Tag Archives | Nanotechnology

Google Nanotech Pill Will Search Your Body For Disease Detection

There’s an emerging theme in contemporary science fiction of medical nanotechnology running amok with disastrous consequences for humanity. The inevitable science fact is catching up fast with fiction and no surprise, Google is among the first mega-corporations working on a nanotech pill that will run around the human body detecting problems (and no doubt eventually “fixing” them). From PC Mag:

Google X is working on another moonshot: a nanoparticle-filled pill intended to help doctors identify and prevent fatal diseases.

Andrew Conrad, head of the Life Sciences team at the Google X research lab, told attendees at the The Wall Street Journal’s WSJD Live conference (video below) that he wants to “functionalize” nanoparticles and “make them do what we want.”

These particles are less than one-thousandth the size of a red blood cell, and small enough that millions can fit within a grain of sand – or the human body. But don’t expect to start swallowing nanoparticle-infused pills during your next visit to the doctor.

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Ray Kurzweil On How We Will Live Forever Beginning In Twenty Years

Don’t get hit by a bus before 2029 arrives. Interviewed via the Sun, is Ray Kurzweil’s optimistic two-decade time frame perhaps influenced by his own advancing age (61)? He says:

I and many other scientists now believe that in around 20 years we will have the means to reprogramme our bodies’ stone-age software so we can halt, then reverse, ageing. Then nano-technology will let us live for ever.

Already, blood cell-sized submarines called nanobots are being tested in animals. These will soon be used to destroy tumours, unblock clots and perform operations without scars. Ultimately, nanobots will replace blood cells and do their work thousands of times more effectively.

These technologies should not seem at all fanciful. Our phones now perform tasks we wouldn’t have dreamed possible 20 years ago. When I was a student in 1965, my university’s only computer cost £7million and was huge. Today your mobile phone is a million times less expensive and a thousand times more powerful.

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Anarchists Attack Nuclear And Nanotechnology Scientists

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Photo: Transguyjay (CC)

An underground coalition with a dystopian view of nuclear and nanotechnology advancement has unleashed several recent shooting and bombing attacks. Their purpose is to push back against science that they say are aiming us towards “self-destruction and total slavery.” Nature reports:

A loose coalition of eco-anarchist groups is increasingly launching violent attacks on scientists.

A group calling itself the Olga Cell of the Informal Anarchist Federation International Revolutionary Front has claimed responsibility for the non-fatal shooting of a nuclear-engineering executive on 7 May in Genoa, Italy. The same group sent a letter bomb to a Swiss pro-nuclear lobby group in 2011; attempted to bomb IBM’s nanotechnology laboratory in Switzerland in 2010; and has ties with a group responsible for at least four bomb attacks on nanotechnology facilities in Mexico. Security authorities say that such eco-anarchist groups are forging stronger links.

“Science in centuries past promised us a golden age, but it is pushing us towards self-destruction and total slavery,” the letter continues.

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Magnetic Bacteria Create a Biological Hard Drive

Hard DriveJacob Aron writes in New Scientist:

Computer virus destroyed your hard drive? Don’t worry, some day bacteria might build you a bigger and better one.

Hard drives store data on discs coated with a metallic film divided into tiny magnetic regions, each of which stores a single bit — the more regions you can squeeze on to a disc, the bigger the capacity. Now, a team at the University of Leeds, UK, have borrowed a trick from nature to build a new kind of hard drive.

Certain strains of bacteria absorb iron to make magnetic nanoparticles that let them navigate using the Earth’s magnetic field. The team have extracted the protein behind this process and used it to create magnetic patterns that can store data. “We’re using and abusing nature because it’s had billions of years to do all of its experiments through evolution, so there is almost no point in us starting from scratch,” says Sarah Staniland, who led the research (Small, vol 8, p  204).

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Solar Paint Your House With Nanoparticles

This paste of cadmium sulfide-coated titanium dioxide nanoparticles could turn large surfaces into solar cells. (Credit: ACS Nano)

This paste of cadmium sulfide-coated titanium dioxide nanoparticles could turn large surfaces into solar cells. (Credit: ACS Nano)

Via ScienceDaily:

Imagine if the next coat of paint you put on the outside of your home generates electricity from light — electricity that can be used to power the appliances and equipment on the inside. A team of researchers at the University of Notre Dame has made a major advance toward this vision by creating an inexpensive “solar paint” that uses semiconducting nanoparticles to produce energy.

“We want to do something transformative, to move beyond current silicon-based solar technology,” says Prashant Kamat, John A. Zahm Professor of Science in Chemistry and Biochemistry and an investigator in Notre Dame’s Center for Nano Science and Technology (NDnano), who leads the research.

“By incorporating power-producing nanoparticles, called quantum dots, into a spreadable compound, we’ve made a one-coat solar paint that can be applied to any conductive surface without special equipment.”…

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Technologists Will Be The Next Drug Dealers

DJ Spooky. Photo: Eddie Codel (Ekai) (CC)

DJ Spooky. Photo: Eddie Codel (Ekai) (CC)

Olivia Solon explains at Wired UK:

Technologists will become the next drug dealers, administering narcotics through brain stimulation, according to Rohit Talwar, the founder of Fast Future Research speaking at Intelligence Squared’s If conference.

Talwar was charged by the government to investigate the drugs landscape over the next 20 years, exploring scenarios going beyond the traditional model of gangs producing and shipping drugs around the world.

He described how the world of genomic sequencing and services such as 23 and Me open up possibilities for tailoring drugs to the individual, delivering effects based on your physiology — which could apply just as effectively to narcotics as it could medicines.

He cited research from the University of California, Berkeley where neuroscientists were able to replicate images people were seeing based on the brain patterns of activity. When combined with transcranial magnetic stimulation — which has been used to inhibit brain functions such as the ability to speak or remember —  it opens up the possibility of electronically delivering targeted highs.

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Anti-Nanotechnology Terrorist Sect Strikes In Mexico

Unabomber-sketchExtremists in Mexico are trying to save humanity from our own technology before it’s too late through mail-bomb attacks against researchers — some people just really do not like messing around with particles at the atomic level. Via Newser:

A radical group that opposes nanotechnology has has claimed responsibility for at least two bombing attacks on researchers in Mexico and it praises the “Unabomber,” whose mail-bombs killed three people and injured 23 in the United States.

A manifesto posted Tuesday on a radical website mentions at least five other Mexican researchers whose work it opposes, and lauded Theodore Kaczynski, who is serving a life sentence for bombs that targeted university professors and airline executives. It was issued in the name of a group whose title could be translated as “Individuals Tending Toward the Savage.”

Mexico State prosecutors’ spokesman Sonia Davila said authorities are investigating the authenticity of the manifesto, but said its description of how the dynamite-stuffed pipe-bomb was constructed matched evidence found at the scene of a small explosion Monday at Monterrey Technological Institute’s campus in the State of Mexico, on the outskirts of the capital.

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U.S. Developing Hummingbird Drones

Nano Air Vehicle developed by AeroVironment

Nano Air Vehicle developed by AeroVironment


Next time a cute little bird hovers outside your window, it might be spying on you for the U.S. Government. Julie Watson reports on some quite realistic working prototypes currently being tested, for AP:

You’ll never look at hummingbirds the same again.

The Pentagon has poured millions of dollars into the development of tiny drones inspired by biology, each equipped with video and audio equipment that can record sights and sounds.

They could be used to spy, but also to locate people inside earthquake-crumpled buildings and detect hazardous chemical leaks.

The smaller, the better.

Besides the hummingbird, engineers in the growing unmanned aircraft industry are working on drones that look like insects and the helicopter-like maple leaf seed.

Researchers are even exploring ways to implant surveillance and other equipment into an insect as it is undergoing metamorphosis. They want to be able to control the creature.

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The Real Willy Wonka: Three-Course Meal in a Single Stick of Chewing Gum

WillyWonkaMoviePosterBy Niall Firth for the Daily Mail:

It didn’t work out that well for poor Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka’s factory.

But now researchers say they may have cracked the secret behind creating a sweet that replicates three meals in a single stick of chewing gum.

Scientists at the Institute of Food Research (IFR) say the latest technology could be used to turn Willy Wonka’s eccentric invention into reality – but without the unpleasant side effects.

Food scientist Dave Hart believes that recent advances in nanotechnology, which deals with structures just millionths of a millimetre in size, could capture and release flavours in a precisely controlled way…

[continues in the Daily Mail]

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Jellyfish ‘Smoothie’ Could Have Solar Solutions

Barry Neild at CNN reports:

Putting thousands of jellyfish in a blender to make a smoothie sounds like the start of bad joke. In fact, it’s one way to source ingredients for a new generation of solar power solutions that could aid medical science and offer cheap energy.

Scientists say by liquidizing the humble Aequorea victoria — a glow-in-the-dark jellyfish commonly found off the western coast of North America — they can use the green fluorescent protein (GFP) it contains to create miniature fuel cells.

These, say their creators, could be used to power microscopic “nanodevices” that could operate independently inside the human body, helping reverse blindness or fight tumors.

Nanotechnology — the manipulation of matter at an atomic scale (one nanometer is equivalent to one billionth of a meter) — is seen by many as the future of medicine, but the science of powering nano-machinery is still in its infancy.

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