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Foresight Nanotech Institute Weekly News Digest: November 16, 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: Energy conservation as well as storage and distribution are areas where nanotechnology applications will have great impact. This is a corporate release that details a coating that promotes energy conservation and also protects against mold.

Headline: Industrial Nanotech Launches Nansulate HomeProtect Line of Coatings for Insulation and Mold Prevention
News source: Industrial Nanotech Inc. corporate press release

Industrial Nanotech Inc. announced the release of a new nanotechnology based coating designed to provide energy savings and mold protection for residential and commercial buildings.

Industrial Nanotech's coatings can be applied to the walls and attics in homes, office buildings, or commercial facilities in order to reduce energy consumption and prevent the growth of mold. According to projections by the Energy Information Administration, heating a home with natural gas could cost an average of about $1,200 this winter, up from $1,000 last year. The most effective way to conserve energy used to heat a home is for consumers to add insulation, reducing heat loss and heating bills.
Industrial Nanotech Inc.

2. Providing abundant clean water globally

Foresight note: It is a slow news week so we are highlighting a promising product that is working towards a solution to the clean water challenge.

Headline: Seldon Laboratories
News source: Seldon Laboratories, Inc.

Seldon Laboratories has developed an exciting new technology that reliably removes microorganisms from fluids, without the use of heat, ultra-violet radiation, chemicals, contact time, or significant pressure. This technology has been the primary focus of the company's efforts to date and is now ready for large-scale production.

Seldon has delivered prototype portable purification systems to the United States Air Force for testing, and has a program for the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of a series of product applications in its subsidiary, Seldon Water Technologies, Inc.
Seldon Laboratories

3. Increasing the health and longevity of human life

Foresight note: Target therapeutics for cancer and infectious diseases is one of the great promises of nanotechnology. This company is working on a treatment for the bird flu.

Headline: Indian scientist Dr Anil R Diwan develops bird flu drug
News source: DNA Evolutions India

A novel medication called a nanoviricide, being developed by Westhaven, Connecticut-based NanoViricides, Inc, may prove much more efficacious in treating patients infected by the deadly Avian flu than current treatments.

The key intellectual property on which the new drug is based is a flexible nanomaterial that contains an encapsulated active pharmaceutical ingredient and, using a ligand, targets it to a specific type of virus.

4. Maximizing the productivity of agriculture

Foresight note: As mentioned this is a slow news week in nanotechnology, so we are citing an article (slightly dated) that discusses how nanotechnology could apply to agriculture.

Headline: FOOD: Edible Nano is the New Frontier
News source: ThomasNet Industrial News Room by Katrina C. Arabe

Imagine a meal that modifies its color, flavor or nutrients to satisfy your taste buds and health needs. Industry and academia are teaming up to make sure this is not just a scene from Star Trek.

Food-related nanotechnology research is already underway and could significantly affect our food supply within the next decade. Here's a sampling of potential nanotech innovations:


5. Making powerful information technology available everywhere

Foresight note: Scalability is a major issue in all industries but it is particularly critical when preparing nanotechnology materials for commercial application. This corporate release announces a process that will produce a higher volume of carbon nanotubes.

Headline: Carbon nanotubes of the highest purity
New manufacturing process enables larger production volumes
Bayer MaterialScience plans the industrial marketing of Baytubes
News source: Bayer MaterialScience AG corporate release

"In a similar manner, we can make films for antistatic packaging materials, such as those used for sophisticated electronic components." Another possibility is the electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding of computer and mobile telephone housings. In the future, CNTs could also improve the thermal conductivity of ceramic components in turbines.
Bayer MaterialScience AG

6. Enabling the development of space

Foresight note: A sustainable, closed environment is crucial to space flight. This scientist is being honored for his water monitoring biosensors based on carbon nanotubes.

Headline: NASA Scientist Honored for Spaceship Biosensor, Other Inventions
News source: SpaceRef.com

Jun Li, a research scientist at the Center for Nanotechnology, NASA Ames Research Center, located in California's Silicon Valley, will be honored by Nanotech Briefs magazine representatives during a ceremony in Boston. Nanotechnology in the creation of materials, devices and systems through the control of matter on the nanometer scale. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter.

"We are delighted and proud of this achievement," said Meyya Meyyappan, director of the Center for Nanotechnology at Ames.

Li's carbon-nanotube biosensor may well be used to monitor water quality on NASA's next planned spaceship, the Crew Exploration Vehicle that the space agency plans to fly to the moon, Mars and beyond. Carbon nanotubes are extremely tiny tubes measured in nanometers. Scientists say nanotechnology someday could lead to changes in almost everything from computers and medicine to automobiles and spacecraft.

Why Become A Foresight Member

Are you curious about nanotechnology and what it means for you? Do you want to know more? Or, are you already informed and believe that nanotechnology can provide solutions to key challenges facing humanity?

Consider becoming an Electronic, Student or Basic Member of Foresight Nanotech Institute, a think tank that has been leading the public debate and education on nanotechnology since 1986.

If you wish to be more involved, consider becoming a Participating Member. Participating members, formerly called Senior Associates, are a mix of technologists, philanthropists, visionaries, policy leaders, engineers, research scientists, artists, and nanotechnology experts.

Foresight Nanotech Institute offers membership levels appropriate to meet the needs and interests of individuals and companies. To find out more about membership follow this link:

To join:

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.

December 4-9, 2005 – 19th Large Installation Systems Administration Conference
Sponsored by USENIX & SAGE
San Diego, California

The annual LISA conference is the meeting place of choice for system, network, database, storage, security, and all other computer-related administrators. Administrators of all specialties and levels of expertise meet at LISA to exchange ideas, sharpen old skills, learn new techniques, debate current issues, and meet colleagues and friends.

January 31-February 1, 2006 – Nanotech Investing Forum
Sponsored by International Business Forum (IBF)
Rancho Mirage, California

Nanotechnology continues to receive growing attention from venture capital investors. Government, universities/labs, and corporations are fueling the growth of nanotech research into profitable commercial applications.
Event web site

NanoApex and NanoInvestorNews Merge with Nanotechnology.com

Over the past five years NanoApex and NanoInvestorNews have developed up-to-date news and comprehensive resources related to the growing fields of nanotechnology. This week NanoApex and NanoInvestorNews joined forces with Nanotechnology.com. The sites will continue to provide online resources for nanotechnology under the Nanotechnology.com web structure.

Limited offer — Most of the new nanotechnology.com site is accessible on a complimentary basis. Nanotechnology trackers can now browse the site for features and functionality. This is a 60 days limited time offer.

Nanotechnology.com, The International Small Technology Network

Nanotech Events & News

Headline: New look for optical microscopy
News source: Nanotechweb.org

Physicists in Switzerland and Germany have made a new type of optical microscope that can produce images without capturing light from the sample. The new device relies on measuring changes in the properties of a gold nanoparticle placed next to the sample. The "nanoantenna" could have applications in sensing devices

Call for Abstracts – Research Papers Deadline: November 18, 2005
NSTI Nanotech 2006

NSTI is calling for abstracts for their May 2006 conference. Researchers can submit abstracts in four main categories.
Nanoscale Electronics & Microsystems
Nanoscale Materials & Technologies
Nanotech in Life Science & Medicine
Clean & Controlled Environments
Event web site

Script Competition
Deadline: December 15, 2005
Script Competition Sponsored by the Professional Artists Lab and the California Nanosystems Institute

The first guideline for this script competition is "Submitted plays must explore scientific and/or technological stories, themes, issues and/or events. Authors are strongly encouraged to avoid the stereotypes often assigned to science, technology, and those who engage in these disciplines. This competition is not open to plays written in the genre of science fiction."

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 or idea that I think is especially cool.


This article details an artificial nanomaterial that when exposed to light creates magnetic vibrations that causes the material to change color. According to the article, this is supposedly impossible in a natural medium.

Don't forget to visit our blog Nanodot and join the discussion led by Christine Peterson.

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.

Special thanks to Foresight Nanotechnology Challenges Research Volunteer Michelle Hubbard, MSc Candidate, Department of Biology, University of Saskatchewan

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