Preview of Molecular nanotech issues: Ordering DNA sequences

YOU might think it would be difficult for a terrorist to obtain genes from the smallpox virus, or a similarly vicious pathogen. Well, it’s not. Armed with a fake email address, a would-be bioterrorist could probably order the building blocks of a deadly biological weapon online, and receive them by post within weeks. That’s the …

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Enabling tool: New microscope allows scientists to track a functioning protein with atomic-level precision

A Stanford University research team has designed the first microscope sensitive enough to track the real-time motion of a single protein down to the level of its individual atoms. Writing in the Nov. 13 online issue of the journal Nature, the Stanford researchers explain how the new instrument allowed them to settle long-standing scientific debates …

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Non-nano policy: Shortening approval cycle for vaccines

The Wall Street Journal discusses plans by the FDA to expedite vaccine approval. Expedited approval processes and enhancing the overall speed and efficiency of validating the safety and effectiveness of new drugs and technology would be useful and critical in accelerate the adoption of new technology like molecular manufacturing with medical applications. The FDA would …

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Singularity related: trying to map Brain cells to behavior

MIT’s new McGovern Institute for Brain Research hopes to connect the dots between brain cell activity and behavior changes. When fully staffed, the Institute will house 16 principal investigators. One group of scientists will work to develop more sensitive and accurate imaging technologies, which can probe the activities of single neurons. Another team will investigate …

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somewhat related technology: Fast robot Muscles

MIT researchers, led by Professor Sidney Yip, have proposed a new theory that might eliminate one obstacle to more capable robots – the limited speed and control of the “artificial muscles” that perform such tasks. Currently, robotic muscles move 100 times slower than ours. But engineers using the Yip lab’s new theory could boost those …

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pre-Molecular manufacturing nanotechnology versus Cancer

A online Wired magazine article discussing the use of nanoparticles and nanoscale sensors for detecting and treating cancer The National Cancer Institute, which recently announced two waves of funding for nanotech training and research, sees nanotechnology as vital to its stated goal of “eliminating suffering and death from cancer by 2015.” Nanotech gives us the …

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Not nano but Aids blood test lab on a chip

A new HIV test the size of a credit card promises to diagnose the disease in minutes rather than weeks, and could be deployed in sub-Saharan Africa as early as next year. In tests, it has detected the amount of CD4 cells in the blood in as little as 10 minutes. The CD4 count indicates …

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Nanotechnology based drugstore cancer tests

Recent advances in nanotech devices, point to new ways for developing inexpensive and effective cancer-screening devices. One of the most promising of these new detectors is being built by Charles Lieber, a chemist at Harvard University. In an article this month in Nature Biotechnology, he announced a highly-sensitive detector that can simultaneously find multiple cancer …

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