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Foresight Update 23.46: Manufacturing with every atom in its proper place—November 10, 2010

ISSN 1078-9731

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Request for public comment on National Nanotechnology Initiative’s Strategic Plan

The US White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has requested comments from the public: “No Input is Too Small: Comment on National Nanotechnology Initiative’s Strategic Plan” …

…You may review the draft Plan and submit comments of approximately one page or less (4,000 characters) from now until November 30, 2010.

Theoretical analysis of powering nanorobots with blood glucose and oxygen

Robert A. Freitas Jr., winner of the 2009 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize for Theory and the 2007 Foresight Institute Prize in Communication sends this announcement that a major theoretical study of how to power medical nanorobots is available…

This paper represents the first detailed theoretical study of the actual power limitations of oxygen/glucose-powered in vivo medical nanorobots in human tissue capillaries. …

New book addresses nanotechnology education and workforce training

Since Foresight was founded, some of the most persistent questions directed to us have included “How do I study nanotechnology?” and “How do I get a job doing nanotechnology?”. Now Foresight’s Director of Education Miguel Aznar has joined with Judith Light Feather to write Nanoscience Education, Workforce Training, and K-12 Resources. From the editorial review available at Amazon…

Protein nanostructures stiffer than Kevlar

The earliest proposal for engineering molecules toward a general method for fabricating devices to complex atomic specifications focused on engineering protein molecules. Although the concept of engineering proteins often brings to the imagination an implausible picture of trying to engineer meat into something stiff enough for making machinery, Drexler has pointed out that structural proteins are as stiff as engineering polymers. Indeed, this observation is further strengthened by the recent report of dipeptide nanospheres having (in the words of the abstract of the research paper) “a remarkable metallic-like Young’s modulus of up to 275 GPa.” The discovery is described on the POPSCI web site “New Nanospheres are the Stiffest Biological Materials Ever Created, Surpassing Kevlar”…

Optimizing DNA strand lengths for assisted self-assembly

The specific binding of complementary DNA sequences has provided a set of easily programmed molecular interactions to build a wide range of nanostructures, molecular devices, and materials. One of the practical issues in designing DNA strands to serve as “glue” is to make the strands long enough to bind strongly to their complementary sequences, but not so long as to have other possible interactions that compete with the desired interaction. From North Carolina State University “Researchers Find ‘Goldilocks’ Of DNA Self-Assembly”…

Manufacturing with every (silicon) atom in its proper place reports from the AVS 57th International Symposium & Exhibition that researchers at Zyvex Labs in Richardson, Texas “have demonstrated a process that uses a scanning tunneling microscope tip to remove protective surface hydrogen atoms from silicon one at a time and then adds single atomic layers of silicon only to those meticulously cleared areas.” From “Coming soon: Manufacturing with every atom in its proper place”…

Open Science Summit videos available

For those of you who (like myself) were unable to attend the Open Science Summit July 30, 2010 in Berkeley, California, which was focused on “Updating the social contract for Science” and included topics like synthetic biology, personal genomics, gene patents, open access/data, the future of scientific publishing and reputation, microfinance for science, DIY biology, and bio-security, all recorded conference video footage is now up on Open Science Summit 2010…

Foresight President Christine Peterson spoke on Open Source Sensing in the session on Safety and Security Concerns, Open Source BioDefense

New X-ray laser for basic research in nanotechnology

Longtime Foresight member Alvin Steinberg brings our attention to: Energy Secretary Dedicates World’s Most Powerful X-ray Laser…

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu on Monday dedicated the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), the world’s first and most powerful X-ray laser, at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.…

—Nanodot posts by James Lewis

Foreseeing Future Technologies

Advancements in technologies such as nanotech, robotics, and biotech are promising to make major differences in our lives in the not-too-distant future, as the Industrial Revolution did to the agrarian world — to do for the physical world what the computer and Internet have done to the world of information.

Since 1986, the Foresight Institute has been in the forefront of a worldwide community of visionaries who work to help shape these possibilities into a positive, beneficial reality. If you would like to help us understand the potential of these technologies, and influence their direction, please consider becoming a member of the Foresight community. With your support, Foresight will continue to educate the general public on these technologies and what they will mean to our society.

To join:


Humanity+ @ Caltech December 4-5, 2010
Redefining Humanity in the Era of Radical Technological Change
Pasadena, CA

Several times a year, Humanity+, the world's leading nonprofit for the ethical use of technology, holds conferences about the sciences, technologies and social issues concerning the future. Past Humanity+ conferences have taken place in Cambridge, Massachusetts at Harvard University and Irvine, California. Our next conference, Humanity+ @ Caltech, will take place on December 4-5th (Saturday-Sunday) at Caltech in Pasadena, California.

Speakers will include many of the top visionaries and leaders of the transhumanist community, as well as new voices from the worlds of science, art, media and business.

The Humanity+ @ Caltech program will be divided into four main sessions, each one of which will cover a key area of transhumanist thought:

  • Re-Imagining Humans: Mind, Media and Methods (Saturday morning)
  • Radically Increasing the Human Healthspan (Saturday afternoon)
  • Redefining Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence, Intelligence Enhancement and Substrate-Independent Minds (Sunday morning)
  • Business and Economy in the Era of Radical Technomorphosis (Sunday afternoon)

Contact Foresight

The Foresight Institute Weekly News Digest has merged with Foresight Update and is emailed every week to 10,000 individuals in more than 125 countries. Foresight 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:

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