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First programmable nanowire circuits for nanoprocessors

Foresight Update 24.03—March 2, 2011
ISSN 1078-9731

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Foresight Events – Lectures
Foreseeing Future Technologies - Join Foresight
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DNA molecular robots learn to walk in any direction along a branched track

…Another step towards DNA-based molecular assembly is reported by, written by Belle Dumé "Nanobots move on" (requires free registration):

A team of physicists at the University of Oxford in the UK has designed a molecular robot that can be programmed to move in any direction along a branched track. Such control was not possible until now because previous devices were only able to move forwards in a straight line. …

Mechanical control of conductance through a single molecule junction

New options to control nanoelectronic systems may arise from the demonstration that mechanical manipulation can control conductance through single molecule electrode junctions. Research reported in Nature Nanotechnology [abstract] demonstrates that conductance through a single organic molecule (pentaphenylene) bridging two gold electrodes changes by an order of magnitude as the electrodes are manipulated to change the angle between the molecule and the electrode from perpendicular to highly tilted. …

Time magazine cover article on the Singularity, Ray Kurzweil, AI and nanotechnology

Thanks to Terry Miller for bringing to our attention prominent and generally favorable coverage of the Singularity. The cover of the February 21, 2011 issue of Time is devoted to an article by Lev Grossman titled "2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal". …

Making computers more error prone could make them much faster and more powerful

Joseph Bates, a longtime Foresight member and computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon and the MIT Media Lab was described in the "Innovator" feature of the January 31-February 6, 2011 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek … as predicting that a computer that ignored some processing tasks necessary to obtain precisely accurate results "would have something like 100,000 times the computing power of a traditional processor." …

More on first programmable nanoprocessor

In a follow up to our post last week, James C. Ellenbogen writes to provide insight and personal perspective on the world's first programmable nanoprocessor, achieved as the product of a collaboration between Harvard and MITRE, with the team at MITRE comprising Shamik Das, James Klemic, and Ellenbogen. …

Improved fuel cell catalyst combines graphene and nanoparticles

Thanks to Charles Vollum for this news of a promising near term application of nanotechnology that combines graphene and nanoparticles to produce a platinum catalyst that is much more efficient than the current standard. …

First programmable nanowire circuits for nanoprocessors

Brian Wang from Next Big Future writes with news of a major step toward functional nanoprocessors based upon fully scalable nanowire tiles, which also advances the field toward part of the Feynman Grand Prize:

Programmable nanoprocessor built from nanowires. In a significant step forward in complexity and capability for bottom-up assembly of nanoelectronic circuits, Yan et al. [abstract] demonstrate scalable and programmable logic tiles based on semiconductor nanowire transistor arrays. The same logic tile, consisting of 496 configurable transistor nodes in an area of about 960 square micrometres, can be programmed and operated as a full-adder or full-subtractor circuit, and used for various other functions including multiplexers. …

Improving upon self-assembly

Inspired by the principle of the vernier scale for making precise measurements, chemists have reported a technique for using smaller templates to assemble rings of subunit molecules larger than the templates, thus providing a way to make large molecules from smaller molecules that is more precise than random self-assembly. …

—Nanodot posts by James Lewis

Foresight Events – Lectures

Foresight Lectures

Nanotechnology's near-term vs longer-term applications
March 9, 2011 Cape Town, South Africa
Christine Peterson will speak on nanotechnology's near-term vs longer-term applications, including medical uses and life extension.
Location TBD, probably University of Cape Town. For info, email Carly Newman,

HT2 Wellness & Aging Summit
March 23, 2011
San Francisco, California
Christine Peterson will be a panelist on life extension and longevity.

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:


NanoManufacturing Conference & Exhibits
April 5-6, 2011
Drury Lane Conference Center
Oakbrook Terrace IL USA

Looking to understand what nanotechnology means for you? Need to understand how and why nanotechnology can improve your products, process and may even cut costs? Interested in learning about the latest applications and trends in top-down fabrication and bottom-up assembly techniques? Then this event is for you!

This conference will highlight the current, near-term, and future applications of nanotechnology and how they are transforming the way we manufacture products. Peer networking, information sharing, and technology exchange among the world's nanomanufacturing leaders will be a key feature of the event.

Key areas include:

  • Self assembly and productive nanosystems
  • Medical device and energy applications
  • Bioengineering applications
  • Top-down fabrication and bottom-up assembly

Nano and Giga Challenges in Electronics, Photonics and Renewable Energy
September 12-16 2011
Moscow - Zelenograd, Russia

The NGC2011 conference in Russia invites academic and industrial researchers to present tutorial, expository and original research papers dedicated to solving scientific and technological problems in electronics, photonics and renewable energy …

The Seventeenth International Conference on DNA Computing and Molecular Programming
September 19-23 2011
Caltech, Pasadena, California, USA

Research in DNA computing and molecular programming draws together mathematics, computer science, physics, chemistry, biology, and nanotechnology to address the analysis, design, and synthesis of information-based molecular systems. This annual meeting is the premier forum where scientists with diverse backgrounds come together with the common purpose of advancing the engineering and science of biology and chemistry from the point of view of computer science, physics, and mathematics. Continuing this tradition, the 17th International Conference on DNA Computing and Molecular Programming (DNA17), under the auspices of the International Society for Nanoscale Science, Computation and Engineering (ISNSCE), will focus on the most recent experimental and theoretical results that promise the greatest impact.

Moving from Top Down to Bottom Up
September 22 2011 - 14:00 GMT, webinar

This IOP webinar will look at examples of bottom up approaches to engineering and manufacturing from different sectors including biosensing, electronics and regenerative medicine.

Contact Foresight

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