mm279: Aren’t you intrigued by nanotechnology?

MUDGE’S Musings

Well, I am. Been reading up, as an amateur, and I definitely am hooked. Even picked up on a previous story in The Economist some time ago.

Point is it’s still early days yet for nanotech. Science is coming up with ways of building really small things, but not yet how to apply many of them to create value.

But the work, and its resulting media coverage, continues to increase, and Economist seems as captivated as anyone. One senses that they believe that macro dollars (okay, £Sterling) are certain to be made.

Here’s a quick note from their last Technology Quarterly:


The small print

Dec 6th 2007 | From The Economist print edition

Nanotechnology: A novel technique borrows from screen printing to provide a way to build tiny devices using miniature stencils

THE field of nanotechnology—making widgets just a few billionths of a metre across—has been slow to take off. One reason for the delay is the difficulty of assembling useful devices from such tiny building blocks. Tobias Kraus, of IBM’s Research Laboratories in Zurich, Switzerland, and his colleagues have come up with a new way to print such structures which could help. It is based on screen printing, which uses a stencil and paint to create an image. Existing ways of printing devices at the nanoscale tend to be complex and expensive, and more appropriate for making silicon chips. By contrast, the new technique is easy and cheap.

The nano-silkscreen technique might be used, posit’s Dr. Kraus, to build an inexpensive, but tremendously sensitive biosensor for medical tests.

[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

The small print |

It galvanizes the imagination: factories on a thumbnail.

What expensive clean rooms? — just need a snow globe! What energy crisis? What stacks emitting sulfurous smoke?

Is our imagination grand enough to imagine nanotechnology?


A quick word about process: For about 24 hours, upon posting mm278, our sidebar was distorted by grotesquely large headings.

Couldn’t figure out why.

Went to the Forum, posted my query. Got two responses, both obviously from HTML, etc. experts (manifestly I am not one); the second one, from Isadora, pinpointed the issue (an extra tag that inadvertently was copied in five posts ago!) and the easy solution. Bingo! Two minutes! Fixed!

Unfortunately, didn’t think to look for Isadora’s response this evening before redoing and reposting what became mm278a. But that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

I am a professional at a lot of things: eating, web conferencing, curmudgeonry are but three. But I am hardly a professional blogger, and this remains a fruitful and rewarding hobby. What keeps it rewarding are giving people like Isadora, and the entire infrastructure provided virtually gratis by

Thank you, Isadora. Thank you,


It’s it for now. Thanks,


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