 2005 at 12:10 p.m. by Alex Kawczak, Vice President, Bio-Products and Nanomaterials, Battelle, and Scott Mize, President, Foresight Nanotech Institute. This is on the final research day of our conference.
Research sessions only: http://foresight.org/conference2005/research.html

Advancing Beneficial Nanotechnology

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

October 22-27, 2005
San Francisco Airport Marriott Hotel

Full meeting: http://foresight.org/conference2005/index.html
Research sessions only: http://foresight.org/conference2005/research.html
Vision Weekend only: http://foresight.org/conference2005/vision_weekend.html

We have updated our program and added some spectacular speakers. The Advancing Beneficial Nanotechnology Conference offers the most comprehensive program, with days dedicated to Applications and Policy, Research, and a Vision Weekend. Speakers will discuss key advances, funding and applications.

Link to program:

New Speakers

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

Federal Government Regulation of Nanotechnology: Present and Future Trends
Nancy White, Central Michigan University

Is the public being served?
Randy Hayes, Founder and President, Rainforest Action Network

Nanotechnology and the Environment
Adam Werbach, Conservationist and former President, Sierra Club

Nanotech Investment Today
Charles Harris, Chairman & CEO, Harris & Harris

Assessing Risks of Nanoscale Materials
Jo Anne Shatkin, Principal, The Cadmus Group, Inc.

Capturing the Environmental Benefits of Nanotechnology
Shannon Lloyd, Senior Environmental Specialist, First Environment, Inc.

Nanotech for Food Production and Reducing the Environmental "Footprint" of Agriculture
Aaron Wagner, NaturalNano

Who Will Hate Nanotechnology and Why?
Patrick Hopkins, Millsaps College

Link to program:

New Debates & Panels

NanoBio in Humans: Are we ready to cross the Carbon Barrier? (Debate)
Ron Bailey, Science Correpondent, Reason Magazine
Alan Goldstein, Biomedical Materials Engineering, Alfred University

Intellectual Property in Nanotechnology (Panel)
Mark Lemley, Stanford Law School
Jerry Swiss, Partner, Foley & Lardner
Christine Peterson, VP Public Policy, Foresight Nanotech Institute

How can we overcome the "Valley of Death?" (Panel)
Steve Jurvetson, Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Floyd Kvamme, Partner, Kleiner Perkins
Michael Moe, Chairman & CEO, ThinkEquity Partners
Ray Rothrock, Managing General Partner, Venrock Associates

Public Equity Roundtable
Michael Weiner, CEO, Biophan Technologies, Inc.
Andrew Wahl, Managing Director, IG Partners

Link to program:

Who Attends

Foresight is the nexus point for scientists, academics, entrepreneurs, investors, and others involved in nanotech to come together. Our annual conference offers an outstanding cross-section of the nanotechnology field and beyond:

Registration Flexibility

Foresight offers an a la carte option, so you may choose to attend the entire conference, or only the sections that most interest you.

For registration options:

Hotel Reservations – Group Rate deadline is September 30th

Now is the time to make your hotel reservations as the group rate cut-off deadline of September 30, 2005.

San Francisco Airport Marriott
1800 Old Bayshore Highway
Burlingame, CA 94010, USA
Group Rate: Rate of $129.00 plus tax—single or double occupancy.

Reserve your hotel room early.
To reserve: call SF Airport Marriott at 1 800-228-9290 in the US and Canada or + 1 650-692-9100, or go to http://www.marriott.com and use group code: forfora.

The hotel is centrally located on the San Francisco Bay, just 1-mile south of the San Francisco International Airport, 15 minutes from downtown San Francisco, and 20 minutes to Silicon Valley.

Airport To Hotel Transportation

Complimentary Hotel Airport Shuttle is available 24 hours a day to and from San Francisco International Airport.

Hurricane Special

For those who have been impacted by Hurricane Katrina: We will hold the early-registration rate for you. Please contact Elaine@foresight.org for consideration.

Foresight Participating Members Discounts

Foresight Nanotech Institute's Participating Members receive deep discounts to the Advancing Beneficial Nanotechnology conference.

If you are attending 3-1/2 days of the conference, the registration fee is $795. If you become a Participating Member, your price is $695, 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 we would like to welcome our newest corporate member, Atomistix, Inc., and thank our corporate members for their support.

Thank You Corporate Members

Atomistix, Inc.
Biophan Technologies, Inc.
Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Draper Fisher Jurvetson
Foley & Lardner LLP
Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady-Falk & Rabkin
NanoHoldings LLC
Nanorex, Inc.
Nanosciences Technologies
Sun Microsystems
Tarlton Properites
The Waitt Family Foundation

To become a corporate member follow this link:

Foresight Lectures

Perils and Promises of Nanotechnology
October 11, 2005
Organized by Commonwealth Club Silicon Valley
San Jose, CA

Christine Peterson, Founder & V.P., Foresight Nanotech Institute
Dr. John M. Balbus, Senior Scientist, Program Director, Environmental Defense
Norm Wu, Managing Director, Alameda Capital

Moderated by: Anthony Waitz, Managing Partner, Quantum Insight and Co-founder, MIT Stanford Berkeley Nano Forum

Nanotechnology is a complex field which has great potential to deliver environmental as well as other benefits. At the same time, these same novel properties may pose new risks to workers, consumers, the public and the environment. This panel of experts will explore the possible risks and clarify the difference between near-term commercial advances and the "next industrial revolution" expected to arrive in the next few decades.

Foresight Partners

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

September 30, 2005 - Investing in Nanotechnology
Sponsored by IEEE San Francisco Bay Area Nanotechnology Council
Sunnyvale, California
11:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

Alexei A. Andreev, Ph.D., Executive Vice President/Managing Director of Harris & Harris Group, will cover the following topics: specificity of doing nanotech deals, novel emerging business models, opportunities in the field, and investor’s perception of near term and medium term investment.

Book – The Singularity is Near – When Humans Transcend Biology
To be released on September 26, 2005

World renowned inventor and futurist, Ray Kurzweil, envisions in his latest book, The Singularity is Near – When Humans Transcend Biology, the "singularity" in which technological change becomes so rapid and so profound that our bodies and brains will merge with our machines. He portrays what life will be like after this event and what this means in practical terms – human aging and pollution will be reversed; world hunger will be solved; our bodies and environment transformed by nanotechnology to overcome the limitations of biology, including death; and virtually any physical product can be created from information-based processes. The Singularity Is Near also considers the social and philosophical ramifications of these changes.

November 14-16, 2005 – AccelrysWorld
Sponsored by Accelrys
London, United Kingdom

AccelrysWorld, the year’s major event for Accelrys users, will come to Europe in late 2005. The event is the venue for users to find out about the latest solutions from Accelrys and its partners, hear case study presentations, give feedback and learn from other users in round-table discussions, and network with their peers.

Course - Introduction to Nanotechnology
Los Altos, California
Fall Semester

Foothill College, a community college in Northern California, is offering a new evening course in Nanotechnology. This course, a survey of the emerging field of nanotechnology, is intended for a multidisciplinary audience with a variety of backgrounds. After completion of the course, students should have a broad understanding of the industry and its potential and be familiar with current and future applications in materials, biology, physics, chemistry, computing, electronics, energy, medicine, and a variety of consumer markets. Application and registration deadline is September 21, 2005 - Late registration is available with instructor’s consent.

Nanotech Events & News

October 3-4, 2005 – Nanomedicine: Commercializing, Drug Discovery, Delivery and Diagnostics
Cambridge, MA
Sponsored by Strategic Research Institute
Web site

November 17-18, 2005 – Applications of Nanobiology to Biodefense:
Diagnostics, Detection, Therapeutics, and Biodefense Immunology

Rockville, Maryland

Editor’s Pick

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


The environment is an area where nanotechnology will make a huge impact. According to this article, there is general agreement on this.

Headline: Diamonds in the Rough
Nurturing the nanotechnology startups at clean energy incubators
News source: Renewable Energy Access by Rona Fried

"In a poll of 63 experts from around the world, the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics compiled a list of the top applications for nanotechnology in 10 years. All of them are directly related to environmental concerns:

"1. Energy storage, production and conversion, including more efficient solar cells, hydrogen fuel cells and new hydrogen storage.

"2. Agriculture, where nanomagnets are being developed to remove soil contaminants, and nanotech devices could release fertilizers at a strictly controlled rate, increasing soil fertility and crop production.

"3. Water treatment and remediation, where nano-membranes and clays could purify or desalinate water more efficiently than conventional filters at a fraction of the size."


Note: Peter Singer, Director, University of Toronto Joint Centre of Bioethics, will be speaking at our conference on Tuesday, October 28, 2005

Hope to see you at the conference as well!

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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