Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Picture of the day

"Molecular Mill 1"

John Burch, Molecular Mill 1

This image is part of a presentation by the Foresight Nanotech Institute. Overall, all the images are intended to illustrate "an animated view of a nanofactory and demonstrate key steps in a process that converts simple molecules into a billion-CPU laptop computer."

Description: View of the smallest stage of the nanofactory. Wheels in upper left purify Acetylene molecules. The gray wheel at upper center presents individual molecules to the bonding tools on the white wheel at center. Hydrogen is stripped from the carbons by the white wheel at lower left, leaving only two carbon molecules. These two atoms are applied to the moving chain mechanism on the right to build small cubes of diamond.

© Copyright John Burch (click to see larger version)

Learn more at Lizard Fire Studios

To see the entire series, visit the Nanotechnology Now Gallery.

Quote of the day

RR: How do you - as scientists - help the public to understand the potential of nanomedicine? How can we - as a society - help insure that a nano-divide does not occur when it comes to distributing the benefits of nanomedicine to all?

Dr. James Baker:
Scientists need to take a lead role in educating the public about the potential for nanomedicine. By using the media to give real-life examples and visual representations of nanomaterials, we will be able to have people understand what is truly a real possibility and how it can benefit people's lives. The better educated the public are, the more supportive they will be of nanomedicine and the more rapidly we'll be able to develop nanomedicine applications. This relates to the second question. All healthcare is a societal issue that we need to deal with and the distribution of healthcare is one of the major issues our society will face as we move forward and our population ages. One of the hopes is that nanomedicines, nanobased health monitoring systems and nanodiagnostics can actually reduce the cost of healthcare to society. This will allow greater application of higher-quality healthcare to more individuals in our society, while at the same time, avoiding both the costs and pitfalls of current therapies. Let me give an example: To diagnose a tumor, we often have to use many different, expensive imaging studies, followed up by surgical procedures. If we can replace this with a nanomaterial, that could give a real-time diagnosis and allow earlier treatment of the disease before it becomes critical, we can save money in both the diagnostic and the therapeutic arena.

From: Nanotechnololgy Talk April 19, 2005

Trillion $ Market

A spot-on bit of writing was posted today at Nanowerk, by Michael Berger. Michael titled his piece “Debunking the trillion dollar nanotechnology market size hype” which is just what he did.

As he pointed out “There seems to be an arms race going on among nanotechnology investment and consulting firms as to who can come up with the highest figure for the size of the ‘nanotechnology market.’ The current record stands at $2.95 trillion by 2015.” This observation has been long in coming. Too long have we blithely accepted that anything that contains the slightest amount of nanoscale material contributes as a whole to the total market. His words for this market forecast method are “…taking every product that has anything to do with nanotechnology, however miniscule or remote, adding up the entire value chain of these products, and claiming this is ‘the market for nanotechnology’...”

I think his closing puts the whole hyped issue in perspective “I guess the point I am trying to make here is that these trillion-dollar forecasts for an artificially constructed "market" are an irritating, sensationalist and unfortunate way of saying that sooner or later nanotechnologies will have a deeply transformative impact on more or less all aspects of our lives.”

Well written and informative.

Read the entire article here: