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First solid state artificial molecular machine

Foresight Update 25.07—July 12, 2012
ISSN 1078-9731


The 2013 Foresight Technical Conference
Illuminating Atomic Precision
January 11-13, 2013
Crowne Plaza Cabana Hotel, Palo Alto, CA

Youth Outreach

Foresight Youth Outreach
Summer/Fall 2012 Essay Contest & Literature Program
Volunteer Coordination Meeting July 22, 2012

Nanotech News

Discuss these news stories at

In this issue:

Nanotechnology and the rest of the universe

Nanotechnology is about exploring and implementing the ultimate methods for arranging the atoms in the world around us to suit our purposes. But atoms and all forms of visible matter make up only 4% of the universe, the remainder being dark matter and dark energy. In honor of today’s announcement of the discovery of a Higgs-like scalar boson … , which may lead to new, deeper understanding of the rest of the universe, I cannot resist pointing to this new nanotechnology-based device that may prove useful in detecting dark matter. …

Nanomachines and molecular motors can make use of thermal noise

A fundamental advance in the theoretical understanding of the role of thermal noise in molecular motors has been made by Chinese scientists. …

Solid state synthetic molecular machine points to advanced nanotechnology

Canadian chemists have induced a metal-organic framework to self-assemble and function as a molecular wheel on an axle in a solid state material. …

An expanded genetic alphabet could lead to more easily designed proteins

Back in 1992, in chapter 15 of Nanosystems, Eric Drexler suggested that it would be easier to design proteins that fold predictably, an important step on the road to advanced nanotechnology (or molecular manufacturing, or atomically precise manufacturing) if additional amino acids beyond the 20 that are genetically coded could be incorporated into proteins. Chemical synthesis of peptides has provided a way to accomplish this for small amounts of short proteins, but to obtain large amounts of long proteins, it would be very convenient to expand the genetic alphabet to encode additional amino acids. …

Nanotechnology greatly improves sensitivity of common medical tests

Near-term nanotechnology will not only enrich medicine with new cures, but will contribute to greatly improving existing procedures. For example, a new nanomaterial has improved the sensitivity of a common medical test three million times. …

Individual atoms resolved within nanoparticle comprising several grains

As nanotechnologists work to build ever more complex nanostructures, working toward complex atomically precise nanostructures, it will become increasingly useful for them to be able to see just what they are building. A new tomographic reconstruction method with scanning transmission electron microscopy delivers 3D images of individual atoms within regions of irregular nanoparticles. …

New method to identify intermediates in protein folding

To engineer proteins for use in molecular machine systems leading to advanced nanotechnology, it would be useful to know some of the transient structures through which the protein folds on its journey from a linear chain of amino acid residues to a compact, functional nanomachine. …

Advancing nanotechnology with protein building blocks

An advance in protein engineering targeted to better drug delivery methods or artificial vaccines is also an important step toward a general capability to build nanostructures by assembling designed protein domains in a designed rigid configuration. …

—Nanodot posts by James Lewis

Foresight Events and News

The 2013 Foresight Technical Conference
Illuminating Atomic Precision

January 11-13, 2013
Crowne Plaza Cabana Hotel, Palo Alto, CA USA

Over 30 speakers will present reviews and research on a wide variety of groundbreaking atomic- and molecular-scale science and technology, interesting intrinsically and for aiding the development of atomically precise technologies, devices and materials. Events will include an opening reception with a special panel discussion on Friday night and the Feynman Prize Awards Banquet on Saturday night.

Conference Co-Chairs
J. Fraser Stoddart, Board of Trustees Professor, Northwestern University
Larry S. Millstein, President, Foresight Institute

Conference Sponsors
The Thiel Foundation

Atomic Scale Devices
Chair: John Randall - President, Zyvex Labs
Molecular Machines & Non-Equilibrium Processes
Chair: J. Fraser Stoddart - Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry, Northwestern University
Self-Organizing & Adaptive Systems
Chair: Lee Cronin - Gardiner Chair of Chemistry, Glasgow University
Commercially Implemented Single Molecule Technologies
Chair: Steve Turner - Founder/CTO, Pacific Biosciences
Computation and Molecular Nanotechnology
Chair: Alexander Wissner-Gross – Harvard and MIT Media Lab

Look for further details on the conference, the speakers and the events in the coming weeks and months. Registration will open in late July or early August.

Foresight Youth Outreach
Summer/Fall 2012 Essay Contest & Literature Program

Foresight is launching an exciting new youth outreach program! We are targeting the top science, engineering, and entrepreneurially-oriented college clubs and gifted youth programs in the nation and sending out 300 sets of inspiring books on emerging technologies. Students will be incentivized to read, reflect, and contact us with their thoughts by entering our fall 2012 essay contest. Bookmarks and inserts will include information on the contest, our mission, as well as information on partner organizations such as SENS, Humanity+, and the Thiel Foundation's 20Under20 program.

Foresight is in the process of choosing books on nanotechnology to distribute in the program. If you'd like to vote on which book, please weigh in on our Facebook page. (Log into Facebook to vote). In addition, copies of Sonia Arrison's 100+, Aubrey de Grey's Ending Aging, and Peter Diamandis' Abundance have already been donated, and we are also working on securing copies of Ray Kurzweil's Singularity Is Near, and possibly Nick Bostrom's Global Catastrophic Risk.

If you are interested in volunteering, please attend the coordination meeting:

Open Youth Outreach Volunteer Coordination Meeting
Sunday, July 22nd, 4:30-6:00pm
Foresight Offices: 1455 Adams Drive, Menlo Park, CA 94025
Conference Room #1440

If you would like to contribute to this program please get in touch with Foresight at the contacts listed below.

Bay Area Dinner Lectures Resume Fall 2013

Foresight had some great dinner lectures this spring from speakers such as 100+ author Sonia Arrison and Harvard Fellow/MIT Media Lab Affiliate Alex Wissner-Gross. We will be taking a break this summer; but, we will resume in the Fall.

Other Upcoming Activities of Interest

A future issue of Update will report on the No MOS initiative workshop held last month at NIST and on the FNANO conference held this Spring at Snowbird.

NewSpace Conference 2012

July 26-28, 2012
Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, CA, USA

Foresight's Director of Development and Outreach Desiree D. Dudley will speak on a panel at the Space Frontier Foundation's NewSpace 2012 conference at NASA-Ames July 26-28. Right now the schedule has the panel titled "Approaching the Tipping Point: How Emergent Technologies Will Change the Way We Look at the Future of Spaceflight" at 2pm Saturday the 28th.

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".

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.

About the Foresight Institute
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.

The Foresight Institute is a non-profit, member-supported 501(c)(3) organization. We offer membership levels appropriate to meet the needs and interests of individuals and companies. Donations are tax deductible.

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fax +1 650.289.0863

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