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Growing synthetic biology toolkit to make complex molecular machines

Foresight Update 25.05—May 10, 2012
ISSN 1078-9731

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Foresight Events
Foreseeing Future Technologies - Join Foresight
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Will piezoelectric graphene provide options for nanoscale manipulation?

Bulk piezoelectric materials are already used for atomically precise nanopositioning to position the tips of scanning probe microscopes. Would there be any advantages to engineered control of piezoelectrical properties in a two-dimensional material? Currently piezoelectric properties of materials cannot be engineered—it is a property only available in certain 3D crystals. Now calculations have demonstrated that graphene can be made piezoelectric by adsorbing atoms on one surface. …

Gold nanostars shuttled to cancer cell nucleus to release drug

… A variety of different types of nanoparticles using different drug delivery strategies are being investigated, including one type using biopolymers that we described here last week. Another report shows that a very different type of nanoparticle, composed of gold, works by delivering a drug directly to the nucleus of cancer cells. …

Mounting graphene on boron nitride improves its electronic properties

Despite its superlative properties, graphene has not been used to make electronic devices because electrons travel so well though it that they cannot be easily controlled. Now physicists have discovered that placing graphene sheets on boron nitride at the proper angle creates a superlattice that controls the movement of graphene electrons. …

Nanoparticles reduce tumors in clinical trial

We have often reported here that targeted nanoparticles to treat cancer have shown great promise in animal studies. An MIT news release written by Anne Trafton now informs us that ”Targeted nanoparticles show success in clinical trials“:

Targeted therapeutic nanoparticles that accumulate in tumors while bypassing healthy cells have shown promising results in an ongoing clinical trial, according to a new paper. …

Free nanotech talk at Stanford by Christine Peterson on Aug 8

August 8, 2012 Stanford University, Stanford, CA USA
Exploring the frontiers of knowledge and imagination, fostering interdisciplinary networking

Foresight Institute co-founder and Past President Christine Peterson will speak at the Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of August 2012, chaired by Piero Scaruffi. …

Fast nanoscale 3D-printing (link to video)

For those interested in atomically precise manufacturing, 3D-printing is an interesting microscale technology for making centimeter-scale objects. We commented on this technology a few months ago with the introduction of two competing technologies for printing complex digitally-designed plastic consumer items. Foresight Senior Associate Charles Vollum sends word of the extension of 3D-printing to nanoscale (approximately 100 nm) resolution. …

Nano for younger kids

Miguel F. Aznar, Foresight’s Director of Education, sends the following nanotechnology education items. …

Adding to the toolbox for making complex molecular machines

As synthetic biology seeks to build ever more complex biological machines, the possibility of a bridge from biological to artificial molecular machine systems grows less far-fetched. Recent advances in yeast molecular biology are leading to the ability to make more complex molecular machines in yeast, substantially augmenting the synthetic biology toolkit. …

—Nanodot posts by James Lewis and Miguel F. Aznar.

Foresight Events – Lectures

Physically Programmable Surfaces
Foresight’s 2nd Dinner Lecture of 2012 was held on April 20 at Halcyon Molecular, Redwood City, California. Dr. Alexander Wissner-Gross spoke about building smart, nanostructured surfaces with universally programmable physical properties. The lecture was hosted by Founders Fund startup Halcyon Molecular and was well attended.

Video interview
Outreach and Development Director Desiree Dudley was featured on Singularity Hub talking about Foresight and nanotechnology.

Senior Standards Fellow David Forrest presented an overview of top down approaches to molecularly precise nanotechnology at the Washington Academy of Sciences biennial Capital Science 2012 event in Washington, DC, in conjunctions with the Philosophical Society of Washington.

Technology making a splash
President Larry Millstein and Treasurer Steven Vetter were interviewed (via eMail) by The Guardian newspaper for a feature article on nanotechnology that appeared in that newspaper at the end of March.

Exploring the frontiers of knowledge and imagination, fostering interdisciplinary networking
August 8, 2012
Stanford University, Stanford, CA USA

Foresight Institute co-founder and Past President Christine Peterson will speak at the Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of August 2012, chaired by Piero Scaruffi. Her talk is scheduled from 8:30-8:55pm and is titled "The Nanocentury: Bringing Digital Control to the Physical World".

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

Next Generation Green Chemistry
May 21-23, 2012
Santa Clara, CA USA

From BIOBASED to GREEN CHEMISTRY to Co2-to-Chemicals...and Beyond... Opportunities Abound to Revolutionize the $1Trillion Global Chemicals & Materials Markets!

Nanotech Conference & Expo, 2012
June 18-21, 2012
Santa Clara, CA USA

Join us in Santa Clara for the world's largest gathering of nanotechnology experts. In our 15th year, come network with over 4,000 participants and 300 exhibitors and be part of this incredible global innovation community.

Nano Measure 2012
June 19-20, 2012
Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA USA

Agilent Technologies is pleased to announce the second Nano Measure scientific symposium. Nano Measure 2012 will feature some of the most prestigious scientists in their respective fields presenting leading-edge, nanomeasurement-driven research.

The 6th International Symposium on Macro- and Supramolecular Architectures and Materials (MAM-12)
November 21-25, 2012
Coimbatore, India

Novel materials will play a key role in science and technology in the 21st century.

Printed Electronics USA 2012
December 5-6, 2012
Santa Clara, CA USA

Printed Electronics is one of the fastest growing technologies in the world. This event, the World's largest on the topic and growing rapidly every year, is your information and networking hub on the topic. Printed Electronics USA is co-located with the Photovoltaics IDTechEx event.

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