Next Big Future Highlights Weeks 20-32

This is the fourth set of highlights for Next Big Future for 2009.

Here is the link tothe highlights for weeks 13-19

Here is the link to the highlights for weeks 7-12.

Here is the link to the highlights for weeks 1-6


1. Week 20, had several developments where it is looking far more certain that a very powerful three dimensional DNA/RNA/Protein Nanotechnological capability is emerging and that nanotechnology will be integrated with carbon nanotubes and nanoparticle metal and can be used to bootstrap precise control and structures with carbon and metals

2. DNA wrapped carbon nanotubes for artificial tissue

Two ways to make large scale three dimensional structures out of DNA

3. One from Harvard, which appears more flexible and robust.

4. DNA boxes from Danish Aarhus university

5. The latest report on DNA nanotechnology is more 3d shapes like gears are being created.

6. Rice University using nanokites for production of long carbon nanotubes. could enable bulk production of meter long or even unlimited length carbon nanotubes.

6a. Improved DNA sorting of carbon nanotubes

7. J Storrs Halls Feynman path to molecular manufacturing

8. DNA and RNA engineered to count inside living cells

9. A proposal for creating Femtotech, technology beyond molecular nanotechnology

9a Nanoscale could allow fairly efficient maxwell demon and heat transfer is 1000 times better than Planck’s law at nanoscales.

9b. An electrically tunable bandgap has been created for graphene

Energy and Transportation and the environment

10. Nuclear powered commercial shipping is economic versus oil and better for the environment

11. Nuclearized the world container ship fleet of 7000 ships would save 9% of the world’s annual oil usage

12. Nuclear container ships would be faster (35 knots versus 25 knots) and would not need to stop for refueling. 9 days instead of 14 days for various Pacific crossings and 3-4 days instead of 7 for Atlantic crossings

13. New Zeolite membranes can increase oil refinery efficiency by 7-9%

14. EEStor seems on the verge of proving that their breakthrough ultracapacitors are real and commercializing in 2010

15. Various ways to avoid one billion tons of carbon dioxide per year

16. Modularly constructed computer modelled nuclear reactors like the Westinghouse AP1000 and the APR1400 in Korea could be over half of the nuclear reactors made from now until 2020. They will cheaper and faster to make.

17. Complete factor built and shippable small nuclear reactors (Pebble bed from China and breeder from Russia could being Walmart prices to nuclear reactors for the West. Three-six times cheaper than western prices.

18. General fusion has gotten more private and canadian government funding. General fusion could have a commercial fusion reactor by 2018.

Eric Lerner interview. Eric has a funded dense plasma focus nuclear fusion project.

19. Lasers and plasma being used to make smaller and more powerful particle accelerators

20. Photonic propulsion and new path to fusion via 40% efficient X-ray generation at the Bae Institute working together Winterberg

21. 100 million electric bikes in China and a new nanocrystalline core electric motor could make 65 mph $2000 electric scooters

Metamaterials and Materials

22. Cnano Technology has a 500/ton per year carbon nanotube factory

23. Carbon nanotubes make aluminum as hard as steel

24. Nanocomp Technologies deliverying 10 kilometers of carbon nanotubes spun into rope and tapes for industrial usage like replacing copper wires in planes and satellites for EM shielding. (EM=electomagnetic)

25. MIT gets better nanoscale understanding of concrete and figure out how to slow concrete creep thus enabling buildings that will last for 10,000 years.

Computers, Displays, Robots, Devices

26. Siggraph shows off emerging display and interaction technology like touchable holography and scratch any surface interacting with a projected display.

27. Light Switched optical transistor and nanophotonic on a chip progress. On-chip photonics is key for enabling zettaflop supercomputers and can be part of optical computers.

28. The synapse is a memristor

29. Bismuth Telluride electronics could mean super energy efficient and resistantless electronics. Akin to a special low power case of room temperature superconductors.

Policy and Economics

30. Comparing world healthcare systems

31. The best way to lower healthcare costs is with better disease cures and other major medical advances

31b. Using ultrabroadband to boost GDP

32. there is already a Synapse project to make an articifial brain on current transistor technology and it received $16 million in increased funding from DARPA

33. Memristors and quantum computers could be very important disruptive pieces leading toward a techonological singularity

34. Past, present and future US budget deficits

Futurist Debates

35. Phil Bowermaster and others on the transhumanist future.

36. Future cities and how independent can seasteads and space colonies be ?

37. Charter cities or micronations ? Freedom takes work and a military

AI and Quantum Computers

38. Nanoscale reversible mass transport computer memory has been demonstrated by Zettl Research Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California at Berkeley. This memory can last one billion years.

In separate but related research in Japan, Daisuke Takagi at NTT Basic Research Laboratories in Atsugi, Japan, decided to replace the metal nanoparticles (the seeds for growing carbon nanotubes) with a densely packed layer of diamonds, each around 5 nanometres across. Passing ethanol gas over these diamonds created a lush forest of nanotubes 1 to 2 nanometres wide. Carbon nanotubes grown from diamond nanoparticles can be grown closer together. This could eventually allow the carbon nanotube memory shuttle memory from Berkeley to be grown closer together.

39. Nvidia chief scientist predicts 20 teraflop GPU by 2015

The next Nvidia GPGPU (2010) should have 3 teraflop performance

Space and Long Range Predictions

40. Creating computerized systems to analyze networks and enable improved predictions. Steps toward the psychohistory capability in Asimov’s Foundation Series

41. Bruce Bueno de Mesquita uses math and computer analysis to successfully predict political developments.

42. Free standing inflatable tower could reach 200 kilometer using ordinary materials and a small demonstration has been performed.

Stem cells, gene therapy and advanced medicine

43. Their appear to be drugs for curing radiation sickness which would be huge for civil defense, space travel and cancer treatment.

44. Rapamycin, an immunosuppressant, Enables Elderly Mice to live 9-13% Longer

45. Brooke Greenberg is a 16 year old girl who has not developed beyond being a toddler. She could have important clues to aging and development.

46. In technology that promises to one day allow drug delivery to be tailored to an individual patient and a particular cancer tumor, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, have developed an efficient system for delivering siRNA into primary cells.

47. The previously mentioned DNA wrapped carbon nanotubes for tissue replacement.

48. An infinite supply of healthy stem cells

-Harvested fibroblast cells from the skin of patients
– used standard gene-therapy viruses to fix genes if needed
– used a second virus to “reset” the cells to their embryonic condition. These induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, are capable of differentiating into any of the tissues of the body.
– iPS cells are prone to becoming cancerous, making them too risky for clinical use. However, the research team is working on ways to overcome this obstacle.
-If they can, the technique should allow gene therapists to generate limitless supplies of genetically healthy stem cells derived from each individual patient

49. Skin cells from human stem cells and cloned mice from mice skin cells

50. Implantable device for monitoring cancer and biomarkers

51. Regeneration of teeth proved in mice

52. Progress to cancer vaccines

53. DARPA continues funding instant wound healing project

Enhancement and transhuman related

54. Genetic engineering sped up a thousand and evolution sped up a million times.

55. Brain boosting EPO

56. Technology for enhancing brains and bones

57. The big list of DARPA projects

58. Japanese create transgenic monkeys

59. Myostatin blockers protect against obesity and can improve health

Preventing starvation and Directly Life Saving Tech

60. A cheap genetic blood test for identifying if it is a cold or flu could save millions of lives each year.

61. Project to re-engineer rice could ensure food security for billions of people.

62. Interview with Aubrey de Grey who is leading the SENS project for radical life extension.

Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) is a 25-year long research strategy, currently underway, to develop a regenerative medical procedure to periodically repair all the age-related damage in the human body, thereby maintaining a youth-like state indefinitely