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Next Big Future

"Next Big Future" - 11 new articles

  1. China High Speed rail will have complete run north south and significant east west segments by end of 2012
  2. Inkjet printing could change the face of solar energy industry
  3. Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s New Gene Therapy Proves Effective in Treating Severe Heart Failure
  4. Genome Editing Improves Blood Clotting in Mice with Hemophilia B
  5. International Team Demonstrates Subatomic Quantum Memory in Diamond
  6. Acoustic cloak, now you can make a working cone of silence and sonar invisible submarines
  7. Brillouin Energy energy pulse process and respectable advisors
  8. Two- or three-tier graphene films can be produced at commercial scale and create band gap for electronic devices
  9. Defkalion press conference videos and translated description of the event
  10. Moon Express talk by Barney Pell
  11. Foresight 2011 - Mesoporous Sensors: From Explosives to Cancer
  12. More Recent Articles
  13. Search Next Big Future
  14. Prior Mailing Archive

China High Speed rail will have complete run north south and significant east west segments by end of 2012

Dark red lines show the high speed rail that should be done at the end of 2012

China will be starting up the Beijing to Shanghai high speed rail line on Thursday.

There is 17,000 km (11,000 mi) of high-speed lines are now under construction in China. The entire HSR network will reach 13,073 km (8,123 mi) by the end of 2011 and 25,000 km (16,000 mi) by the end of 2015.

There is 8300 km of high speed rail now and there will be 9600 km of high speed rail on Thursday.

Beijing-Shanghai PDL (Jinghu Passenger Designated Line)
Main north-south high speed railway of eastern China, connecting Beijing, Jinan, Tai'an, Xuzhou, Bengbu, Nanjing & Shanghai
1302 km starting June 30, 2011

Hangyong Passenger Railway is a planned railway between Hangzhou and Ningbo, that spans approximately 150 kilometers.
scheduled to open in December 2011

Beijing-Guangzhou PDL (Jinggang Passenger Designated Line)
Main north-south high speed rail corridor through central China, consisting of four segments between Beijing, Shijiazhuang, Wuhan, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong.
2229 km starting 2012

Shijiazhuang-Jinan PDL (Shiji Passenger Designated Line)
PDL connecting Shijiazhuang and Jinan via Dezhou
319 km long opening 2012

Hankou-Yichang Railway (Hanyi Line)
Mixed passenger and freight HSR connecting Wuhan and Yichang
293km opening 2012-01-01

Chongqing-Lichuan Railway (Yuli Line)
Mixed passenger and freight HSR connecting Lichuan and Chongqing
264 km opening 2012

Suining-Chongqing Railway (Suiyu Line)
Mixed passenger and freight HSR connecting Chongqing and Suining
132km opening Jan, 2012

Xiamen–Shenzhen Railway
(Xiashen Line) Mixed passenger and freight HSR line along the coast of Fujian and Guangdong via Zhangzhou, Shantou and Huizhou. 502 km long
late 2012

Xian-Baoji PDL (Xibao Passenger Designated Line)
PDL connecting Xian and Baoji
148 km opening 2012

Hangzhou-Changsha PDL (Hangchang Passenger Designated Line)
PDL connecting Hangzhou and Changsha.
926km opening 2013-06-30

Changsha-Kunming PDL (Changkun Passenger Designated Line)
PDL connecting Changsha and Kunming 1175 km 2013-06-30

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Inkjet printing could change the face of solar energy industry

Solar cell - This scanning electron microscope, cross-sectional image shows the various compounds of a new chalcopyrite solar cell only a few microns thick, which can be created much less expensively with inkjet printing. (Image courtesy of Oregon State University)

Engineers at Oregon State University have discovered a way for the first time to create successful “CIGS” solar devices with inkjet printing, in work that reduces raw material waste by 90 percent and will significantly lower the cost of producing solar energy cells with some very promising compounds.

High performing, rapidly produced, ultra-low cost, thin film solar electronics should be possible, scientists said.

Further research is needed to increase the efficiency of the cell, but the work could lead to a whole new generation of solar energy technology, researchers say.

One of the most promising compounds and the focus of the current study is called chalcopyrite, or “CIGS” for the copper, indium, gallium and selenium elements of which it’s composed. CIGS has extraordinary solar efficiency – a layer of chalcopyrite one or two microns thick has the ability to capture the energy from photons about as efficiently as a 50-micron-thick layer made with silicon.

In the new findings, researchers were able to create an ink that could print chalcopyrite onto substrates with an inkjet approach, with a power conversion efficiency of about 5 percent. The OSU researchers say that with continued research they should be able to achieve an efficiency of about 12 percent, which would make a commercially viable solar cell.

In related work, being done in collaboration with Greg Herman, an OSU associate professor of chemical engineering, the engineers are studying other compounds that might also be used with inkjet technology, and cost even less.

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Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s New Gene Therapy Proves Effective in Treating Severe Heart Failure

Mount Sinai researchers have developed a way to stimulate production of an enzyme that enables failing hearts to pump more effectively.

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have developed a new gene therapy that is safe and effective in reversing advanced heart failure. SERCA2a (produced as MYDICAR®) is a gene therapy designed to stimulate production of an enzyme that enables the failing heart to pump more effectively. In a Phase II study, SERCA2a injection through a routine minimally invasive cardiac catheterization was safe and showed clinical benefit in treating this patient population and decreasing the severity of heart failure. The data were presented this week at the Heart Failure Congress of the European Society of Cardiology in Berlin.

Patients in the high-dose SERCA2a group demonstrated improvement and/or stabilization in symptoms, overall heart function, biomarker activity, and ventricular mechanics and function. They also saw a dramatic reduction in cardiovascular hospitalizations, averaging 0.4 days versus 4.5 days in the placebo group.

The CUPID (Calcium Up-regulation by Percutaneous administration of gene therapy In cardiac Disease) trial is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, which enrolled 39 patients with advanced heart failure to study the safety and efficacy of SERCA2a. Patients were randomized to receive SERCA2a gene delivery in one of three doses or placebo and were evaluated over six months. The treatment is delivered directly to the patient’s heart during a routine outpatient catheterization procedure.

Patients in the SERCA2a group demonstrated improvement or stabilization in symptoms, heart function, and severity of heart failure. They also saw an increase in time between cardiovascular events and a decrease in frequency of events. SERCA2a was found to be safe, with no increases in adverse events, disease-related events, laboratory abnormalities, or arrhythmias compared to placebo.

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Genome Editing Improves Blood Clotting in Mice with Hemophilia B

Scientists have used a gene therapy tool that acts like intelligent molecular scissors to correct the key gene defect in mice with hemophilia B, a disease that can lead to uncontrolled bleeding. The intervention improved the animals’ blood clotting enough that their severe disease was reduced to a mild form.

Hemophilia B affects about 3,000 men and boys in the United States. People with hemophilia can experience uncontrolled bleeding, including spontaneous and life-threatening bleeding into the joints or the central nervous system. In severe cases, patients must undergo a lifetime of clotting factor infusions to control bleeding.

The disease is caused by defects in the blood clotting factor called Factor IX. Repairing that gene defect could eliminate the disease. One possible gene therapy strategy is to use molecular tools called zinc-finger nucleases, which allow scientists to snip out and correct specific DNA defects. So far, this approach has only been used successfully to edit genes in isolated cells, but now, in what may be a significant advance in gene therapy research, Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Katherine A. High has broken that barrier. Her team’s work is published in the June 26, 2011, issue of the journal Nature.

Zinc fingers are a natural part of the genetic machinery in organisms from yeast to humans, and each one’s finger-like structure binds to a specific sequence of DNA. By linking these DNA-binding molecules to DNA-snipping enzymes called nucleases, scientists have created molecular scissors that can be targeted to specific parts of the genome.

The zinc-finger approach is more precise than conventional gene therapy, in which whole genes are introduced to cells to counteract the action of mutated genes. When those genes insert into the cell’s genome, it’s anybody’s guess where they’ll land. “There is some possibility of integration of the donated DNA in untoward sites that may, for example, promote tumor formation,” says High explaining one risk of conventional gene therapy. “If you could do genome editing, you could get a site-specific correction.”

In laboratory cell cultures, zinc-finger nucleases can be targeted to home to a specific site on the genome and snip double-stranded DNA in two. Sensing the disruption, the cell rushes to repair the break, often by copying nearby homologous DNA. Scientists take advantage of that tendency by administering a strand of flawless DNA designed to correct the mutated gene along with the molecular scissors. If all goes well, the cell’s own DNA repair proteins copy the flawless strand into the cellular DNA, and, voilà, a perfect gene where a broken one once lived.

Key to making this work, High said, was using adeno-associated virus to carry both the DNA strand and the zinc-finger nuclease into the mouse liver. This virus, engineered from naturally occurring parvovirus, heads straight to the liver when injected intravenously. The liver is the main source of the blood clotting factors missing in hemophilia.

To be used for gene therapy, zinc-finger nucleases must be designed to specifically target the defective segment of DNA. Working with collaborators at Sangamo BioSciences, High tested a number of zinc-finger nucleases that the California company had engineered to target various portions of the gene that encodes Factor IX, the clotting factor that fails to work in patients with in hemophilia B.

Serendipitously, the zinc-finger nuclease that most efficiently snipped out the Factor IX DNA was the one that allowed her to simultaneously target all of the gene’s commonly mutated segments. “We didn’t know whether among all of the [zinc-finger nucleases] that were designed, this one would succeed,” she said. “This turned out to be the most efficient, which was fortuitous.”

When the mice with severe hemophilia B were treated with the Factor IX zinc-finger nucleases, the clotting factors in their blood increased to a level that is considered mild disease. Most individuals with hemophilia B have less than 1 percent of normal clotting factors. An increase of clotting factor to 5 percent of normal transforms severe hemophilia into mild hemophilia. “That doesn’t mean you can play football, but it does mean you can play tennis,” High said. “In these mice we got levels ranging from 3 percent to 7 percent.”

“I think that there were a couple of keys to our success,” she said. “We used a highly efficient method of delivery to the liver, and, secondly, the zinc-finger nucleases we used were very efficient.”

High says further work will be needed to translate her team’s work in the laboratory into safe, effective treatments for patients, but the new findings are promising for the future of gene therapy.

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International Team Demonstrates Subatomic Quantum Memory in Diamond

Structure and manipulation: A NV (nitrogen vacancy) centre in the diamond lattice including the electronic spin (red) and the nuclear spin (blue). b, Electron–nuclear spin level diagram for the NV centre in the vicinity of the avoided level crossing.

UCSB Physicists were able to coax the fragile quantum information contained within a single electron in diamond to move into an adjacent single nitrogen nucleus, and then back again using on-chip wiring.

"This ability is potentially useful to create an atomic-scale memory element in a quantum computer based on diamond, since the subatomic nuclear states are more isolated from destructive interactions with the outside world," said David Awschalom, senior author. Awschalom is director of UCSB's Center for Spintronics and Quantum Computation, professor of physics, electrical and computer engineering, and the Peter J. Clarke director of the California NanoSystems Institute.

Nature Physics - A quantum memory intrinsic to single nitrogen–vacancy centres in diamond

A quantum memory, composed of a long-lived qubit coupled to each processing qubit, is important to building a scalable platform for quantum information science. These two qubits should be connected by a fast and high-fidelity operation to store and retrieve coherent quantum states. Here, we demonstrate a room-temperature quantum memory based on the spin of the nitrogen nucleus intrinsic to each nitrogen–vacancy (NV) centre in diamond. We perform coherent storage of a single NV centre electronic spin in a single nitrogen nuclear spin using Landau–Zener transitions across a hyperfine-mediated avoided level crossing. By working outside the asymptotic regime, we demonstrate coherent state transfer in as little as 120 ns with total storage fidelity of 88±6%. This work demonstrates the use of a quantum memory that is compatible with scaling as the nitrogen nucleus is deterministically present in each NV centre defect

Scientists have recently shown that it is possible to synthesize thousands of these single electron states with beams of nitrogen atoms, intentionally creating defects to trap the single electrons. "What makes this demonstration particularly exciting is that a nitrogen atom is a part of the defect itself, meaning that these sub-atomic memory elements automatically scale with the number of logical bits in the quantum computer," said lead author Greg Fuchs, a postdoctoral fellow at UCSB.

Rather than using logical elements like transistors to manipulate digital states like "0" or "1," a quantum computer needs logical elements capable of manipulating quantum states that may be "0" and "1" at the same time. Even at ambient temperature, these defects in diamond can do exactly that, and have recently become a leading candidate to form a quantum version of a transistor.

However, there are still major challenges to building a diamond-based quantum computer. One of these is finding a method to store quantum information in a scalable way. Unlike a conventional computer, where the memory and the processor are in two different physical locations, in this case they are integrated together, bit-for-bit.

14 pages of supplemental information

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Acoustic cloak, now you can make a working cone of silence and sonar invisible submarines

The cloaking shell is made of easily-manufactured sheets of plastic with holes through them

The cone of Silence would enshroud its users within a transparent sound-proof shield. (Comedy gag from Get Smart)

The real life acoustic cloak uses simple plastic sheets with arrays of holes, and could be put to use in making ships invisible to sonar or in acoustic design of concert halls.

Physics Review Letters - Experimental Acoustic Ground Cloak in Air

We present the design, fabrication, and performance analysis for a class of two-dimensional acoustic cloaking coatings in air. Our approach takes advantage of transformation acoustics and linear coordinate transformations that result in shells which are homogeneous, broadband, and compact. The required material parameters are highly anisotropic; however, we show that they are easily achievable in practice in metamaterials made of perforated plastic plates. The good performance of the fabricated design is assessed from measurements of the sound field produced around the cloak by a broadband source. The remarkably low complexity of the device made of perforated plastic plates shows that sound in air can be fully and effectively manipulated using realizable transformation acoustics devices.
Dr Cummer and his colleagues have shown off an acoustic cloaking technique that works in air, for audible frequencies between one and four kilohertz - corresponding to two octaves on the higher half of a piano.

It works by using stacked sheets of plastic with regular arrays of holes through them. The exact size and placement of the holes on each sheet, and the spacing between the sheets, has a predictable effect on incoming sound waves.

When placed on a flat surface, the stack redirects the waves such that reflected waves are exactly as they would be if the stack were not there at all.

That means that an object under the stack - in the team's experiments, a block of wood about 10cm long - would not "hear" the sound, and any attempts to locate the object using sound waves would not find it.

"How the sound reflects off this reflecting surface with this composite object on it - which is pretty big and has a cloaking shell on it - really reflects... just like a flat surface does," Dr Cummer said.

Professor Hess pointed out that the demonstration was for very directed sound waves, and only in two dimensions, but the most notable aspect of the approach was its simplicity.

"It's almost like someone could take a pencil and poke holes in a particular way in the plastic," he told BBC News.

"It's a bit more challenging for three dimensions. I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be possible but it won't be just an afternoon's work."

The work shows that an object can be hidden from sonar, and protected from incoming sound, but the same principles could be applied in the other direction - that is, containing or directing the sound within a space, for instance in soundproofing a studio or fine-tuning the acoustics of a concert hall.

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Brillouin Energy energy pulse process and respectable advisors

New Energy and Fuel has some additional information about Brillouin Energy Corp.

I covered Brillouin Energy a few days ago

Brillouin Energy is in Berkeley California has another Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) method in the development and proving stage. The new method comes at fusion from a different path than the Rossi E-Cat.

Brillouin technique uses electromagnetic pulses on hydrogen or H1. The pulses push some of the hydrogen into dihydrogen or H2 and on to H3 and H4. Finally some hydrogen molecules reach the stage of helium. The method generates heat – more heat energy than electrical energy used to run the pulse.

Using a catalyst the method stimulates a Controlled Electron Capture Reaction (CECR) in the catalyst. The catalyst reaction creates low energy neutrons. The neutrons generate heat as they are captured by other atoms or molecules building up heavier elements.

Does it work or is it scam? The list of folks advising is pretty impressive. The list includes Robert Clear PhD. past Staff Scientist for Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in the Applied Science Division. Then there’s Michael C.H. McKubre PhD., Director, Energy Research Center, Stanford Research Institute. Plus Charles S. Holden, scientific consultant, works with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in development of nuclear Fuel cycles and medical isotopes.

Brillouin’s proprietary electronic pulse generator promotes proton-electron capture reactions. The pulses change some of the protons in metal to neutrons, and surrounding nuclei subsequently captures these produced neutrons. The subsequent neutron capture reactions generate heat, and because the pulses are controlled the thermal output from Brillouin’s proprietary technology safely provides clean heat on demand.

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Two- or three-tier graphene films can be produced at commercial scale and create band gap for electronic devices

When compounds of bromine or chlorine (represented in blue) are introduced into a block of graphite (shown in green), the atoms find their way into the structure in between every third sheet, thus increasing the spacing between those sheets and making it easier to split them apart. Image: Chih-Jen Shih/Christine Daniloff

A team of MIT scientists has found a way to produce graphene in significant quantities in a two- or three-layer form. When the layers are arranged just right, these structures give graphene the much-desired band gap — an energy range that falls between the bands, or energy levels, where electrons can exist in a given material.

The new method, however, can be carried out at a scale that opens up the possibility of real, practical applications, Strano says, and makes it possible to produce the precise arrangement of the layers — called A-B stacked, with the atoms in one layer centered over the spaces between atoms in the next — that yields desirable electronic properties.

Nature Nanotechnology - Bi- and trilayer graphene solutions

Bilayer and trilayer graphene with controlled stacking is emerging as one of the most promising candidates for post-silicon nanoelectronics. However, it is not yet possible to produce large quantities of bilayer or trilayer graphene with controlled stacking, as is required for many applications. Here, we demonstrate a solution-phase technique for the production of large-area, bilayer or trilayer graphene from graphite, with controlled stacking. The ionic compounds iodine chloride (ICl) or iodine bromide (IBr) intercalate the graphite starting material at every second or third layer, creating second- or third-stage controlled graphite intercolation compounds, respectively. The resulting solution dispersions are specifically enriched with bilayer or trilayer graphene, respectively. Because the process requires only mild sonication, it produces graphene flakes with areas as large as 50 µm2. Moreover, the electronic properties of the flakes are superior to those achieved with other solution-based methods; for example, unannealed samples have resistivities as low as ~1 kΩ and hole mobilities as high as ~400 cm2 V–1 s–1. The solution-based process is expected to allow high-throughput production, functionalization, and the transfer of samples to arbitrary substrates.

Compounds of bromine or chlorine introduced into a block of graphite naturally find their way into the structure of the material, inserting themselves regularly between every other layer, or in some cases every third layer, and pushing the layers slightly farther apart in the process. Strano and his team found that when the graphite is dissolved, it naturally comes apart where the added atoms lie, forming graphene flakes two or three layers thick.

“Because this dispersion process can be very gentle, we end up with much larger flakes” than anyone has made using other methods, Strano says. “Graphene is a very fragile material, so it requires gentle processing.”

Such formations are “one of the most promising candidates for post-silicon nanoelectronics,” the authors say in their paper. The flakes produced by this method, as large as 50 square micrometers in area, are large enough to be useful for electronic applications, they say. To prove the point, they were able to manufacture some simple transistors on the material.

The material can now be used to explore the development of new kinds of electronic and optoelectronic devices, Strano says. And unlike the “Scotch tape” approach to making graphene, “our approach is industrially relevant,” Strano says.

James Tour, a professor of chemistry and of mechanical engineering and materials science at Rice University, who was not involved in this research, says the work involved “brilliant experiments” that produced convincing statistics. He added that further work would be needed to improve the yield of usable graphene material in their solutions, now at about 35 to 40 percent, to more than 90 percent. But once that is achieved, he says, “this solution-phase method could dramatically lower the cost of these unique materials and speed the commercialization of them in applications such as optical electronics and conductive composites.”

While it’s hard to predict how long it will take to develop this method to the point of commercial applications, Strano says, “it’s coming about at a breakneck pace.” A similar solvent-based method for making single-layer graphene is already being used to manufacture some flat-screen television sets, and “this is definitely a big step” toward making bilayer or trilayer devices, he says

18 pages of supplemental material

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Defkalion press conference videos and translated description of the event

Xanthipress - The first official presentation of Defkalion Green Technologies in Xanthi, was held Thursday afternoon in the auditorium of Town Hall Paleo Faliro, Greece. Defkalion is trying to produce energy from the fusion of hydrogen-nickel using the Energy Catalyzer invention of Focardi-Rossi.

The presentation was made by the company president Alekos Xanthoulis, accompanied by the inventor - Andrea Rossi and former Ambassador, also professor at Bologna, Chris Stremmeno while the event was attended by Deputy Development Minister Socrates Xynidis.

Industrial production from the first factory will start in the Fall of 2011, where the core-reactor device (the "secret") will be produced. A second new plant will start operation within the next year in Xanthi, where they will manufacture complete e-cat devices.

A third plant unit will be operational in 2013 (in Xanthi) and will deal with the production of industrial units. The total investment cost estimated at over 200 million euros.

9 Greek diaspora make up the Defkalion Global-fund investment outside of A. Xanthoulis. There is no debt or other financing and stated clearly that there is no request for a grant and the investment is only covered by equity.

The energy catalyzer is a box-reactor that uses nickel and hydrogen, which gives us heat.

Each device can produce up to 30 kilowatts / hour of thermal energy. Each device is estimated to cost 4000 to 5000 euro and the depreciation is estimated to not exceed a period of one year.

They will present in October, 2011 a 1 megawatt device and in November, 2011 a system for 12 megawatts of energy.

The event was attended, apart from company executives, several representatives of the scientific community and representatives of foreign states and organizations show the importance given to the success of the invention. Among them, the representative of the local government of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany controlled by the Green party, the President of the Hellenic-American Chamber, representing the General Secretariat for Research of China, Chairman of the Technical Chamber of Greece The President of the Association of Exporters of Northern Greece as well as the President of "Larco" which will supply nickel as raw material Defkalion. Furthermore, there was quite a large interest from the municipalities of Athens interested in installing systems in municipal buildings.

Videos in Greek

Other Greek News

Hundreds of hooded youths threw stones and bottles at police who respond with teargas during anti-austerity demonstrations in Greece Unions are angry at the new euro28 billion ($40 billion) austerity program that would slap taxes on minimum wage earners and other struggling Greeks, following months of other cuts that have seen unemployment surge to more than 16 percent. The package and an additional implementation law must be passed in parliamentary votes Wednesday and Thursday so the European Union and the International Monetary Fund release the next installment of Greece's euro110 billion ($156 billion) bailout loan.

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Moon Express talk by Barney Pell

Moon Express, Inc. (MoonEx) is targeting mining the moon.

Major Moon Markets

* Mining for Space and Terrestrial Markets
* Generating space-based solar power
* space-based manufacturing, research and development
* space tourism and entertainment

Mining the moon
* water. at least 1 billion tons in the poles
* precious metals (platinum, other platinum grade metals)
* Lithium, gallium
* Helium-3
* Silicon 28 (400% higher heat dissipation, although silicon 28 is 92% of the earth silicon, so maybe the wrong isotope number)
* Industrial metals (aluminum), cheaper than bringing from the earth for space based industry

Four disruptive technologies lead to successful moon mining

1. Commercial launchers
2. Micro-miniaturization (eg. cubesats)
3. new propulsion systems
4. space architecture elements (earth launch systems,lunar landers, space tugs, fuel depots and refineries, lunar mining infrastructure, lunar manufacturing infrastructure, lunar power generators, habitation systems - including life support)

Each is independently valuable.

* make the smallest system that can get to the moon and create fuel from water on the moon into a fuel depot
* then it becomes free (other than getting to low earth orbit) for the follow on systems to make more materials and fuel mining
* $10 to 20 billion total or less.

Shackleton Energy Company was formed in 2007 in Del Valle, Texas with the explicit goal to prepare the equipment and technologies necessary for mining the Moon. Shackleton is a subsidiary of Stone Aerospace.

Barney Moon Express talk starts at 1:04

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Foresight 2011 - Mesoporous Sensors: From Explosives to Cancer

Mesoporous Sensors: From Explosives to Cancer
Robert Meagley, PhD, CEO/CTO of ONE-Nanotechnologies LLC

One-nanotechnologies website - We create faster, more accurate, and more cost-effective tools for biomarker analysis, making more efficient and precise human health diagnostics possible. Our patent-pending technology measures proteins and other disease and cancer biomarkers through the use of precisely printed photonic nanodevices.

Early disease detection uses biochemical processes to find biomarkers. These biochemicals add complexity, variability and error to the results. Specificity and simplicity are better! Our technology provides both specificity and simplicity without use of antibodies. Our chips are optimized for the detection of particular breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer and ovarian cancer, as well as heart disease biomarkers. These five diseases are responsible for the majority of non-accident death in Europe and North America.

Extending our thin films technology into the realm of chemical threat detection, our approach has been shown to be an effective discrimination system for biochemical and energetic materials. Nerve agent surrogates and RDX have been identified as trace constituents in air and water. Electronic discrimination of chemical and biochemical threats addresses key issues in environmental health and safety as well as food security and military applications.

* fault tolerant systems
* using plasma processing to spray thin coatings
* plasma cleaning
* vacuum plasma spray
* 350 watts plasma enhanced CVD (chemical vapor deposition)

* embedded sensor technology for chemical detection and food safety
* lower cost systems

Our approach to selecting and detecting specific proteins (and other biomarkers) uses arrays of photonic devices that include host structures for these specific proteins. These unique structured arrangements we term Organized Nano Environments (ONE), hence our name. The use of the ONE photonic nanodevice arrays enables high sensitivity and specificity in biomarker detection.

Our chemical sensors for nerve agents and high-energy materials (i.e. RDX, TNT, etc) are designed around the same “Organized Nano-Environment” approach (ONE technology) as our protein sensors: tailored morphology to create high surface area hosts for the chemical guests. This ONE film comprises a nanocomposite: nano-scale host particles are co-deposited on the sensor platforms with polymers that tune the surface energy of the resulting films to yield engineered materials that recognize specifically the target chemical. The sensor platforms may be vibrating crystals, capacitive arrays and/or optical devices.

We build our films through a highly conformal electrospray coating process that accommodates the three dimensional structure of the sensor platform (a vibrating crystal or a capacitive network). In electrospray, liquid precursor containing the matrix monomer and nano-filler is charged to several thousand volts. The potential overwhelms surface tension of the liquid and forms a very fine spray of droplets that shrink further as solvent evaporates- giving sub micron droplets ensuring a uniform deposition of unique morphology. Coatings may be deposited on insulators, semiconductors and metals. Using our proprietary dual-dep technology, incompatible materials may be deployed in a nanocomposite that retains desirable properties from each component

200 nm scale

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