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Senate Committee Approves Nanotech R&D Bill

June 23, 2003

The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee has approved a bill authorizing more than $2 billion over the next three years for nanotech research and development.

The 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act (S. 189) would “authorize a coordinated inter-agency program that will support long-term nanoscale research and development.”

The bill is also intended to assure “continued United States global leadership in nanotechnology” and the country’s productivity… read more

Senate to debate ban on cloning

February 21, 2002

The Senate is preparing to debate the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2001 (S.790), which would ban all forms of human cloning as well as the importation of therapies developed from cloned human embryos.”Such a ban could be passed without much public comment, so if you have strong views on this, get them in immediately,” Eric Drexler and Chris Peterson suggest in the Feb. 2002 Foresight Senior Associate Letter. “See… read more

Senator to introduce nanotech bill

September 13, 2002

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn. plan to introduce a nanotechnology bill on Sept. 17 focused on economic growth and development, jobs, and global competitiveness. The bill is expected to make the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) a standing government program.

Send your feedback on the new website

July 8, 2010

We are tweaking the design of our newsletter as feedback on our new website comes in. We just added linked headlines for news and blog posts, and we’re adding more subscription options. We are also improving our Forums, which are sizzling.

Keep that coming–we appreciate it!


Sending Drugs to Specific Spots in a Tiny Cage

November 3, 2009

Washington University researchers are putting drugs inside “nanocages” (gold cubes with sides about 50 nanometers long and holes at each corner), using with near-infrared light to heat and unseal them and let the drugs out.

The nanocages can also be made to bind with tumors.

Sending Genes into the Brain

May 20, 2009

Novel gene therapy treatments, replacing electricity and drugs, to treat Parkinson’s, cancer, and other brain disorders are now in development or clinical trial.

Sending science down the phone

September 16, 2009

Groups of researchers may be able to quickly and easily build up and share maps of cases of a disease (or other projects) and analyze patterns that emerge, using EpiCollect, a new smartphone app developed by Imperial College London researchers that allows a scientist or member of the public to collect and record data, photos and videos and send them to a central web-based database.

Sending the police before there’s a crime

August 17, 2011

The Santa Cruz Police Department has initiated a “Minority Report” style program in predictive policing — deploying officers in places where crimes are likely to occur in the future.

Based on models for predicting aftershocks from earthquakes, it generates projections about which areas and windows of time are at highest risk for future crimes by analyzing and detecting patterns in years of past crime data. The projections are recalibrated… read more

Seniors to robots: don’t get too familiar

October 29, 2012


Seniors (ages 65 to 93 years) preferred robotic more than human help for chores such as cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry and taking out the trash, but not for help getting dressed, eating and bathing, or for social activities, a Georgia Institute of Technology study found.

“It seems that older people are less likely to trust a robot with decision-making tasks than with monitoring or physical assistance,” said… read more

SENS3 Report: the GIFT Versus Cancer

September 17, 2007

At the third Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence conference (SENS3), Dr. Zheng Cui at the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University presented evidence of high-potency cancer-killing granulocytes in humans.

He plans to test the transfusion of granulocytes from highly cancer-resistant people into people with existing cancer — a potential therapy he calls “GIFT” (for “Granulocyte InFusion Therapy”).

SENS3 Report: Towards Mitochondrial Repair

September 17, 2007

At the third conference on Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS3), several researchers presented their recent work on approaches to mitochondrial damage.

Sense of direction is hard-wired

June 18, 2010

The brain comes hard-wired with working navigational neurons, research with rat pups by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience suggests.

These neurons sense heading, place, and grid (where the animal is in space and how far it has traveled).

More info: Norwegian University of Science and Technology news

Sensing individual biomolecules with optical sensors inside ‘nanoboxes’

June 12, 2013


Researchers at the Fresnel Institute in Marseille and ICFO, Institute for Photonic Sciences in Barcelona have designed and built the smallest optical device capable of detecting and sensing individual biomolecules at concentrations similar to those found in cells.

The device consists on a tiny dimer (dual) sensor made out of two gold semi-spheres, separated from each other by a gap as small as 15nm (size… read more

Sensing neuronal activity with light

September 23, 2014

Archer1 fluorescence in a cultured rat hippocampal neuron. By monitoring changes in this fluorescence at up to a thousand frames per second, researchers can track the electrical activity of the cell. (Credit: Nicholas Flytzanis, Claire Bedbrook and Viviana Gradinaru/Caltech)

Caltech researchers have developed a new optogenetics material  for mapping brain activity.

Optogenetics uses light to sense or control neurons that have been genetically sensitized to light.

The work — a collaboration between Viviana Gradinaru, assistant professor of biology and biological engineering, and Frances Arnold, the Dick and Barbara Dickinson Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry—was described in two separate… read more

Sensitive robots taught to gauge human emotion

January 8, 2003

Robotics designers are working with psychologists at Vanderbilt University to improve human-machine interfaces by teaching robots to sense human emotions.

The researchers measured electrocardiogram profiles for specific mental states and performed preliminary analysis of the profiles using signal-processing algorithms and experimental methods like fuzzy logic and wavelet analysis. They have found two EKG frequency bands vary predictably with changes in stress. They are now looking at skin conductance and… read more

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