Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Picture of the day

NanoArt 2008

My favorite four:

Title: Nano Depths
Artist: Renata Spiazzi

Title: Blossom
Artist: David Hylton

Title: Tekeli-li
Artist: Bjoern Daempfling

Title: Micro/Macro
Artist: Eva Lewarne

To be fair, my favorite eight are by artists Renata Spiazzi & David Hylton. Spiazzi’s work continues to impress with it’s novelty and eye-catching fantastical flavours. Hylton’s is a dive into the sublime, and a welcome splash of cool clear water in the face of modern sensibilities. With their highly interpretive versions of modern science-art, these artists take it to the next level, mirroring the awe-inspiring advances being made in nanoscale technologies.


Artist and scientist Cris Orfescu presents NanoArt, reflecting advances in the arts related to nanoscale technologies.

One goal of the NanoArt series is to raise the public's awareness of Nanotechnology and its impact on our lives, which by even conservative measure will be significant.


37 nanoartists from 13 countries and 4 continents, presenting 121 NanoArt works to this second edition of the international competition.


To vote for your favorite NanoArt work you can also visit directly the competition site at:


Follow these 3 easy steps:

1. click on the album’s thumbnail to open album
2. click on the artwork’s thumbnail to see the large image
3. click on the number of stars you would like to rank that artwork

To see more examples of “taking it to the next level” see http://future-is-here.com/Desktops.htm

Nanotechnology catches the EPA’s eye

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published this week in the Federal Register its plan for the Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The plan takes a first step by offering industry, non-governmental organizations and other groups the opportunity to voluntarily submit safety data on engineered nanoscale materials. “

The key word here is “offering.” Nobody is quite ready to regulate nanoscale materials just yet (it’s way too slippery a slope at this time). However, if industry does volunteer the information, it should mean that their new nanoscale materials are safe, tested and regulated, as well as being profitable to company shareholders.

Featured in R&D magazine (*) as well as many others, regulation of nanoscale materials has been on the minds of industry and potential regulatory agencies across the globe for several years. It is just now starting to catch the eye of the general public due to the rapid growth of products containing nanoscale materials, as well as those that only claim to.

What you should take away from this bit

Nanoscale materials are the catalysts for humankind’s next great step forward in future products. Man-on-the-street (along with Woman-on-the-street) are beginning to have to pay attention, if for no other reason than the recent media-induced saturation of “nano” news. Nanoscale materials impact on society is potentially the most revolutionary humankind has seen; more so than all previous eras put together. From lighter auto bodies (for increased gas mileage) to high-tech composites used in the aerospace industry (for decreased launch costs) and in all cases where strength-to-weight ratios count most, nanoscale materials will play an enabling role in the vast majority of all next-generation technologies, as they are doing now everywhere where computational devices are used.

This is another topic that will remain contentious, and worth reading about.


Nano-sized “Trojan horses” get government funding

“The Department of Defense has commissioned a nine-month study from Rice University chemists and scientists in the Texas Medical Center to determine whether a new drug based on carbon nanotubes can help prevent people from dying of acute radiation injury following radiation exposure. The new study was commissioned after preliminary tests found the drug was greater than 5,000 times more effective at reducing the effects of acute radiation injury than the most effective drugs currently available.”

Good news for anyone destined to having cancer in his or her lives.

Summing it up: From James Tour, Rice's Chao Professor of Chemistry, director of Rice's Carbon Nanotechnology Laboratory (CNL) and principal investigator on the grant:

"Ideally, we'd like to develop a drug that can be administered within 12 hours of exposure and prevent deaths from what are currently fatal exposure doses of ionizing radiation.”

Coupled with the many other advances being made in detection and treatment of cancers, I am hopeful that within the next decade that cancer will go the way of other easily diagnosed and treated diseases, if not the dodo.

CRN at 5 years

The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN) at five years.

An overview of their accomplishments, disappointments, and plans for the future.

“We chose to go back and review what we believed and what we said when we started CRN, and to ponder and report on what we have learned since then.”

Well worth your time reading. In fact, please read this update on CRN and it’s mission.

The most telling paragraph:

It’s interesting to note that while CRN’s time frame for the expected development of molecular manufacturing has shifted back by approximately five years, the mainstream scientific community’s position has been moving forward, from a point of ‘never’, to ‘maybe by the end of the century’, to ‘not until at least 2050’, and now to ‘perhaps around 2030 or so’. These projections might not yet match up exactly with CRN’s, but the gap is steadily shrinking.

If I have said it once I have said it a thousand times:

No informed person doubts that developments at the nanoscale will be significant. We debate the time frame, the magnitude and the possibilities, but not the likelihood for large-scale societal change. The least-speculative views suggest that we're in for changes of an order that justifies--if not demands--our undivided and immediate attention.

Will we be ready?


One of the best places to stay informed about preparing for advanced nanotechnologies is at The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (crnano.org).