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January 26, 2007

Breakthroughs in electronics warfare may deploy in 2 years

An advanced concept, pioneered by BAE Systems' researchers, uses light to multiply the speed and power at which HPM (High Power Microwave) pulses--powerful enough to destroy enemy electronics--can be produced without the need for explosives or huge electrical generators. This is part of revolutionary breakthrough in electronics warfare capability that will occur over the next 2-5 years and beyond. Think more controllable versions of the magnetic pulse generators in the Matrix movies.

Researchers predict leaps of 10-100 times in power output within two years. That advance could push the beam-weapon technology far beyond the 1-10-gigawatt limit of current tactical-size HPM devices. Long-standing industry estimates are that it would require a 100-gigawatt pulse for a few nanoseconds to disable a cruise missile at a useful range.

BAE Systems is not alone in the chase. Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are also building distributed array radars that can produce air-to-air and surface-to-air HPM weapons effects, contend longtime Pentagon radar specialists. In particular, the F-22, F-35, F/A-18E/F and newest F-15 radars are designed to accept modifications that would focus their beams to produce HPM energy spikes powerful enough to disable cruise, anti-aircraft, air-to-air and emitter-seeking missiles. Germany's Diehl is developing suitcase-size HPM devices that could be placed surreptitiously in a target building to damage electronics such as computers.

In addition, the U.S. military is giving classified briefings on the threat of HPM weapon technologies being developed in China and Russia. The Russians are believed to be developing radio-frequency microwave weapons for air defense, and the Chinese are developing HPM and electromagnetic pulse weapons for information warfare.

However, BAE Systems researchers claim they have made a singular leap in HPM weapons technology by combining the use of lasers and radar-like microwaves. Furthermore, the technology is scalable through the use of 4-in.-square arrays, each an integrated structure of dielectrics and electrical conductors. One hundred of them distributed over a square meter, for example, can generate up to 10 gigawatts of power, says Robert D'Amico, BAE Systems' director of advanced programs.

HPM technology can be used to detect and detonate improvised explosive devices, find suicide bombers or hidden explosives, and attacking shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. The weapons can rob a foe of communications, power and mobility--while largely eliminating collateral damage to people and structures--which is a high priority for the U.S. military.

"You could put a [sensor] system on a fighter-size aircraft that could generate enough power, with a 1-ft. resolution, to see stealthy objects at 100 mi." D'Amico says. "You can defeat stealth with enough power. If stealth takes the signature [of an aircraft or missile] down a factor of 10, you have to increase the [sensor's] power by a factor of 10." Most current fighter-size radars have less than a megawatt of peak power. Detecting stealth would require tens of gigawatts, which is now impossible in fighter-size packages.

The HPM weapons could be scaled up to shipboard size--perhaps 100 sq. meters--to produce terawatt-size energy pulses. That's theoretically a large enough energy spike to stop another ship.

Researchers say the antennas, photoconductive switches and transformer blocks can be built into conformal skins for unmanned combat aircraft as well. Unmanned designs are favored initially because of the vagaries in distribution of HPM side lobes, the effects of HPM on humans, and the disturbances that energy spikes can create in fly-by-wire flight control systems.

Entertainment and Extinction classified

Open The Future has a categorization of extinction
A futurist at the movies has listed some movie examples of the different categories

I have contributed some examples from movies, TV and some books.

Apocalypses in fiction are listed here at answers.com

LEVEL — SCALE
0 — Regional catastrophe
Movies depicting:

* 28 Days Later

1 — Human die-back
Movies depicting:

* The Day after Tomorrow
* The Postman
* The Road Warrior
* Terminator

TV show
Jerimiah- Virus kills almost all adults over puberty
Various episodes of Outer Limits, twilight zone, star trek

2 — Civilizational extinction
Movies depicting:

* Deep Impact
* 12 Monkeys — due to a madman aiming for a 3A
* Planet of the Apes
* The Matrix

3A — Human extinction–engineered
Movies depicting:

* On the Beach — the apparently imminent fate of humanity after a nuclear war
* Children of Men — global sterility of unknown cause
* Independence Day — or so the aliens intend

3B — Human extinction–natural
Movies depicting:

Threat of this- South Park Goobacks of the future episode 806
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goobacks
men try to get gay in a non-procreating sex pile to eliminate future humanity
that came back to steal their jobs.

A group online actually apparently seriously calling for 3b using the no call for no sex. I refer their attempt to South Park.


4 — Biosphere extinction
Movies depicting:

Star Trek - TOS - Return to Tomorrow. The world of Sargon lost its atmosphere
Babylon 5 / Crusade : Earth gets a super-nanovirus. Will destroy all life in biosphere

5 — Planetary extinction
Movies depicting:

* Armageddon — “nothing will survive” unless the giant asteroid is deflected, though a Texas-sized asteroid might be more like a level 4

X — Planetary elimination
Movies and TV depicting:
Star Wars - A new hope
Babylon 5 - Vorlons and Shadows destroy worlds in Season 4
Star Trek- Doomsday Machine
Enterprise had an alternate timeline where the earth was destroyed.
Lensmen book - plenty of planet eliminations
Farscape - Peacekeeper Wars -planet destroyed by super wormhole

Beyond Planetary elimination
Galaxy elimination- Skylark science fiction series (EE Doc Smith)
Galaxy elimination - Dreadstar Comics
Threat of galaxy or universe elimination - ultimate nullifier. Marvel Comics
Wellworlds books- Universe elimination

Seriously, I would create a
-1 category for more than one megadeath per year from preventable causes.
Coal pollution 1 million per year
Outdoor Air pollution which includes coal pollution 3 million per year
Car accidents 1.2 million per year
the World Health organization lists that 24% of disease are from environmental causes
The report estimates that more than 13 million deaths annually are due to preventable environmental causes. Unsanitary water, indoor air pollution.

Entire bacteria used as controllable outboard motor

Chemicals are used to turn the bacteria on and off. They push their bead forward at speeds of around 15 microns per second. Sitti and Behkam began by sticking several S. marcescens – the kind of bacteria that cause pink stains on shower curtains – onto polystyrene beads 10 microns in diameter. These tiny "robots" were suspended in a solution containing water and glucose. To stop the bacteria's motion, the researchers add copper sulphate to the solution. The copper ions bond to the rotor of the flagella motor and prevent it from moving. To restart the motion, another chemical called ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) is added. The EDTA traps the copper ions attached to the rotor, allowing it to move again. The rotors can be switched off in this way an unlimited number of times. The bacteria themselves are only about one-fifth of the size of each bead and adhere to them via electrostatic, van der Waals forces and hydrophobic interactions. As the attached bacteria rotate their flagella, feeding on surrounding glucose.

Biomimetic Technologies' project will create first soft-bodied robots

A group of researchers at Tufts University has launched a multidisciplinary initiative focused on the science and engineering of a new class of robots that are completely soft-bodied. These devices will make possible advances in such far flung arenas as medicine and space exploration.

According to Kaplan, the project will bring together biology, bioengineering and micro/nano fabrication. "Our overall goal is to develop systems and devices--soft-bodied robots--based on biological materials and on the adaptive mechanisms found in living cells, tissues and whole organisms," he explains. These devices, he notes, will have direct applications in robotics, such as manufacturing, emergency search and retrieval, and repair and maintenance of equipment in space; in medical diagnosis and treatment, including endoscopy, remote surgery, and prostheses design; and in novel electronics such as soft circuits and power supplies.

"This represents a wonderfully rich and novel collaboration that takes a comprehensive 'molecules to robots' approach to the use of soft materials," notes Linda M. Abriola, dean of the Tufts School of Engineering.

Work will focus on four primary areas: Control systems for soft-bodied robots, biomimetic and bionic materials, robot design and construction, and development and application of research-based platform technologies.

The new robots developed at Tufts will be continuously deformable and capable of collapsing and crumpling into small volumes. They will have capabilities that are not currently available in single machines including climbing textured surfaces and irregular objects, crawling along ropes and wires, or burrowing into complex confined spaces. "Soft-bodied robots could make many dangerous surgeries much safer and less painful," Trimmer adds. "They could also be used by NASA to repair space stations by reaching places that astronauts can't, perform more complicated tasks in industry that require flexibility of movement, help in hazardous environments like nuclear reactors and landmine detection, and squeeze more efficiently into tight spaces."

January 24, 2007

Regenerating mouse details

When a MRL mouse’s finger is cut lower than the tip it is able to form a structure but not the full digit. Amphibians can regenerate limbs. Mammals can’t. Now two teams of bioscientists are out to correct our evolutionary shortcoming under a recent $7.6-million Darpa grant. The current goal is to produce a mammalian blastema—the cell bud that forms a new amphibian limb. In four years, Darpa wants a regrown mouse finger. Human research is the logical next step. Darpa funds will help scientists bolster preexisting research on the genetic and cellular processes of tissue regeneration. “Even if we fail,” says Muneoka, a team leader, “we’ll get better wound-healing. Mammals can already regrow limbs—to a point. Young children who lose fingertips can remake bone and tissue perfectly.

The scientists believe that a mixture of cellular and extracellular components —maybe hormones, vita- min A, fibroblasts—could be applied to fresh amputations to steer them toward regeneration. “We grow a whole human in nine months,” Badylak says. “A limb should be nothing”

Molecular memory advance

This is another breakthrough that shows that molecular nanotechnology development is increasingly showing more and more impressive results on the way to major impact.

A 160-kilobit memory device that is smaller than a white blood cell was made using interlocked molecules manufactured in the UCLA laboratory of J. Fraser Stoddart, director of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI). The research published in Nature describes the fabrication and operation of a memory device. The memory is based on a series of perpendicular, crossing nanowires, similar to a tic-tac-toe board, with 400 bottom wires and another 400 crossing top wires. Sitting at each crossing of the tic-tac-toe structure and serving as the storage element are approximately 300 bistable rotaxane molecules. These molecules may be switched between two different states, and each junction of a crossbar can be addressed individually by controlling the voltages applied to the appropriate top and bottom crossing wires, forming a bit at each nanowire crossing.

The 160-kilobit molecular memory was fabricated at a density of 100,000,000,000 (10**11) bits per square centimeter — "a density predicted for commercial memory devices in approximately 2020," Stoddart said.

This research is the culmination of a long-standing dream that these bistable rotaxane molecules could be used for information storage," said Stoddart, whose areas of expertise include nanoelectronics, mechanically interlocked molecules, molecular machines, molecular nanotechnology, self-assembly processes and molecular recognition, among many other fields of chemistry.

"Our goal was to demonstrate that large-scale, working electronic circuits could be constructed at a density that is well-beyond — 10 to 15 years — where many of the most optimistic projections say is possible."

Caltech chemists and chemical engineers, led by Heath, are the world leaders at making nanowires, according to Stoddart. "Nobody can equal them in terms of the precision with which they carry this research out," he said. The memory device’s top and bottom nanowires, each 16 nanometers wide, were fabricated using a method developed by Heath’s group.

"Molecular switches will lead to other new technologies beyond molecular electronic computers." Stoddart said. "It is too soon to say precisely which ones will be the first to benefit, but they could include areas such as health care, alternative energy and homeland security.

Why people are trying Resveratrol

Wired has some anecdotes from people trying Resveratrol and other attempts to extend life. The reasoning is that Resveratrol and calorie restriction should not be harmful and might extend life. People want to live long enough and be healthy enough to take advantage of truly effective life extension methods. Perhaps methods from SENS

The other aspect is that people can track their actual health markers and how they feel. Aging markers like body composition, physical performance, bone mineral density, peak aerobic capacity, Cholesterol levels, and plasma glucose and insulin levels.

Here is a site that list aging biomarkers and possible treatments

How Insect size robots will fight

Wired summarizes destructive methods usable by micro robots and micro UAVs

Israel is developing a robot the size of a hornet to attack terrorists. And although the prototype will not fly for three years, killer Micro Air Vehicles, or MAVs, are much closer than that.

British Special Forces already use 6-inch MAV aircraft called WASPs for reconnaissance in Afghanistan. The $3,000 WASP is operated with a Gameboy-style controller and is nearly silent, so it can get very close without being detected. A new development will reportedly see the WASP fitted with a C4 explosive warhead for kamikaze attacks on snipers. One newspaper dubbed it "The Talibanator."

A MAV could put a truck out of action by destroying its tires. A MAV can do this by squirting them with few milliliters of a catalytic de-polymerization agent, causing them to disintegrate rapidly. An entire command center can be disabled by targeting the power supply. The MAV could do this by physically crawling inside like a wayward squirrel, or it might release a cloud of metal-coated fibers -- similar to the "soft bombs" the Air Force used to shut down power stations in Kosovo with a cloud of conductive whiskers.


This pdf discusses the use of poisons and stingers on MAVs

Singapore's 1 million S$ Urban warfare robot challenge

A contest to build a robot that can operate autonomously in urban warfare conditions, moving in and out of buildings to search and destroy targets like a human soldier, was launched in Singapore on Tuesday. Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) is offering one million Singapore dollars ($652,000) to whoever develops a robot that completes a stipulated set of tasks – yet to be revealed – in the fastest time possible.

Small fuel cells made more efficient and lower cost

Fuel cells have been made efficient for small machines like lawnmowers. Many standard fuel cell designs use electronics to control power output, but such designs require complex systems to manage humidity and fuel recovery and recycling systems to achieve acceptable efficiency.

The new process controls the hydrogen feed to match the required power output, just as one controls the feed of gasoline into an internal combustion engine. The system functions as a closed system that uses the waste water to regulate the size of the reaction chamber, the site where the gasses combine to form water, heat and electricity.

January 23, 2007

Life extension prospects

An article that discusses various research and possibilities for extending maximum lifespan Optimal amounts of the amino acid methionine seems to be an important part of low calorie diets. A recent Spanish study found that methionine restriction definitely decreases oxidative damage to crucial mitochondrial DNA and proteins.


Has any animal exploited the immortality of its germline to resist ageing indefinitely? The answer is yes. A few examples have been found among simpler organisms, one of the best studied being the hydra, a small freshwater animal up to 20mm long. Hydra appear to be able to regenerate endlessly with none of the recognised signs of ageing. This is possible because their bodies are permeated by germ cells whose primary purpose is to form buds that break off to yield offspring. These germ cells also create new tissue within the body, which in effect is the offspring of itself, constantly forming new cells to replace old ones. The line between reproduction and regeneration is blurred.


There is potential for humans to mimic the biologically immortal hydra, by exploiting our stem cells in the regeneration of organs damaged by age-related diseases. The ability of adult stem cells, which remain in the body throughout life, to regenerate heart muscle cells has already been demonstrated in mice. Organs regenerated this way would in effect be brand new, and "younger" than all the other tissues and organs. Such regeneration might not immediately boost life's span, but should greatly improve its quality in old age.

Possible timelines for regeneration and regenerative medicine in humans are 10-20 years

Regeneration in Chickens activated

Regneration related articles

Regenerative medicine

Wimax, Long Term Evolution and the 4G market

Wimax will have about 20% of the next generation wireless communication market, Long Term Evolution (LTE), a follow-on to cellular's GSM standard, will command the lion's share of fourth-generation cellular systems.


MacLeod said carriers Sprint Nextel, startup Clearwire and Russia's Sistema have committed to WiMax, while Cingular and Vodafone are backing LTE. AT&T, BT and Verizon may use WiMax as an adjunct to their fiber-to-the-home deployments, and satellite broadcasters are considering WiMax as a back channel.

Qualcomm may play the role of spoiler in what some see as a two-way race between LTE and WiMax. As early as the 3GSM or CTIA conference this spring, the company will demonstrate its plans for a technology beyond wideband CDMA that could be a contender for fourth-generation cellular.

Uma Jha, a director of product management at Qualcomm, said the company will demo products that deliver 10 Mbits/second of data and have better spectral efficiency than WiMax. Qualcomm has been working with partners such as Lucent and Samsung to get its version of orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing accepted by the IEEE 802.20 group as well as the 3GPP2 group's Ultra Mobile Broadband cellular standards effort.

Carriers like Sprint are said to be attracted to WiMax primarily as a replacement for the leased lines they use to backhaul cellular traffic. But Atish Gude, senior vice president of Sprint's mobile broadband group, said one of the features that makes WiMax stand out is its ability to break old cellular business models by supporting new users and new devices, bought at retail.

Intel expects to follow up next year with devices offering a tenfold reduction in power draw. The 2008 devices will also include very low-power X86 CPUs now in design under Gadi Singer, who worked on both the Itanium server and the Xscale cellular processors at Intel.

Spectrum remains a factor limiting some WiMax uses. One carrier at last week's meeting lamented that his company could deploy WiMax in the United States today to serve rural users if the government would approve WiMax at 3.5 GHz. Many countries outside the United States allow WiMax at 3.5 GHz.

Other conference goers said the United States should open up use of WiMax at 700 MHz, where new spectrum will be available after the government reclaims analog broadcast TV airwaves in February 2009.

Turning an axel mounted molecular wheel

Researchers at the Centre for Material Development and Structural Studies in Toulouse (CEMES-CNRS) and their colleagues at the Free University of Berlin have, for the first time, managed to control the rotation of a wheel in a molecule. This nano-mechanical experiment concerned an 0.7 nm diameter wheel attached to a 0.6 nm-long axle. This success opens the way to creating the first molecular machines. The study was published on-line on January 21, 2007, in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

To prepare this nano-mechanical experiment, the CEMES-CNRS chemists designed and synthesised simple molecular machinery made up of an 0.6 nm-long axle-molecule, bound chemically with two triptycene wheels with a diameter of around 0.7 nm (Figure 1). The type of wheel and surface were very carefully chosen. Two notched, "tyre-less" wheels were used because of their maximum adherence to the running surface, an ultraclean copper plate. Its natural roughness presented rows of copper atoms separated by a distance of about 0.3 nm, and about one atom high.

The experiment consisted in delicately placing wheel-axle-wheel molecules on the copper surface and then using scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) imaging at very low temperature to detect molecules lying in the correct orientation with respect to the rows of atoms on the surface. The STM tip positioned on a wheel made the latter rotate.

By advancing the STM tip, the microscope behaved like a finger to trigger the rotation.

Fast ocean crossing boat



From the San Jose Mercury news, a boat capable of crossing ocean at a speed of 60 knots or 70 mph These are called Wave Adaptive Modular vessels.

The catamaran-like vessel has inflatable hulls, sits only about a foot deep in the water, is powered by two 355-horsepower diesel engines and has a range of up to 5,000 miles. Its relatively light weight, its range and its mobility suggest that potential uses could include search and rescue, ocean research and military applications.

Electrovaya announces 700 Wh/liter batteries

Better batteries can make better hybrid cars, better all electric cars, and be used in a variety of space applications like powering a magbeam.

From the Energy blog, high energy density (700 Wh/liter) batteries from Electrovaya Inc. (OTC: EFLV.PK) a company in Canada The MN-Series, which is a Lithiated Manganese Oxide based system, differentiates itself from Electrovaya's Phosphate-Series solution with up to 50% higher energy density while retaining its safety characteristics. Electrovaya's proprietary Lithium Ion SuperPolymer® technology is independent of the composition of the positive electrode active material. As such, advances in positive electrode chemistry, such as the MN-Series, are expected to enable better technical performance and safety characteristics at more economical price-points. Their previous batteries were claimed to be cost competitive with other manufacturers of lithium ion or lithium ion polymer batteries, so we should expect some reduction in price.

Electrovaya’s zero emission vehicle, previous post, the MAYA-100 is powered by energy-dense, lithium-ion SuperPolymer® technology. Equipped with a 35 to 50 kWh battery pack, this long-range ZEV can travel over 200 miles between charging, at speeds up to 80 mph. In addition to the unsurpassed range, the MAYA-100 has excellent acceleration, performance and handling. Electrovaya has a major contract with NASA to power their Astronauts while on their critical space walk missions.

Electrovaya’s Li-ion superpolymer batteries presently offer an energy density of approximately 225 Wh/kg and 475 Wh/liter. The company has a research program underway to increase the cell energy density to beyond 330 Wh/kg and 650Wh/liter.

The Li-ion superpolymer batteries use a phosphate-based compound for the cathode, and a graphite/polymer anode. (Electrovaya uses a cobalt-based cathode for its mobile computing applications.) The company is targeting a cost of $270-300/kWh for the battery at moderate levels of production.

The current early adopter price (2005) in North America is US$70,000 for the entire vehicle, batteries and onboard charger.

January 22, 2007

Geothermal not ready yet needs some research

MIT study (long PDF) on geothermal energy suggest 100GW can be generated by 2050. $300-400 million over 15 years would need to be invested in research and cost reduction for 15 years before geothermal would be cost competitive. The 100GW by 2050 figure assumes $800 million to $1 billion over 15 years in investment in research and development (mainly prototype development and refinement).

So Geothermal is not ready now. I think the investment and research should probably be spent so that another added option is developed.

Silicon photonics advances

Wired discusses advances in silicon photonics In 15 or 20 years out, electrons will nearly exclusively be the stuff that computes, while photons will nearly exclusively be the stuff that communicates.


Paniccia's group at Intel will announce its fabrication of an optical modulator on a silicon chip that can translate electronic signals to light at speeds up to 20 GHz. That's nearly a threefold speedup from the group's previous modulator.

Slightly less difficult -- although still challenging -- is part three of the optics equation: making sub-millimeter-size detectors to convert the optical pulses back to electrical signals.

M.W. Geis and collaborators from MIT's Lincoln Laboratory will be announcing a breakthrough in that area this week as well: an all-silicon 10- to 20-GHz detector that, as it happens, can keep up with Intel's new modulator.

IBM has taken the lead in the middle component of the triad, microscopic silicon waveguides to pipe the information-carrying photons from the laser/modulator to the detector on the other side of the chip.

In December, Yuri Vlasov and colleagues from IBM published in the journal Nature their development of micron-size optical tracks that included storage rings. The latter devices would be used like miniature racetracks for the photons to circle around until the information they carry is needed.

These optical buffers managed to hold light for up to 60 laps around the track -- setting the buffered light pulses 10 bits behind unbuffered light.

January 21, 2007

Dwave roadmap has well over 1000 qubits by end of 2008

Dwave systems has a current roadmap with well over 1,000 by the end of 2008.

There are some quantum algorithms that can’t be run using the current architecture. The technical reason for this is that the devices that couple qubits i and j are of the \sigma_z^{i} \sigma_z^{j} type. There are some 16-qubit states that can’t be generated with the X + Z + ZZ Hamiltonian. Their roadmap includes the addition of an XZ coupler to their architecture, which will make their systems universal. The reason for doing this is that they plan to build processors specifically for quantum simulation, which represents a big commercial opportunity.


The current plan is to first focus on successful deployment of the X+Z+ZZ type system. Many of the hard problems in operating a X+Z+XZ type machine can be resolved in our current approach. We already have a couple good XZ coupler designs, but we probably won’t start a processor line with these until the current line’s off the ground. Our roadmap has us introducing a quantum simulation processor line in 2009.

About the scaling question: There’s no straightforward way to predict this. These systems are too complex and implementation-specific to know for sure. We will get to (and far past) the 1,000 qubit mark relatively shortly. Whether the systems will retain their current quantum behavior is unknown, but we haven’t seen anything that gives me concern about this. Part of this issue has to do with how the quantum computer is being used. The AQC approach is naturally shielded from errors in a way that the gate model isn’t, so whatever you’ve heard about error correction etc. take with a grain of salt, often these things are computational-model specific (although many people speak of them as if they were universal).


NOTE: 1000 qubits would enable 2**1000 states or about 10**300.
10**80 is the number of atoms in the observable universe
The 2009, 1000+ qubit quantum simulation processor would be a big boost for molecular nanotechnology research.

First surgical microbot 2009

From Wired.com, An international team of scientists is developing what they say will be the world's first microrobot -- as wide as two human hairs -- that can swim through the arteries and digestive system.




The scientists are designing the 250-micron device to transmit images and deliver microscopic payloads to parts of the body outside the reach of existing catheter technology.

It will also perform minimally invasive microsurgeries, said James Friend of the Micro/Nanophysics Research Laboratory at Australia's Monash University, who leads the team. The researchers hope the device will reduce the risks normally associated with delicate surgical procedures.

While others have tried and failed to create microrobots for arterial travel, Friend believes his team will succeed because they are the first to exploit piezoelectric materials -- crystals that create an electric charge when mechanically stressed -- in their micromotor design.


Israeli scientists announced last October that they were developing a microrobot that could travel through the spinal canal.

Going into the arteries is a much more challenging proposition.

"The spinal canal is a little bit bigger, and there isn't the high flow that you have in the bloodstream, so the power that you need for the propulsion is smaller," said Shoham.


These are examples of how the vision of nanomedicine and nanobots is not unreasonable. Those who ridicule molecular nanotechnology and nanobots at this point do not know what is happening and what has happened with technology. It also shows that the examples of what molecular nanotechnology would be able to provide that were made over 20 years ago need to be updated. Engines of Creation is online as is Unbounding the Future and Eric Drexlers current website. Those illustrations were conservative based upon trying to be absolutely certain that the prediction was possible.

Reviewing the list of feasible products of molecular nanotechnology:
- medical devices able to destroy pathogens and repair tissues
See above. 250 micron robots for the bloodstream soon.

- desktop computers with a billion processors
Intel has made a prototype 80 core chip
1000 processors for under 100,000 in 2007/2008

Molecular manufacturing will still make more powerful computers but it should be something that leverages more optical communication and processing and energy and heat efficient large scale three dimensional processing.

- materials 100 times stronger than steel
carbon nanotube Superthread and the recent carbon nanotube honeycomb are here and being commercialized.
Molecular nanotechnology would bring the costs down and make even more designer materials like maybe room temperature superconductors.

- inexpensive, efficient solar energy systems
There is various advances in thin film solar
And solar cell efficiency getting to 45% and maybe higher
However, this is an area that needs for more cost reduction (which molecular nanotechnology would provide) along with the best efficiencies.

- superior military systems
See my essay on military application of molecular nanotechnology

- additional molecular manufacturing systems