December 2008

Nanomedicine, Nanomaterials, and the NIH

December 29, 2008

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been developing what they term the NIH Nanomedicine Roadmap Initiative. This is much more than a study; it’s a research program that includes a national network of eight Nanomedicine Development Centers.

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Toward Advanced Nanotechnology:

Nanomaterials (1)

December 27, 2008

The widespread obsession with diamond nanotechnologies is peculiar: How did the idea of molecular manufacturing, a general approach to organizing mechanosynthesis, been become so closely identified with making diamond?

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Mysterious Google Rankings

December 23, 2008

Some broad Google searches rank recent Metamodern posts high or even first among tens of thousands to millions of returns. For example, this post is currently ranked as the #1 page for [ photonics technologies ]. I’m puzzled.

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Low-Cost DNA Production Roadmap

December 21, 2008

Synthetic DNA today costs millions of dollars per kilogram, but Harvard‘s George Church has proposed an approach that could drop the cost by many orders of magnitude. This could greatly expand applications of structural DNA nanotechnology.

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3D Imaging & Research Opportunity [updated]

December 19, 2008

About the sample preparation techniques I described in an earlier post, Paul Rothemund writes to say Those picture are neat; as far as I know, no one has done freeze fracture / freeze-etch electron microscopy [of DNA nanostructures]. That is a gap, certainly…. A study of the effects of critical point drying or freeze drying/sublimation […]

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A Brain Drain to Nowhere

December 19, 2008

Science magazine reports a surprising and important scientific development that has been years in the making: US research faculty now spend an estimated 42% of what they consider “research time” on on pre- and post-award administrative activities — on writing progress reports, satisfying intricate rules for revenue management, working on review boards, and so on. […]

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The Technology Tree

December 18, 2008

When I look around my office, almost everything I see is either a person, a plant, or the product of machines. If you’re facing a computer screen, very likely your surroundings are similar. The Forge of Vulcan(detail) Diego Velázquez But where did these productive machines come from? With varying degrees of human help, they were […]

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A Random Number and Neuroscience

December 18, 2008

My favorite random number generator evaluated the expression (+ 1 (random 47)) to the value “2”: Andy McKenzie, please send email me a suitable address (see the About page), and I’ll send you the book promised in the giveaway. Andy suggested discussing potential applications of nanotechnology to neuroscience and noted a 2007 article in the […]

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Comments on Comments

December 15, 2008

I’ll be responding at greater length to comments I invited a few days ago, but right now, I’d like to thank everyone who offered thoughts, news, questions, and requests. As some of you suggest, I plan to open most of the posts for comment in the future. I’d like this to be a participatory blog […]

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3D imaging of biological nanostructures

December 15, 2008
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Your comments, please  (and a giveaway)

December 12, 2008

I’m opening this post for comments on the blog, both general suggestions and specific topics that you’d like to see discussed. I will be inviting participation on an ongoing basis. I should mention at the outset that I plan a series of posts on promising directions in nanosystem development, approaches exploiting biomolecule-based composite nanosystems as […]

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Arthur Kantrowitz

December 11, 2008

After I founded a student organization called the “MIT Space Habitat Study Group”, an early, surprising participant was Arthur Kantrowitz, then an MIT Institute Professor (visiting), and CEO of the Avco Everett Research Laboratory. He was a physicist and engineer with wide-ranging accomplishments. In the 1950s, his inventions helped solve the problem of atmospheric re-entry […]

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