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First synthetic organ transplant made possible by nanotechnology

Foresight Update 24.08—August 4, 2011
ISSN 1078-9731

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Foreseeing Future Technologies - Join Foresight
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2011 Foresight Institute Prize in Communication deadline is Sept. 30, 2011

The nomination process for the 2011 Foresight Institute Prize in Communication is now open. The prizewinner for the Communication Award will be awarded a $1,000.00 prize plus a physical award. …

2011 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize deadline is September 30, 2011

The nomination process for the 2011 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize is now open. Two prizes in the amount of $5,000 each will be awarded to the researchers whose recent work has most advanced the achievement of Feynman's goal for nanotechnology: molecular manufacturing, defined as the construction of atomically-precise products through the use of molecular machine systems. Separate prizes will be awarded for theoretical work and for experimental work. The winners of this year's prizes will be announced at a venue to be announced. …

A four-artificial-neuron network from 112 DNA strands

Following up on their recent accomplishment of building a computational circuit from 74 small DNA molecules, Caltech researchers assembled 112 DNA strands into four artificial neurons that they trained with four pieces of information about four scientists. The artificial neural network can then play a game in which it properly answers questions about the identity of a scientist that the player has in mind even when the player gives it incomplete or wrong information. …

DNA nanotechnology provides detailed monitoring of single cells

A short segment of single-stranded DNA artificially evolved to bind to a particular protein growth factor has been adapted to make a molecular sensor for that factor. Upon binding the growth factor the DNA changes shape, bringing two fluorescent dye molecules closer together, thus producing an optical signal. After chemical attachment of the sensor to the membranes of an adult stem cell, and transplantation of the stem cell into a mouse where it homes to the bone marrow, the sensor reports on the environment of the cell. …

Foresight's recent past president honored by his undergraduate university

Foresight's recent past president J. Storrs "Josh" Hall was awarded the 2011 Achievement Award in the Sciences from his undergraduate alma mater Drew University …

Nanotechnology therapy for head and neck cancer shows promise

…Researchers at the University of Michigan have demonstrated in a model using immunocompromised mice (so that they do not reject human tumors) that dendrimers targeted to tumors and carrying anti-cancer drugs show great promise as potential therapy for head and neck cancer. …

American Chemical Society grant to study molecular gears

The American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund has awarded a grant to study the development of molecular gears for use in future molecular machines. …

Foresight on Internet radio

Foresight President Christine Peterson appeared along with former Foresight President J. Storrs Hall on Internet radio on July 13 …
Added to The World Transformed web site July 14: Christine Peterson on Transformations.
Added to The World Transformed web site July 18: J. Storrs Hall on Transformations.

First synthetic organ transplant made possible by nanotechnology

Nanotechnology has played a critical role in the first synthetic organ transplant, a trachea (windpipe). A patented nanocomposite of unreported composition was used to form a scaffold exactly the same size and shape as the patients own windpipe, which was then seeded with adult stem cells from the patient's own bone marrow. …

An evolution machine to accelerate nanotechnology development?

Proposals for assembling molecular machine systems from parts based on biopolymers usually take the approach of computationally designing proteins, RNA, or DNA molecules to serve as devices or as components of supramolecular systems. An alternative approach that has also been pursued is directed evolution in the laboratory …

Handling flexible parts in RNA nanotechnology

As a road to advanced nanotechnology, RNA nanotechnology offers greater structural and functional versatility than does DNA nanotechnology. A disadvantage of multiple structural motifs, however, is that finding small molecules that bind specifically to an RNA molecule is more difficult than, for example, finding small molecules that bind specifically to protein molecules, which exhibit single defined structures. …

—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.

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Upcoming Events

August 15-18 2011
Portland, Oregon

NANO is the flagship IEEE conference in Nanotechnology, in which practitioners will see nanotechnologies at work in both their own and related fields, from basic research and theory to industrial applications.

Nano and Giga Challenges in Electronics, Photonics and Renewable Energy
Symposium and Summer School (Tutorial Lectures)
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.

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.

IPAS 2012
February 12-15 2012
Chamonix, France

The aim of the Sixth International Precision Assembly Seminar is to discuss the rapidly evolving field of micro-assembly, including the development of microfactories and microsystem fabrication.

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