Archive for July, 2008|Monthly archive page

Nanotech: A Regulatory Blueprint for the Next Administration

In Uncategorized on July 26, 2008 at 7:16 pm

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Russia to offer nanotechnology for blood plasma cleaning

In nano, Nanoscale on July 26, 2008 at 6:55 pm

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Harvard Researchers Create Computer Language That can Penetrate the “Mind” of a Cell

In Artificial Intelligence, Computer, Information Technology, Synthetic Biology on July 26, 2008 at 6:50 pm

“Through incorporating principles of engineering, we’ve developed a language that can describe biology in the same way a biologist would,” says Gunawardena. “The potential here is enormous. This opens the door to actually performing discovery science, to look at things like drug interactions, right on the computer.”

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New Method Enabling Routine Targeted Gene Modification Developed

In Genes, Genetic on July 26, 2008 at 6:46 pm

ScienceDaily (July 26, 2008) — A multi-institutional team led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators has developed a powerful new tool for genomic research and medicine — a robust method for generating synthetic enzymes that can target particular DNA sequences for inactivation or repair.

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Structure of hydrogen splitting enzyme revealed

In Energy, Synthetic Biology on July 26, 2008 at 6:44 pm

Scientists in Germany have brought the prospect of generating cheap electricity from hydrogen a step closer by taking a snapshot of an elusive enzyme that can split the gas as efficiently as a platinum catalyst.

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Now a Neural Implant That Learns With the Brain

In Bionic, Cogno, Disabled People, Enhancement, Neuro on July 26, 2008 at 6:41 pm

A method to develop neural implants that not only translate brain signals into movement, but also evolve with the brain as it learns has been devised by University of Florida researchers.

see here and
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Newest global Nanofunding numbers

In nano, Nanoscale, NBICS on July 23, 2008 at 10:13 pm


Scientists: Humans and machines will merge in future

In Ableism, Enhancement, Governance, Longevity, nano, Nanoscale, NBICS on July 19, 2008 at 3:08 pm

# Nick Bostrom says technology will let humans manipulate their own biology
# Ray Kurzweil predicts humans will be mostly non-biological by around 2030
# Biotechnology, nanotechnology, robotics could merge mankind with machines
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Study shows increased education on nanotech, human enhancement increases public concerns

In Artificial Intelligence, Bionic, Cogno, Enhancement, nano, Nanoscale on July 17, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Educating the public about nanotechnology and other complex but emerging technologies causes people to become more “worried and cautious” about the new technologies’ prospective benefits, according to a recent study by researchers at North Carolina State University.

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Nanotubes bring artificial photosynthesis a step nearer

In Energy, nano, Nanoscale on July 13, 2008 at 2:51 pm

Carbon nanotubes are the crucial chemical ingredient that could make
artificial photosynthesis possible, say a team of Chinese researchers. The
team has found that nanotubes mimic an important step in photosynthesis that
chemists have been unable to copy until now.

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Canadian academies report on Nanotechnology

In Governance, Health, Law, nano, Nanoscale on July 10, 2008 at 3:52 pm

The Council of Canadian Academies has been asked by the federal Minister of Health: “What is the state of knowledge with respect to existing nanomaterial properties and their health and environmental risks, which could underpin regulatory perspectives on needs for research, risk assessment and surveillance?”

An Expert Panel on Nanotechnology has been appointed by the Council of Canadian Academies to address this question. Scientific knowledge, or evidence, is broadly interpreted to include natural sciences and engineering, as well as social sciences.
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here a Globe and Mail article

Council of Canadian Academies news release

a synthetic biology survey developed by my students

In Uncategorized on July 9, 2008 at 2:43 am

Dear readers of this blog,

as you are linked to various networks I hope
that you send this post through your networks so that the students get
many responses to the synthetic biology survey they designed. They worked very hard  on the survey.
You find the survey here

I am the convener of a team of four undergraduate students (all in the
bachelor of health sciences in my faculty, three finished the first
year, one finished the second year) that looks into the ethical, legal, social.. issues of synthetic biology.

They the “Calgary iGEM Ethics Team” will present their finding -which will include the results of the survey- at the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition iGEM.

“The International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition is the
premiere Synthetic Biology competition and currently the largest
Synthetic Biology conference in the world. Working at their own schools
over the summer, participants use standard biological parts to design,
build, and operate biological systems in living cells. During the first
weekend of November, they share their work at the iGEM Competition
Jamboree at MIT and in competition for a variety of awards for
excellence. They add their new parts to the Registry of Standard
Biological Parts for the students in the next year’s competition.”

The Calgary iGEM Ethics team is the first undergraduate team to present on the ethical, legal, social.. issues of synthetic biology at iGEM.

Thanks again for your help.

Everything you needed to know about human-created life forms but were afraid to ask

In Synthetic Biology on July 9, 2008 at 2:36 am

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Mad Science Contest: Build a Lifeform and We’ll Send You to Hong Kong or Give You $1000

In Synthetic Biology on July 8, 2008 at 2:16 am

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Scientists Identify Genes for brain development

In Ableism, Enhancement, Genes, Genetic, Governance, Health, Law, Medicine, Neuro on July 7, 2008 at 2:12 pm

see here the academic paper

and here a write up on it

interestingly the write up title is

Scientists Identify Genes that Could Turn Ordinary People into Supergeniuses (or Mindless Drones)

Artificial DNA Made Exclusively of Nonnatural C-Nucleosides with Four Types of Nonnatural Bases

In Synthetic Biology on July 3, 2008 at 3:39 pm

We describe a new class of DNA-like oligomers made exclusively of nonnatural, stable C-nucleosides. The nucleosides comprise four types of nonnatural bases attached to a deoxyribose through an acetylene bond with the β-configuration. The artificial DNA forms right-handed duplexes and triplexes with the complementary artificial DNA. The hybridization occurs spontaneously and sequence-selectively, and the resulting duplexes have thermal stabilities very close to those of natural duplexes. The artificial DNA might be applied to a future extracellular genetic system with information storage and amplifiable abilities.


Synthetic Biology Concept note by the International Risk Governance Council

In Synthetic Biology on July 2, 2008 at 2:24 am

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