James B. Lewis Enterprises
Nanotechnology Consulting and Writing
1996 - 2009
Most of my writing on nanotechnology has been as Research Analyst and Technical Editor for the Foresight Institute. The most substantial of this work was two pieces on structural DNA nanotechnology that I wrote in 2007 for the Productive Nanosystems Technology Roadmap. Most recently, independently of my work for the Foresight Institute, I wrote a long overview article on the development of advanced nanotechnology that was published in the Journal of Geoethical Nanotechnology.
Nanotechnology Progress Articles
Between 2002 and 2007 I wrote a number of articles for the Foresight Update newsletter describing research advances in nanotechnology. As I wrote in introducing this series of articles, they are focused on developments that I considered steps along various paths that might lead toward molecular manufacturing and nanofactories. These articles are archived on the web sites of the Foresight Institute and the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing.
Book Reviews and Other Nanotechnology Articles
Here is a list of links to book reviews and other articles related to nanotechnology that I wrote for Foresight Update between 1997 and 2007.
- 1997. A brief overview of lecture track two of the Fifth Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology
- 1998. Book review of Nanotechnology: Molecular Speculations on Global Abundance, edited by BC Crandall.
- 1998. Room-Temperature Molecular Transistor Uses Single Carbon Nanotube
- 1998. A book review co-written with Lew Phelps of The First Immortal by James L. Halperin
- 1999 A report of talks presented at the Seventh Foresight Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology and a report on the Pre-Conference Tutorial: Foundations of Nanotechnology.
- 2000 A book review of Biological Molecules in Nanotechnology: The Convergence of Biotechnology, Polymer Chemistry and Materials Science, editors: Stephen C. Lee and Lynn M. Savage
- 2000 Eighth Foresight Conference Shows Nanotech 'Coming Into Its Own'
- 2003 Regulating Nanotechnology: Public education and rational discussion needed
- 2003 Surviving the Time Bombs: Why nanotechnology may be our only hope, a review of the book Our Molecular Future: How Nanotechnology, Robotics, Genetics, and Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Our World, by Douglas Mulhall
- 2004 Nanofactory Proposal Published, reporting the publication of Chris Phoenix's "Design of a Primitive Nanofactory"
- 2005 A book review of Soft Machines: Nanotechnology and Life, by Richard A. L. Jones, on pages 10-11 of the PDF (3.8 MB) of Foresight Update 55
- 2006 A book review of Nano-Hype: The Truth Behind the Nanotechnology Buzz, by David M. Berube, on pages 11-12 of the PDF (3.2 MB) of Foresight Update 56
- 2006 A book review of Nanotechnology Applications and Markets, by Lawrence Gasman, on pages 11 and 17 of the PDF (2.7 MB) of Foresight Update 57
- 2007 A book review of Nanofuture: What's Next for Nanotechnology, by J. Storrs Hall
- 2007 A book review of Military Nanotechnology: Potential applications and preventive arms control, by Jürgen Altmann
News Digest and Nanodot Blog
I served as editor or the Foresight Update for issues 50, 51, 52, 53, 54 (7.3 MB PDF), and 58. I have also been editor of the Foresight Nanotech Institute Weekly News Digest since January 24, 2007. I have also posted regularly on Foresight's nanotechnology blog Nanodot from July 2002 through November 2003 and since February 2008. My Nanodot posts and my work as editor of the Weekly News Digest have helped me to keep in touch with what is happening in nanotechnology—from near term applications to nanoscience, medicine, energy, and computing, to developments in core technologies that might lead to advanced nanotechnology and molecular manufacturing.
Here are links to a few of my more recent Nanodot posts that point to promising steps toward advanced nanotechnology:
- Feb. 6, 2008 A new base pair for DNA nanotechnology
- Feb. 7, 2008 Using DNA nanotechnology to build three-dimensional crystals
- Feb. 8, 2008 DNA building blocks that change shape provide new tool for nanotechnology
- Feb. 11, 2008 Precisely controlled electron beam provides top-down approach to molecular nanotechnology
- Feb. 21, 2008 Proteins covalently attached to carbon nanotube tips provide new tool for nanotechnology
- Mar. 18, 2008 Simpler way of building three-dimensional structures using DNA nanotechnology
- Mar. 25, 2008 Major nanotechnology milestone: protein catalysts designed for non-natural chemical reactions
- Apr. 2, 2008 Silencing gene expression for cancer therapy through nanotechnology
- Apr. 10, 2008 Structural DNA nanotechnology builds dodecahedron from three-legged building blocks
- Apr. 14, 2008 Automated molecular evolution as a tool for nanotechnology
- Apr. 29, 2008 A new glycerol nucleic acid (GNA) building block for structural DNA nanotechnology
- Apr. 30, 2008 Will a "'proto-prototype' for a nanoassembler" lead to atomically precise manufacturing?
- Jun. 6, 2008 Light-controlled nanotech brake for molecular machine
- Jun. 30, 2008 Nanotechnology approach to drug delivery uses multifunctional nanoparticles to silence gene
- Jul. 9, 2008 Artificial DNA base pairs for nanotechnology building blocks
- Jul. 30, 2008 Nanotechnology creates structures that mimic proteins
- Aug. 8, 2008 UV laser may enable nanotechnology to build atom-by-atom
- Aug. 11, 2008 Diamond mechanosynthesis for atomically precise nanotechnology to be explored experimentally
- Aug. 29, 2008 Meme that machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence gathers support
- Sep. 1, 2008 DNA nanotubes of programmed circumference for nanotechnology
- Sep. 2, 2008 Graphene provides extraordinarily stiff beams for nanotechnology
- Oct. 8, 2008 Consortium for atomically precise manufacturing awarded $9.7 M to develop advanced nanotechnology
- Oct. 13, 2008 Flipping a pair of atoms back and forth using nanotechnology
- Oct. 17, 2008 Cut-and-paste single molecule nanotechnology using DNA
- Oct. 20, 2008 Structural DNA nanotechnology in living cells
- Oct. 21, 2008 Functionally connecting protein domains adds to nanotechnology toolbox
- Oct. 23, 2008 Programming cell behavior with RNA nanotechnology
- Oct. 29, 2008 Research challenges for the diamondoid mechanosynthesis path to advanced nanotechnology
- Oct. 31, 2008 Nanotechnology shrinks tumors by targeting two genes
- Nov. 6, 2008 Mechanosynthesis with AFM as a step toward advanced nanotechnology
- Nov. 7, 2008 DNA nanotechnology provides an improved tweezers
- Dec. 17, 2008 Tracking single molecules in living cells using nanotechnology
- Dec. 18, 2008 Targeting highly metastatic melanomas with nanotechnology
- Dec. 19, 2008 Nanotechnology could introduce flaws into carbon nanotubes to build circuits
- Dec. 23, 2008 Transparent electronic displays and "e-paper" through nanotechnology
- Jan. 2, 2009 Mechanism of most powerful molecular motor available to inspire nanotechnology
- Jan. 5, 2009 Combining structural DNA nanotechnology and gold nanoparticles to make decorated DNA nanotubes
- Jan. 7, 2009 Controlling the independent release of multiple drugs with nanotechnology
- Jan. 8, 2009 Nanotechnology provides new, improved walking DNA nanobot
- Jan. 9, 2009 New organic synthesis to provide nanotechnology a way to make structurally pure carbon nanotubes
- Jan. 12, 2009 Nanotechnology to make inexpensive solar cells more efficient
- Jan. 13, 2009 New optical method to trap and move molecules for nanotechnology
- Jan. 14, 2009 Discovery of repulsive Casimir forces might eliminate friction as a concern in nanotechnology
- Jan. 15, 2009 Error correction in nature's nanotechnology
- Jan. 16, 2009 Update on promise of nanotechnology for radically extended life span
- Jan. 19, 2009 Nanotechnology method to shut down cancer inches toward clinical trials
- Feb. 6, 2009 Optimizing hierarchical protein design for nanotechnology
- Feb. 9, 2009 Controlling bone-forming cells through nanotechnology
- Feb. 18, 2009 Stamping devices for nanotechnology using metallic glasses
- Feb. 20, 2009 Structural DNA nanotechnology arrays devices to capture molecular building blocks
- Feb. 23, 2009 Nanotechnology drafts plant viruses for drug delivery
- Mar. 6, 2009 Real-time quality control for nanotechnology
- Mar. 11, 2009 Another nanotechnology approach to gene regulation for cancer therapy
- Mar. 12, 2009 Synthetic ribosomes may prove useful tool for nanotechnology
- Mar. 27, 2009 A nanotechnology route to quantum computers through hybrid rotaxanes
- Mar. 30, 2009 DNA nanotechnology builds large structures from information-rich seeds
- Apr. 9, 2009 Protein design revolution points toward advanced nanotechnology
- Apr. 10, 2009 DNA nanorobot walks without intervention along rigid track
- Apr. 13, 2009 Mechanical control of chemical reactions to advance nanotechnology?
- Apr. 15, 2009 Graphene edges closer to atomically precise nanotechnology
- Apr. 17, 2009 Nanotechnology builds battery on a virus framework
- Apr. 20, 2009 Nanotechnology pulls DNA through nanopore slowly enough to read sequence
- Apr. 22, 2009 Better ways to produce graphene nanoribbons for nanotechnology applications
- Apr. 24, 2009 Nanotechnology in clinical trials to restore normal gene function to cancer cells
- Apr. 27, 2009 Modular DNA nanotubes provide programmable scaffolds for nanotechnology
- Apr. 29, 2009 Advancing nanotechnology by organizing functional components on addressable DNA scaffolds
- Oct. 7, 2010 Graphene research wins Physics Nobel for European nanotechnologists
- Oct. 8, 2010 DNA springs enable mechanical control of enzymatic reaction
Productive Nanosystems Roadmap Articles
During 2007 I participated in a first attempt to map the developments needed to move from current capabilities in nanotechnology to advanced systems. Productive Nanosystems: A Technology Roadmap was developed by Foresight Nanotech Institute and Battelle, with initial funding from the Waitt Family Foundation. I wrote two papers for the Working Group Proceedings (210 pages, 14.6 MB PDF) part of the roadmap.
"Nucleic Acid Engineering" J. Lewis, pages 07-1 to 07-7
"Structural DNA nanotechnology provides the ability to construct molecularly precise structures based upon the well understood molecular recognition properties of DNA. Numerous molecularly precise DNA nanostructures have been demonstrated. Some are capable of controlled movements, using multiple mechanisms to generate motion. DNA nanostructures can be constructed to incorporate a wide range of chemical functions. Micron-scale and larger 2- dimensional periodic arrays of DNA nanostructures have been built. At the scale of 100 to several hundred nanometers, DNA nanostructures can be arranged in an arbitrary aperiodic pattern in two dimensions, and there is reasonable hope that this ability can soon be extended to three dimensions. Molecular biology and the biotechnology industry provide a well developed infrastructure for the technology: a wide range of DNA molecules, reagents, and methods useful for creating and characterizing DNA nanostructures. The most recently developed and perhaps the most promising approach to structural DNA nanotechnology—scaffolded DNA origami—enables quick and inexpensive implementation with ~5 nm resolution and lends itself to automated design and manufacture."
"DNA as an Aid to Self-Assembly" J. Lewis, pages 08-1 to 08-9
"The potential role of DNA in the assembly of atomically precise structures goes far beyond 'smart glue' to link specific nanostructures to form larger arrays. Structural DNA nanotechnology (see accompanying article "Nucleic acid engineering") provides tiles than can be assembled in a programmed fashion to form a wide variety of nanotubes, two-dimensional arrays, and eventually three-dimensional arrays. DNA nanotubes could potentially provide scaffolding and transport of cargo for productive nanosystems. DNA nanostructures have already been used to organize arrays of guest molecules and nanostructures. DNA devices that 'walk' along DNA tracks, organize components for covalent bond formation, and function mechanically in a DNA array have also been demonstrated."
Summarizing progress toward advanced nanotechnology
I recently wrote a 10,000-word article to provide an overview of the road from current to advanced nanotechnology, with emphasis on the most significant advances since the Productive Nanosystems Roadmap was completed in mid-2007.
"Productive Nanosystems as a Milestone Toward Geoethical Nanotechnology" James B. Lewis, Ph.D., Journal of Geoethical Nanotechnology, Volume 4, Issue 1 May 2009
"Dr. Lewis expertly discusses the growing field of nanotechnology, its current roadmap, and implementing manufacturing processes necessary to solving many of the world's problems."
Exploring similarities and differences between recombinant DNA technology and self-replicating molecular manufacturing
I wrote a 4,000-word article for Terasem Movement, Inc.'s 5th Annual Workshop on Geoethical Nanotechnology (held on July 20, 2009 at the Terasem Island Amphitheatre in the virtual meeting environment of "Second Life") examining to what extent the 1975 Asilomar Conference, held to recommend safety procedures for recombinant DNA research, provides a model for regulating self-replicating molecular manufacturing, once this technology becomes imminent.
"Recombinant DNA and Self-replicating Molecular Manufacturing: Parallels and Lessons" James B. Lewis, Ph.D., Journal of Geoethical Nanotechnology, Volume 4, Issue 2 4th Quarter 2009
Comments and correspondence? Send email to Jim Lewis:
Dr. Lewis expounds on why an Asilomar-like conference, as well as other venues involving relevant members of the scientific and technical communities, should be explored to identify and avoid immediate threats to public safety at such time when self-replicating nanotechnology is imminent.
This web page is copyright ©1996-2010 James B. Lewis. All rights
Last updated 10October2010.
The URL of this document is: http://www.halcyon.com/nanojbl/JBL/