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Nanotechnology milestone: a general method for designing stable proteins

Foresight Update 25.12—December 26, 2012
ISSN 1078-9731

2012 Foresight Prize Winners Announced


REGISTER NOW – $150 off – use discount code FTC150

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


2012 Challenge Grant


Nanotech News

Discuss these news stories at

In this issue:

Testing and improving scaffolded DNA origami for molecular nanotechnology

Scientists at the Technische Universität München have published two papers documenting major enhancements to scaffolded DNA origami. …

Two types of artificial muscle from nanotechnology

Biology uses various types of molecular machines to produce movement, all of which are candidates to be mimicked for use in nanotechnology. Muscles produce movement through the contraction of systems of polymers, powered by the release of chemical energy. Now scientists from France’s CNRS have developed an artificial muscle that produces micrometer-scale movement through the coordinated action of thousands of individual molecular machines each producing nanometer-scale movement. …

Optimal bond loads in designing molecular machines

One issue in designing molecular machine systems to do nanoscale work, such as molecular manufacturing, is how to transfer energy to implement guided molecular motions, to move components or to make or break chemical bonds. …

Arbitrarily complex 3D DNA nanostructures built from DNA bricks

This past May we posted news of a major advance in the toolkit for DNA nanotechnology. … a very versatile, rapid, and inexpensive way to assemble arbitrarily complex 150-nm two-dimensional DNA nanostructures from 42-nucleotide DNA tiles. [Now} another major advance from the same research group …

New strides in understanding mechanochemical reactions

Mechanochemistry is the process of using mechanical force to effect bulk chemical reactions with small (catalytic) amounts of solvent. Although the process lacks any form of the positional control that is a cornerstone capability of productive nanosystems, understanding how chemical reactions proceed under mechanical force will help lessen the gap between current and future machine-phase synthesis. …

Nanotechnology milestone: general method for designing stable proteins

Yet another milestone along the protein design molecular engineering path to advanced nanotechnology has been reached, thanks to the efforts of the laboratory of David Baker, one of the 2004 winners of the Foresight Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology for Theoretical work. …

—Nanodot posts by James Lewis and Stephanie C.

Foresight Events and News

2012 Foresight Prize Winners Announced

The winner of the 2012 Feynman Prize for Experiment is the team of Gerhard Meyer, Leo Gross, and Jascha Repp for their work at IBM Research in Zurich (Dr. Repp is now at Regensburg University). The winner of the 2012 Feynman Prize for Theory is David Soloveichik of University of California, San Francisco, for his general theory of DNA displacement cascades.

For more information …

The Foresight Institute is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2012 Distinguished Student Award is David Walker, a Ph.D. student at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

For more information …

The 2013 Foresight Technical Conference
Illuminating Atomic Precision

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

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

Diamond Sponsor: The Thiel Foundation
Silver Sponsors: Autodesk, Zyvex Labs
Bronze Sponsor: Millen, White, Zelano & Branigan, PC

Over 30 leading researchers will present reviews and results on a wide range of research relating to atomic and molecularly precise devices and materials, and their fabrication. The conference will provide an unusually heterogeneous mix of speakers and participants, serving as a catalyst for interdisciplinary dialog and productive collaboration.

Sessions include –

Atomic Scale Devices
Session Chair: John Randall, Zyvex Labs

Molecular Machines and Non-Equillibriun Processes
Session Chair: J. Fraser Stoddart, Northwestern University

Self Organizing and Adaptive Systems
Session Chair: Lee Cronin, Glasgow University

Commercially Implemented Single Molecule Technologies
Session Chair: SteveTurner, Pacific Biosciences

Computation and Molecular Nanotechnologies
Session Chair: Alex Wissner-Gross, Harvard and MIT

Additional speakers will include the Feynman Prize winners for Theory and for Experiment for both 2011 and 2012, and the winners of the Feynman Student Prizes for 2011 and 2012.

For the full conference schedule, detailed information on sessions, speakers and talks, and how to register use the following links --

For conference information
To register
Special Discount $150 off - use discount code FTC150

2012 Challenge Grant

Double the impact of your donation and membership dollars
Deadline: December 31, 2012

With contributions like yours, Foresight will be able to advance beneficial nanotechnology through our publications, prizes, and Technology Roadmap for Productive Nanosystems. We will continue to be a growing force enabling businesses, scientists, technologists, policy makers, investors, and individuals to be informed about how nanotechnology can contribute to a better future.

Thanks to a generous $30,000 Challenge Grant, every contribution you make to Foresight is matched dollar-for-dollar to that amount. Donations and memberships sent by December 31 qualify as 2012 tax deductions. For extra tax savings, donate appreciated stock.

Read more and donate

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

Foresight is targeting the top 300 science, engineering, & entrepreneurially-oriented college clubs, high school STEM teachers, & gifted youth programs across the country … and connecting them with great ideas & people!

We're sending bright young minds the following books by speakers, advisors, & supporters of the Foresight community (organizations sponsoring individual book donations are in parentheses):

Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think - Peter Diamandis (XPrize Foundation)
Engines of Creation - K Eric Drexler (Foresight Institute)
Imagine Design Create - Tom Wujec (AutoDesk)
The Singularity Is Near - Ray Kurzweil (KurzweilAI, SingularityU)
Ending Aging - Aubrey deGrey (SENS Foundation)
100+ - Sonia Arrison (Thiel Foundation)
Global Catastrophic Risks - Nick Bostrom (FHI, Singularity Institute)
NanoScience Education, WorkForce Training, and K12 Resources - Miguel Aznar/Judith Lightfeather (Foresight - for STEM HS)

We're also planning an inspiring Essay Contest that incentivizes students to read, reflect, & connect with our communities! Supporting sister organizations such as Space Frontier Foundation, Humanity+, SENS, and 20Under20+ are also putting promotional material in book-boxes.

We need your help to make this pilot a success.
Most books came in as physical donations, but this is a bootstrapped project; we're still seeking funds to support the financial incentive prizes, student conference tickets, & remaining books being shipped in this week. If you'd like to help maximize this project's leverage, please contribute!

Teachers or student orgs interested in the outreach program can sign up to have books sent at

For more information, contact

Other Upcoming Activities of Interest

A future issue of Update will report on the FNANO conference held this Spring at Snowbird.

Nanotech Conference & Expo 2013

May 12-16, 2013
Washington, DC USA

Don't miss this year in Washington, D.C. as we deliver the World's top innovations and the Nation's leading R&D agency programs!

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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