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Current Topic: Nano Tech

Topic: Nano Tech 5:25 pm EST, Dec  3, 2003

] In this C&EN exclusive "Point-Counterpoint," two of
] nanotechnology's biggest advocates square off on a
] fundamental question that will dramatically affect the
] future development of this field. Are "molecular
] assemblers"--devices capable of positioning atoms and
] molecules for precisely defined reactions in almost any
] environment--physically possible?

it's not short, but probly worth reading for all the nanotech peoples out there.


New Scientist - Nano-transistor self-assembles using biology
Topic: Nano Tech 3:09 pm EST, Nov 21, 2003

] A functional electronic nano-device has been manufactured
] using biological self-assembly for the first time.

it's a start...

New Scientist - Nano-transistor self-assembles using biology

Thoughts on Nano-Technology, dooms-day, and chicken little...
Topic: Nano Tech 12:10 pm EST, Nov 20, 2003

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.

I just got finished reading a few articles from Bill Joy including, "why the future doesn't need us" (search memestreams for those threads)...On some key points I agree with Mr. Joy. I agree that we are on the cusp of a potentially catastrophic era in human history. I agree that ethics is not always enough of a guiding principle in the scientific research. And I agree that in the short term limits on the spread of knowledge may be needed to avoid disaster, but I would stress that this can only be a short term solution to the problems ahead; reliance on secrecy as long term defense will be disastrous.

Joy makes a statement that we have not yet reached the point of no return in nano-technology research. This is the primary point at which I disagree with him. I feel that we passed the point of no return in 1959 when Feynman wrote his now famous “There's plenty of room at the bottom.” The idea was first conceived, and the meme began to spread. It is now to the point where it has taken hold and we can not waste valuable time arguing about whether or not we should continue with our research. I believe the research will continue with or without those of us that feel that ethics must be of supreme consideration in the development of potentially dangerous technologies.

I very much like his idea of a hippocratic oath for technologist, engineers, and scientists; though I don't believe this goes far enough.

If people believe, as I do, that nano-technology is in our future, then we must prepare for its consequences. As I have expressed on a number of occasions, only those in control of the technology can shape its future.

In the 1940's when the United States was the only nuclear power, did policy makers believe simple containment of knowledge for the creation of nuclear weapons would stop nuclear proliferation? If policy makers believed this was an absolute solution then history has clearly shown them wrong.

Restricting the spread of knowledge does not stop others from developing that knowledge independently; this is what policy makers must come to understand.

All that is needed to insure the eventual acquisition of a given knowledge is the continued belief in its utility.

Re-read that last sentence as it is the central point that I am trying to make. The spreading of a meme of this sort is all that is needed to inspire others to attain the knowledge for themselves. Thus other safeguards must be in place to insure the safe and ethical use of this knowledge.

Something needs to be said for keeping such knowledge secret. It does work to slow the spread of knowledge but ultimately can not stop it. That is to say, while there is a continued belief in the utility of such knowledge it will eventually be attained by... [ Read More (0.8k in body) ]

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

Small Times: NanoEthics
Topic: Nano Tech 3:29 pm 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 - Tim Harper - Freeing up nanotechnology information (October 2003)
Topic: Nano Tech 5:09 pm EDT, Oct  6, 2003

neat! get your learn on... - Tim Harper - Freeing up nanotechnology information (October 2003)

Antibiotic Laced Nanoballs Could Improve Infection Treatment
Topic: Nano Tech 11:12 am EDT, Sep 29, 2003


Antibiotic Laced Nanoballs Could Improve Infection Treatment

Microbatteries patented: Tiny power cells built and tested in United States.
Topic: Nano Tech 10:29 pm EDT, Sep 14, 2003

] US researchers have patented a technique to manufacture
] batteries a thousandth of a millimetre across.
] Building a microscopic power unit is a first step towards
] propelling machines that operate at the atomic scale.
] Miniature robots might one day sniff out chemicals in the
] environment or deliver drugs inside the body.

Microbatteries patented: Tiny power cells built and tested in United States.

Howard Lovy's NanoBot
Topic: Nano Tech 5:16 pm EDT, Aug 14, 2003

interesting site. I also get a free subscription to "Small Times" because of my science geekiness....werd.

Howard Lovy's NanoBot

Scientific American: Nanotech: It's Not Easy Being Green -- Researchers and activists go to loggerheads over the science of small
Topic: Nano Tech 4:07 pm EDT, Jul 30, 2003

] The next big thing is going to be very, very small. At
] least, that's what scientists and companies pouring time,
] effort and billions of dollars into nanotechnology are
] hoping. Indeed, the President's 2004 budget allocates
] $849 million to the National Nanotechnology Initiative
] and in May the House passed a nanotech funding bill
] totaling $2.36 billion over the next three years. Private
] corporations have entered the fray, too, prompted in part
] by the National Science Foundation's prediction that
] nanotechnology could potentially grow into a $1-trillion
] industry annually by 2015.

Scientific American: Nanotech: It's Not Easy Being Green -- Researchers and activists go to loggerheads over the science of small

RE: Small Times: News about MEMS, Nanotechnology and Microsystems
Topic: Nano Tech 1:08 pm EDT, Jul 28, 2003

Decius wrote:
] ] 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?

Interesting idea would depend on what molecules you were using. Once the vector (in your example, a bucky ball kind of substance) was destroyed, the normal chemical properties of the molecules would be revealed. If two molecules that normally can't interact with each other were coated in some sort of plastic or bucky ball, and they were able to then be moved close together, they would still not form a bond once the vector was destroyed unless their original chemical properties changed somehow so that they could interact. It all comes down to charges and electron shells when it comes to bonding. As well, some molecules are just too bulky to be able to bond getting molecules closer to each other using some sort of medium wouldn't help that. But in cases like this article mentions, it would work...just as long as the molecules can bond, then using a vector to get them in a certain shape before they bond should work.

RE: Small Times: News about MEMS, Nanotechnology and Microsystems

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