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What is Next Nature?

With our attempts to cultivate nature, humankind causes the rising of a next nature, which is wild and unpredictable as ever. Wild systems, genetic surprises, autonomous machinery and splendidly beautiful black flowers. Nature changes along with us.

Posts Tagged ‘Nanotechnology’

  • nanosupermarket_collage_530

    Nano Supermarket Opens its Doors

    Nanotechnology is an important emerging technology of our time – it radically intervenes with our sense of what is natural – yet most people are still relatively unaware of its consequences. The NANO Supermarket presents speculative nanotech products that may hit the shelves within the next ten years: medicinal candy, interactive wall paint, programmable wine, a twitter implant, invisible security spray.

    Our products are both innovative and useful as well as uncanny and disturbing. They were envisioned as scenarios for potential nano futures, that help us decide what nano future we want. Come visit the Nano Supermarket to taste & test the products and experience the impact of nanotechnology on our everyday lives.

    More info: www.nextnature.net/nano-supermarket

  • fabrican_530

    Clothes from a Can

    Frequent readers of this website might be familiar with our claim that Next Nature emerges from a fusion between the Born and the Made. But now we can add another: the fusion of the Sewn and the Grown. Cheesy wordplay or not, fact is that this Spray-on Fabric changes your perception of what clothing is or should be. It becomes more grown, and less made.

    The product – an instant, sprayable, non-woven fabric – was created some years ago by Fabrican and developed through a collaboration between Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art, London (UK). After spraying the liquid, the fabric kind of grows itself. A model that tested the fabric on her skin reportedly said it ‘felt like a second skin’.

    You can probably imagine the implications of this product, except it’s aesthetic appeal to hip designers all over the world: from First Aid Clothing Spray for emergency situations like floods and earthquakes to Sex toys to Auto-dressing Cabins for the elderly and the disabled. Clothing will be something you buy from a supermarket shelf and when you travel, you only need to breng some extra cans. But most importantly: you will never have to wash your clothes again – the ultimate disposable material in a throwaway society? Well, the self-sprayed clothing can be recycled by tearing it to pieces and mix it with a substance that makes the fabric liquid again.

    Spiderman, eat your heart out.

    YouTube Preview Image

    Movieclip about the Spray-on T-Shirt

  • Nanoparticles in Sunscreen Damage Microbes

    Nanoparticles in Sunscreen Damage Microbes

    Nanotechnology has been hailed for its benefits because of the potential ability to create drugs that could cure cancer and radiation poisoning, make miniature pollutant filters resulting in healthier air and even produce better tasting food. Excitement over these benefits has led to corporations heavily investing in the technology for their products.

    However, the same properties that allow nanotechnology to be valuable give it the potential to cause unforeseen consequences for ecological and human health. To date, it’s unclear whether the benefits of nanotech outweigh the risks associated with environmental release and exposure to nanoparticles.

    Environmental Health News reports that nanoparticles in sunscreens, cosmetics and hundreds of other consumer products may pose risks to the environment by damaging beneficial microbes.

    Researchers Cyndee Gruden and Olga Mileyeva-Biebesheimer from the University of Toledo added varying amounts of nanoparticles to water containing bacteria. The bacteria were grown in a lab and stained with a green fluorescent. It turned out the nano-titanium dioxide – also used in personal care products – reduced biological roles of bacteria after less than an hour of exposure. The findings suggest that these particles, which end up at municipal sewage treatment plants after being washed off in showers, could eliminate microbes that play vital roles in ecosystems and help treat wastewater. Oops!

    Nanotechnology is yet another example of mankind playing with fire: It requires enormous care and restraint, yet on the other hand, playing with fire is perhaps one of the very special abilities that defines us as humans.

    Via: Environmental Health News.

  • bio_robo

    Keep it cool with the Bio-Robot Fridge

    The Bio Robot fridge is a speculative product that uses a non sticky, odorless gel to envelope stored food as individual pods. The idea is that the gel cools by absorbing heat energy, which is transformed and radiated into a different range of wavelengths. This process is conducted by colony of bio-mechanical robots that transform invisible infrared radiation into visible light.

    Sans doors and drawers, the fridge can be oriented vertical or horizontal, as per the home requirements. All products are readily available, odors will not mix, the meat does not need to freeze as it is well conserved by the gel.

    According to its conceptualizer, Yuriy Dmitriev, the bio-robots can identify and select a product for each of the optimal cooling rate and temperature of storage. The process of cooling is accompanied by the visual emission of the gel, which makes its operation beautiful and spectacular. Expected in the kitchen in 2050. Not sure if we still eat bananas by then, though.

    Via Yankodesign. Thanks Diede Gulpers.

  • One day at the Dentist

    One day at the Dentist

    Do you also have that feeling sometimes that your dentist is undertaking all kinds of activities in your mouth that aren’t really necessary? Yet, you usually just trust the dentist on its expertise as you realize the prospect of an all organic natural mouth just isn’t an viable alternative  – at least, not one your environment will appreciate.

    Dentistry is technological by definition, but when to say enough? Perhaps one day when your dentist proposes to implant a Tooth Phone? Although it might be handy to silently listen to your voicemail, chew SMS with your friends and have your insurance company continuously monitor your health levels and food intake – feeling paranoid already? Don’t worry, the Tooth implant from Motorola is science fiction (still).

    Rendering created by Sean Hamilton Alexander. Same guy who photoshopped the Google lens.

  • Nano-Silver Foam Condom For Women

    Nano-Silver Foam Condom For Women

    As we are calling for debate-provoking nanotech products that might hit the shelves of the Supermarket in the next ten years, some products much crazier than the ones we could imagine, are already being produced today.

    A Chinese company called Blue Cross Bio-Medical is offering a foam condom for women made with silver “nanotech” particles. The female spray-on condom comes in a can with a plastic applicator. After the foam spray is squirted into the vagina it creates a physical membrane preventing conception and protecting against infection.

    The “formulated condom concentrate” contains polyvinyl alcohol resin and nano-silver, the antibacterial material that is increasingly found in air conditioners, washing machines and baby bottles. However, there has been concern that nano-scale silver particles may get into the water supply and potentially disrupt benign bacteria at water treatment plants.

    If the idea of a foam condom isn’t persuasive enough, its mode of operation might tip the balance: it needs to be used no more than five minutes before sex. And then again immediately afterward. Enjoy ladies!?

    Via: H+ Magazine.

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  • Self-healing Surfaces

    Self-healing Surfaces

    What if a scratch on your car door could heal itself, just like the human skin does?
    Engineers are working on a way to transfer the self-healing ability of the skin to surfaces and materials. The idea behind this, is to evenly distribute fluid-filled capsules into an electroplated layer on top of the material that could be subject to corrosion and rust. If the surface is damaged, the pellets burst and a coating fluid runs out to ‘repair’ the scratch.

    Read more »

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  • Nano Product: Spider Silk Condoms

    Nano Product: Spider Silk Condoms

    Are we creating the penicillin or the asbestos of the 21st century? In the months preceding our Nano Supermarket Project, we share some speculative nanotech products with you. Here’s the third one in the Nano Supermarket Products series: The Spider Silk Condom.

    You are madly in love with this girl who was in your year (2020). You dated her a few times and you’re totally in love with each other. This weekend she invited you over for a romantic dinner and for some reason, you just KNOW it’s gonna happen: you will end up in her bed. But since she wasn’t exactly your first girlfriend this year, you are well aware you should take some precautions. Rubber precautions, to be exactly…

    Read more »

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  • There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom

    There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom

    So you’re triggered by our call for products and now you’re considering to send in one, two or maybe three of your brilliant products for the Nano Supermarket? Good. Or – and this is very likely – you are just interested in this emerging new field of science and design? Also good. In both cases, we recommend you to do a little in-depth nanotech reading. And makes a better starting point to read than, well… the beginning?

    December 29th 1959, physicist Richard Feynman gave a lecture titled There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom at an American Physical Society meeting at Caltech. In this lecture, he layed out the new era of what we nowadays call nanotechnology: the study of the controlling (and designing!) of matter on an atomic and molecular scale. The key question in Feynman’s talk was: What would happen if we could arrange the atoms – one by one, any way we want them?

    Well, this question is still largely left unanswered: we might be designing the penicillin or the asbestos of the 21st century. This makes the question how to design our nanotech future an urgent one, hence our call for entries. Either way, being able to design atom-by-atom would bring us into a new era of design that merges all existing design disciplines into one: Total Design?

    Read more »

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  • NANO_call_header_

    Nano Supermarket – Call for Products

    Nanotechnology is an important emerging technology of our time – it radically intervenes with our sense of what is natural – yet most people are still relatively unaware of its consequences. Hence, this autumn 2010 the Next Nature NANO Supermarket will be presented in Eindhoven (NL): a physical supermarket featuring debate–provoking visions on possible nanotech products expected to hit the shelves between today and 2020.

    Self–cleaning windows, contact lenses with a display, smart medicines that are delivered exactly on the spot, molecular printed food, blush–reducing make-up, self–healing anti scratch surfaces, nano-particle tagging spray that may identify your possessions when stolen, cyborg insects, breathing textiles, tooth phones, organic jewelry, implantable microprocessors and whatever you may think of.

    We call upon designers, technologists and artists to submit their speculative nanotech products for the NANO supermarket. A selection of the projects will be presented in the Nano Supermarket and the accompanying publication. The best submission is awarded with a € 2500 price

    Event website: http://nextnature.net/events/nano-supermarket/

  • Nano Care™ Blueberry Paste Wax

    Nano Care™ Blueberry Paste Wax

    Surely we are quite attuned to some unexpected flavors in these quarters, but this Nano Care™ Blueberry Paste Wax wins our syncretic mash-up award for combining technorethoric with biomimicmarketing.

    Who wouldn’t fall for the prospect of giving your car an all-natural-hi-tech massage with a Nanotech Blueberry wax? The creators of the car wax must have wanted to make sure they would reach all imaginable target groups with their product.

    “This easy to use formula uses nano-technology based polishing agents and waxes for enhanced surface penetration, durability and gloss. Nano Care Blueberry Paste Wax is made with pure Carnauba and Nano waxes and contains no abrasives. Because it contains a special non-swirl agent Blueberry Paste Wax is especially effective on dark or bright colored cars.”

    Sometimes it seems the surrealists were telling the truth after all. Peculiar product of the week.

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  • Nano snowman

    Nano snowman

    This snowman is 10 µm across, 1/5th the width of a human hair.

    The snowman was made from two tin beads used to calibrate electron microscope astigmatism. The eyes and smile were milled using a focused ion beam, and the nose, which is under 1 µm wide (or 0.001 mm), is ion beam deposited platinum.

    A nanomanipulation system was used to assemble the parts ‘by hand’ and platinum deposition was used to weld all elements together. The snowman is mounted on a silicon cantilever from an atomic force microscope whose sharp tip ‘feels’ surfaces creating topographic surveys at almost atomic scales.

    But… this could also be a rendering and a big hoax, who knows… Made by the people of NPL

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  • Blood Cells 2.0

    Blood Cells 2.0

    Unlike many people fear that computers will overtake humans, Ray Kurzweil states that robots will merge with humans, robots the size of cells which can do the job way more efficient than our actual cells. An example on this are respirocytes; robots the size and functions of a red blood cell, but way more efficient (movie).

    Respirocytes are able to store 1.51 billion oxygen molecules, 100% of which are accessible to the tissues. In contrast, our blood cells store about 1 billion of red blood cells and only 25% is accessible to the tissue. Replacing 10% of your actual red blood cells will enable you to do an Olympic sprint for 15 minutes without taking a breath or allows you to stay underwater for four hours.

    In his TED-talk Kurzweil calls this 2020 technology. Many major steps have been made within the field of nanotechnology and Respirocytes are quite likely to be actually manufactured someday. Hence, we may anticipate some new doping scandals world records at the Olympics of 2020.

    Related: Voyage of the bacteria bots, How biotech will drive our evolution, Craig Venter: catalyst of evolution, Build a better being.

  • Second Sight – Augmented Contacts

    Second Sight – Augmented Contacts

    Getting information as fast as possible and on the spot is the trend. So what could be more direct than having information fired directly into the eye?

    Today — together with his students — Babak A. Parviz, bionanotechnology expert at University of Washington, is already producing devices that have a lens with one wirelessly Radio Frequency powered LED. To turn such a lens into a functional browser, control circuits, communication circuits and miniature antennas will have to be integrated. These lenses will eventually include hundreds of semitransparent LEDs, which will form images in front of the eye: words, charts, imagery enabling the wearers to navigate their surroundings whithout distraction or disorientation. The optoelectronics in the lens may be controlled by a seperate device that relays information to the lens’s control circuit. Read more »

  • Growing a nano forrest

    Growing a nano forrest

    Carbon nanotube arrays could be the basis of high-density energy storage devices and efficient chip cooling systems. The performance of such devices, however, depends on the quality of the nanotubes and the precise structure of the array.

    Read more »

  • YouTube Preview Image

    The Nanosong

    The American Chemical Society is holding a contest seeking short videos that answer the question: “What is nano?” UC Berkeley graduate student Patrick Bennett and his colleagues got creative and submitted their “Nano Song.”

    I guess small things aren’t all that complicated. :{ Want more you say? Read more »

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  • Nanocars


    This smart-looking image is a model of what James M. Tour at Rice University (Texas) and his research team like to call a ‘nanocar’. The clustered molecules can roll around on a glass slide at about nine nanomiles per hour, and its wheels actually turn. The nanocar is no more than 4 nanometers across, which is slightly wider than a strand of DNA. Nanovehicles like these are designed to study the materials and movements, to make it easier for researchers to build more sophisticated molecular machines. Eventually the researchers want to build tiny trucks that could carry atoms and molecules around in miniature factories.

    So in the future, we could have tiny ambulances racing through our veins instead of antibiotics.

    One of the minor details that need to be solved: At room temperature, strong electrical bonds hold the buckyball wheels tightly against the gold, but heating to about 200 degrees Celsius frees them to roll.

    Via: wired.com | Related: Ball of Being | Nanotech Food | Voyage of the Bacteria Bots | Nanoflowers | Nanotechnology Crashcourse