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Current Topic: Nano Tech

RE: Thoughts on Nano-Technology, dooms-day, and chicken little...
Topic: Nano Tech 11:04 pm EST, Nov 19, 2003

abaddon wrote:
] This post was originally intended as a reply to a thread on
] memestreams about Bill Joy, and in the process of writing it
] sort of became its own topic of discussion.

This is a good essay. I wish my response was as deep. Simply, I much prefer George Bush's perspective, as offered in his recent speeches, that we can address the threat of nanotechnology by addressing threats, then the Bill Joy's perspective, that we can address the threat of nanotechnology by addressing technology.

Knowing how to do something, being capable of doing something, is not the same as doing it. I drive a car every day, and every day the power is in my hands to veer off of the road and splatter someone across the pavement, and yet I don't. No one really does. Should the risk that I could be enough to get rid of cars? No.

What about that guy who does veer off the road? We ought to focus on him instead of focusing on cars.

RE: Thoughts on Nano-Technology, dooms-day, and chicken little...

Small Times: NanoEthics
Topic: Nano Tech 9:12 am EDT, Oct 21, 2003

] Ralph Merkle, a Foresight founder who is now director of
] the Georgia Tech Information Security Center, says the
] group has always known its set of guidelines for nanotech
] regulation - really, a set of self-regulatory
] measures that ensure human control over nanotech -
] would not apply to real nanotechnology for decades. But
] one of Foresight's objectives is that there is adequate
] public discussion "well in advance of reality."
] "I think that one of the things that happens in any
] discourse about some complex subject is you get a lot of
] confusion," Merkle said. "That's part and parcel of the
] process, and so what you want to do is start the
] discussion early, and as time goes by the confusion
] gradually settles down. In other words, people make wild
] statements. Fine. They make statements that aren't
] accurate. Fine.
] "As time goes on, people will look back and see what was
] accurate and not."

This is an interesting discussion of nanoethics that has general implications for discussions of bioethics.

Small Times: NanoEthics

Small Times: News about MEMS, Nanotechnology and Microsystems
Topic: Nano Tech 12:24 pm EDT, Jul 28, 2003

] The key ingredient in Subramanian's organic circuits
] is "liquid gold." Synthesized in his
] laboratory, liquid gold consists of gold nanocrystals
] that are only 20 atoms across and melt at 100 degrees
] Celsius, 10 times lower than normal.
] The gold nanocrystals are encapsulated in an organic
] shell of an alkanethiol (an organic molecule containing
] carbon, hydrogen and sulphur) and dissolved in ink. As
] the circuit is printed on plastic, paper or cloth using
] inkjet technology, the organic encapsulant is burned off,
] leaving the gold as a high-quality conductor.

This is an interesting approach. I wonder if it can be expanded to other kinds of molecules. Basically, encase the molecules you really want inside of a something like a bucky ball, but which is easy to manipulate, and easy to destroy. Then you build a general purpose acutator for positioning the bucky balls. One you've layed out the balls where you want them, you either burn them off, or destroy them chemically, revealing the molecules you really want, which, being next to eachother will bond.... This is the sort of abstration layer that nanotech needs.

Thoughts from people with more chemisty knowledge?

Small Times: News about MEMS, Nanotechnology and Microsystems

Forbes Wolfe
Topic: Nano Tech 10:50 pm EDT, Jul 23, 2003

A really good nanotech blog from the guy who does this stuff for forbes. Just click it.

Forbes Wolfe

Scientists use alfalfa plants to harvest nanoparticles of gold: 8/02
Topic: Nano Tech 7:38 pm EDT, Aug 20, 2002

"Ordinary alfalfa plants are being used as miniature gold factories that one day could provide the nanotechnology industry with a continuous harvest of gold nanoparticles. "

This is rad!

Scientists use alfalfa plants to harvest nanoparticles of gold: 8/02

Viruses enlisted as nano-builders
Topic: Nano Tech 12:17 am EDT, May  5, 2002

If you want to build a molecular-scale computer chip, or a minuscule sensor that detects the slightest whiff of an airborne toxin, you're going to need some tiny builders to help put these gadgets together. In Friday's issue of the journal Science, researchers in Texas show how they hired a virus as their nano-construction worker.

... Millions of viruses in solution can line up and stack themselves into layers, creating a material that flows like a liquid but maintains an internal pattern. By changing the solution's concentration or applying a magnetic field, scientists can force new patterns and create different liquid crystal structures.

Viruses could do all the tedious and fine work of creating a highly organized nanomaterial. ...

The team will spend the next year trying to make simple devices out of this material, with the hope that these materials can be used in self-assembling computer chips, optical devices and sensors that detect biowarfare agents or chemicals.

You can find the Science paper online at

Viruses enlisted as nano-builders

An Anthrax Test In Your Palm
Topic: Nano Tech 2:04 pm EST, Jan 29, 2002

$50 Palm pilot attachment analyses blood samples for Anthrax.

An Anthrax Test In Your Palm

A Debate About Assemblers
Topic: Nano Tech 2:54 am EST, Jan  7, 2002

In the September issue of Scientific American, a number of articles cast doubt on certain aspects of nanotechnological building blocks promoted by the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing and the Foresight Institute. The organizations have responded with specific rebuttals to these articles and pointers to the previous literature on the subject.

Worth a look. I wonder which side of the debate Bill Joy supports ... if he supports the SciAm view, then is GNR a false threat?

A Debate About Assemblers

Information on Nanotechnology / small is powerful and beautiful!
Topic: Nano Tech 2:38 pm EST, Nov 11, 2001

" is a new online magazine devoted to publishing original content on nano-scale technology and molecular nanotechnology. Our current format includes interviews with several people who are making nanotechnology a reality. We hope to encourage participation from the general public. is also searching for advisors and peer reviewed papers. It is fun and educational to read the interviews and remains a free resource for everyone to learn new opinions and different perspectives."

Information on Nanotechnology / small is powerful and beautiful!

Small Times: News about MEMS, Nanotechnology and Microsystems
Topic: Nano Tech 7:59 am EST, Nov  3, 2001

Dude, nanotech news! This site is an unqualified recommendation, but I am definately checking this out...

Small Times: News about MEMS, Nanotechnology and Microsystems

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