Nano Technology News – March 2018


Progressive Convergence

Cultocracy note :

A 2005 book titled “MANAGING NANO-BIO-INFO-COGNO INNOVATIONS: CONVERGING TECHNOLOGIES IN SOCIETY” by William Sims Bainbridge from the US based National Science Foundation (NSF) describes the potential profits and pitfalls of what is termed ‘progressive convergence’ . Like many US organizations the NSF was formed in 1950 , shortly after the end of WWII , it is self described as an ‘independent federal agency’ whose main goals are :

  • A primary driver of the U.S. economy.
  • Enhances the nation’s security.
  • Advances knowledge to sustain global leadership.

Progressive convergence is described as a merger of nanotechnology , biotechnology , information technology and cognitive science .

Previous technological advances have affected the whole planet , often in an adverse or detrimental manner . It is not science that is at fault , it is the people who would wield the science as a weapon for power and profit . The next logical step in the minds of the techno-fascists is a complete merger of scientific , political , social and environmental dimensions , nanotechnology is seen as a tool enabling this new paradigm . Eugenics and human rights are discussed in the book , then quickly and conveniently discarded , it is obvious that many individuals who are drivers of forward policy have lost touch with reality .

The question foremost in their minds is ;

If We Build It , Will They Come ?

The book itself is a long read , a few excerpts are highlighted below .




This introductory chapter briefly defines the “NBIC” unification that is rapidly taking place today among Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information technology, and Cognitive science. It then describes how the other chapters address the potential impacts of converging technologies, considers how innovation can be stimulated and steered, and provides a basis for an understanding of the societal implications of NBIC.

Many of the most powerful developments in biotechnology and biomedicine are taking place at the nanoscale. This is true not merely in genetic engineering (with DNA molecules about 3 nanometers in width), imaging (with quantum dots of few nanometers), targeted drugs (with nanoparticles as carriers), and biocompatible prosthesis (with molecules “by design”).

Of the four NBIC fields, cognitive science is the least mature, but for this very reason, it holds very great promise. This is a multidisciplinary convergence of cognitive and perceptual psychology, linguistics, cultural anthropology, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence aspects of computer science.

Appropriate Human Enhancement and Human Rights

The appropriate enhancement of human performance will be viewed as a right in a democratic society. Who would argue that one should not desire enhancements, if the means were available to live longer, to have a memory restored, or to achieve mobility? I maintain that NBIC will be used to enhance intelligence, mobility, cognitive qualities, and even vision and hearing for certain careers or desires. I think we will stop short of eugenics but proceed to offer neurological and physical enhancements that improve the quality of life under the umbrella of medicine.

Adverse Consequences of Nanomaterials

There are already movements around the world proposing the banning of nanomaterials, and certainly there are concerns about these materials. Bio-inspired materials may create difficulties for biologic systems and ecosystems, as their small size allows them to be easily internalized in organisms. These materials can mimic biologic molecules and disrupt their function, and there have also been problems with certain synthetic structures such as “buckyballs” and carbon nanotubes, which have been demonstrated to have toxic effects on cells and animals (Oberdorster, 2004).

Cognitive Enhancement

In the NANO section, we describe our ideas of developing sensors for infrared and visible radiation by shrinking to the nanometer scale more-or-less conventional dipole antennas. In the BIO section, we describe research aimed at uncovering nature’s strategies for motion detection and directional selectivity by retinal neurons. We also present a novel molecular, virus-assisted technique to mark the specific circuitry of different ganglion cells and cortical cells in vivo, which allows us to “light up” and to “see the circuit” in the living mammalian brain.

Remembering Freedom of Thought

Freedom of thought is recognized in United States and international law, but it is not articulated very well. As recently as 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court noted, “[t]he right to think is the beginning of freedom, and speech must be protected from the government because speech is the beginning of thought” (Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition 533 U.S. 234 2002).

NBIC Enables Neurotechnology

• Nanotechnology
– Nanocrystals or quantum dots covalently bonded to neural
receptor ligands
– Microfluidic systems for in vivo spatial and temporal delivery of
– Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) used for monitoring
– Nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) used for monitoring

• Information Technology
– Software to translate neuroimaging data from one data format
into another
– Algorithms for understanding human neuroimaging data
– Tools for real-time analysis of neurophysiological events

Gathering of Forces

There are already technopolitical organizations gathering money, activists, and popular support into their four or five ideological camps. The technopolitics being staked out today in the United States include technoconservatisms of the left and right, as well as “technolibertarians” and “technodemocrats.”

For instance, the “Manifesto on Biotechnology and Human Dignity” (CBC, 2002), organized by Cameron and Colson and signed by leading lights of the American right, says :
“biotechnology . . . poses in the sharpest form the question: What does it mean to be human? . . . [I]n biotechnology we meet the moral challenge of the twenty-first century.” Biotechnologies threaten human dignity, says the manifesto, because they will lead to eugenics, mass farming of embryos for body parts, and the commodification of life. Most centrally, however, biotechnologies threaten the idea that humans, and only humans, have “dignity” from conception to death: [T]he uniqueness of human nature is at stake. Human dignity is indivisible: the aged, the sick, the very young, those with genetic
diseases – every human being is possessed of an equal dignity; any threat to the dignity of one is a threat to us all… humans are distinct from all other species; at every stage of life and in every condition of dependency they are intrinsically valuable and deserving of full moral respect.

Cultocracy note :

The major barrier to an Orwellian society ruled by the algorithm is seen as funding . There is a limit on government funding , even if many of the research projects are masked by the canards of ‘defence’ , ‘national security’ , ‘finding an inhabitable planet’ or ‘blasting asteroids’ . With this fact in mind we have seen a shift in research from government agencies towards ‘private’ companies , be it a new electric car manufacturer or the latest social media whiz kid .

All are under the umbrella .

There is another barrier though , ourselves .

Or at least some of us .

In the future will any of us remember freedom of thought ?


Nano Technology News – March 2018


“In the case of classical MRI, magnetic fields are used to create high-resolution images. The human body is formed of 70% water, where each water molecule includes two hydrogen atoms with nuclei that are magnetic in nature. Nuclear spins give rise to the magnetic fields in these nuclei. To amplify and tune the tiny magnetic fields of the spins, a so-called polarisator may be used. Optimal tuning of the spins results in stronger MRI signal and more precise outcomes. Upon adding high-frequency pulses, specific atomic nuclei inside the human body can be excited resonantly, and hence can be evaluated as an electrical signal. Eventually, a program transforms the signals into three-dimensional images with higher resolution.”


Cultocracy note :

Current parallel engineering projects are researching the mass manufacture of nano technology .


“Scientists have developed new technology for long-term stable neural recording. It is based on a novel elastic material composite, which is biocompatible and retains high electrical conductivity even when stretched to double its original length.”

Cultocracy note :

One of many joint projects between scientists in Russia and China . Many defence projects have commercial and other more nefarious applications ,


“Researchers at Tomsk Polytechnic University developed an efficient way to synthesize hollow Fe3O4 microspheres to create materials that absorb microwave radiation.”

“Magnetite microspheres (Fe3O4) have unique magnetic properties, which makes them a promising material to absorb microwave radiation,” says Ivan Shanenkov, an employee at the Institute of Power Engineering at Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU).”


“DNA, the fundamental building block of our genetic makeup, has become an intense nanotechnology research field. Nanotechnology researchers use it to create artificial rationally designed nanostructures for diverse applications in biology, chemistry, and physics. DNA could be particularly useful for the design of electric circuits and DNA-based computing because it self-assembles, it self-replicates and it can adopt various states and conformations .”


“Researchers have developed a flat optical component that is simultaneously a metalens, a microscope objective that can resolve details smaller than a wavelength of light, and an optical vortex and hologram generator. Each functionality is controlled by a different wavelength of light.”


“In a step toward accelerating the production of new gene therapies, scientists report that they have developed remote-controlled, needle-like nanospears capable of piercing membrane walls and delivering DNA into selected cells. They say the new technique, which can ferry biological materials to cells with pinpoint accuracy, overcomes many of the existing barriers to effective gene modification.”


“Tiny and very promising for possible applications in the field of nanoelectronics: they are the graphene nanoflakes. These hexagonal shaped nanostructures would allow to exploit quantum effects to modulate the current flow. Thanks to their intrinsic magnetic properties, they could also represent a significant step forward in the field of spintronics, which is based on the electron spin.”

Cultocracy note :

The global water supply is contaminated with a variety of toxic substances , this poses a major threat to ecological systems and ourselves .

Science can be harnessed for the greater good , or at least it would appear that way on the surface .

Unfortunately graphene itself is toxic , out of the frying pan into the fire .

“A world-first graphene-based filter that can remove more than 99 percent of the natural organic matter in treated drinking water is being scaled up for possible use in conventional plants.”

“UNSW scientists have developed a world-first, graphene-based, laboratory-scale filter that can remove more than 99 percent of the ubiquitous natural organic matter left behind during conventional treatment of drinking water.”

Another approach using Titanium dioxide :

Related information on silver nano particles :

“Under its biotechnology regulations, USDA does not regulate or have any plans to regulate plants that could otherwise have been developed through traditional breeding techniques as long as they are not plant pests or developed using plant pests. This includes a set of new techniques that are increasingly being used by plant breeders to produce new plant varieties that are indistinguishable from those developed through traditional breeding methods. The newest of these methods, such as genome editing, expand traditional plant breeding tools because they can introduce new plant traits more quickly and precisely, potentially saving years or even decades in bringing needed new varieties to farmers.”

“With this approach, USDA seeks to allow innovation when there is no risk present,”


“Monitoring in real time what happens in and around our bodies can be invaluable in the context of health care or clinical studies, but not so easy to do. That could soon change thanks to new, miniaturized sensors developed by researchers at the Tufts University School of Engineering that, when mounted directly on a tooth and communicating wirelessly with a mobile device, can transmit information on glucose, salt and alcohol intake. In research to be published soon in the journal Advanced Materials, researchers note that future adaptations of these sensors could enable the detection and recording of a wide range of nutrients, chemicals and physiological states.”

Related :

  1. Nano Technology News – February 2018
  2. Nano Technology News – January 2018
  3. Nano Technology News – December 2017
  4. Nano Technology News – November 2017
  5. Nano Technology News – October 2017
  6. Nano Technology News – September 2017
  7. Nano Technology News – August 2017
  8. Nano Technology News – July 2017
  9. Nano Technology News – June 2017
  10. Nano Technology News – May , 2017
  11. Nano Technology News – April 2017
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