7 Amazing Everyday Examples Of Nanotechnology In Action

7 Amazing Everyday Examples Of Nanotechnology In Action

Nanotechnology essentially means controlling matter on a tiny scale, at the atomic and molecular level. This sounds truly sci-fi, but can, in fact, be put to some very ordinary uses in surprisingly everyday products. In this article, we’ll explore common products that make use of nanotechnology – but first, let’s get a quick overview of the amazing world of nanotechnology…

What is nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology is about looking at the world on such a tiny scale that we can not only see the atoms that make up everything around us (including ourselves), but we can manipulate and move those atoms around to create new things. Think of nanotechnology, then, as being a bit like construction … only on a tiny scale.

And I do mean tiny. The nanoscale is 1,000 times smaller than the microscopic level and a billion times smaller than the typical world of meters that we’re used to measuring things in. (Nano literally means one-billionth.) If you took a human hair, for instance, it would measure approximately 100,000 nanometers wide. That’s the sort of scale we’re dealing with at a nano level.

That’s all very cool, I hear you say, but how does understanding this nanoscopic world impact (if you’ll excuse the pun) the world at large? For one thing, when we zoom in and look at materials on an atomic level, we sometimes find they behave quite differently and have completely different properties at the atomic level.

As a simple example, silk feels incredibly soft and delicate to the touch, but if you look at it at a nano-level, you’ll see it’s made up of molecules aligned in cross-links, and this is what makes silk so strong. We can then use knowledge like this to manipulate other materials at a nano level, to create super-strong, state-of-the-art materials like Kevlar.

This is where the technology bit of nanotechnology comes in – using our knowledge of materials at a nano-level to create exciting new solutions and products.

Everyday products that use nanotechnology

Nanotechnology may seem like something out of the future, but in fact, many everyday products are already made using nanotechnology. Take these seven common products, for instance:

1. Sunscreen

Nanoparticles have been added to sunscreens for years to make them more effective. Two particular types of nanoparticles commonly added to sunscreen are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These tiny particles are not only highly effective at blocking UV radiation, they also feel lighter on the skin, which is why modern sunscreens are nowhere near as thick and gloopy as the sunscreens we were slathered in as kids.

2. Clothing

When used in textiles, nanoparticles of silica can help to create fabrics that repel water and other liquids. Silica can be added to fabrics either by being incorporated into the fabric’s weave or sprayed onto the surface of the fabric to create a waterproof or stainproof coating. So if you’ve ever noticed how liquid forms little beads on waterproof clothing – beads that simply roll off the fabric rather than being absorbed – that’s thanks to nanotechnology.

3. Furniture

In the same way that clothing can be made waterproof and stainproof through nanotechnology, so too can upholstered furniture. Even better, nanotechnology is also helping to make furniture less flammable; by coating the foam used in upholstered furniture with carbon nanofibers, manufacturers can reduce flammability by up to 35 percent.

4. Adhesives

Nanotechnology can also be used to optimize adhesives. Interestingly, most glues lose their stickiness at high temperatures, but a powerful “nano-glue” not only withstands high temperatures – it gets stronger as the surrounding temperature increases.

5. Coatings for car paintwork

We all know bird droppings can wreak havoc on car paintwork. To combat this, a company called Nanorepel has produced a high-performance nanocoating that can be used to protect your car’s paintwork from bird poop. The company also makes coatings to protect car upholstery from stains and spillages.

6. Tennis balls

Nanotechnology has found a range of applications in the world of sports equipment, with a couple of great examples coming from one of my favorite sports: tennis. Nanotechnology helps tennis balls keep their bounce for longer, and make tennis racquets stronger.

7. Computers

Without nanotechnology, we wouldn’t have many of the electronics we use in everyday life. Intel is undoubtedly a leader in tiny computer processors, and the latest generation of Intel’s Core processor technology is a 10-nanometer chip. When you think a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter, that’s incredibly impressive!

Nanotechnology is just one of 25 technology trends that I believe will transform our society. Read more about these key trends – including plenty of real-world examples – in my new book, Tech Trends in Practice: The 25 Technologies That Are Driving The 4th Industrial Revolution.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Bernard Marr is an internationally best-selling author, popular keynote speaker, futurist, and a strategic business & technology advisor to governments and companies. He helps organisations improve their business performance, use data more intelligently, and understand the implications of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, blockchains, and the Internet of Things. Why don’t you connect with Bernard on Twitter (@bernardmarr), LinkedIn (https://uk.linkedin.com/in/bernardmarr) or instagram (bernard.marr)?

Source: 7 Amazing Everyday Examples Of Nanotechnology In Action

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What AI Practitioners Could Learn From A 1989 MIT Dissertation

Child at laptop

More than thirty years ago, Fred Davis developed the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) as part of his dissertation at MIT. It’s one of the most widely cited papers in the field of technology acceptance (a.k.a. adoption). Since 1989, it’s spawned an entire field of research that extends and adds to it. What does TAM convey and how might today’s AI benefit from it?

TAM is an intuitive framework. It feels obvious yet powerful and has withstood the test of time. Davis started with a premise so simple that it’s easy to take it for granted: A person will only try, use and ultimately adopt technology if they are willing to exert some effort. And what could motivate users to expend this effort?

He outlined several variables that could motivate users, and many researchers have added to his list over the years, but these two variables are the ones that were most important: 1. Does it look easy to use? 2. Will it be useful? If the learning curve doesn’t look too steep and there’s something in it for them, a user will be inclined to adopt. Many researchers have added to this foundation over the years. For example, we’ve learned that a user’s intention can also be influenced by subjective norms.

We’re motivated to adopt new tech at work when senior leadership thinks it’s important. Perceived usefulness can also be influenced by image, as in, “Does adopting this tech make me look good?” And lastly, usefulness is high if relevance to the job is high.

TAM can be a powerful concept for an AI practitioner. It should be front-of-mind when embedding AI in an existing tool or process and when developing an AI-first product, as in, one that’s been designed with AI at the center of its functionality from the start. (Think Netflix.) Furthermore, AI can be used to drive adoption by levering TAM principles that increase user motivation.

Making AI more adoptable

With the proliferation of AI in sales organizations, AI algorithms are increasingly embedded in tools and processes leveraged by sales representatives and sales managers. Adding decision engines to assist sales representatives is becoming increasingly common. A sales organization may embed models that help determine a customer’s propensity to buy or churn, recommend next best actions or communications and more. The problem is, many of these initiatives don’t work because of a lack of adoption.

TAM can help us design these initiatives more carefully, so that we maximize the chances of acceptance. For example, if these models surface recommendations and results that fit seamlessly into reps’ tools and processes, they would perceive them as easy to use.

And if the models make recommendations that help a sales person land a new customer, prevent one from leaving and help them upsell or cross-sell when appropriate, reps would perceive them as useful. In other words, if the AI meets employees where they are and offers timely, beneficial support, adoption becomes a no-brainer.

We also see many new products and services that are AI first. For these solutions, if perceived ease of use or perceived usefulness are not high, there would be no adoption. Consider a bank implementing a tech-enabled solution like mobile check deposits. This service depends on customers having a trouble-free experience.

The Newark airport’s global entry system uses facial recognition to scan international flyers’ faces. It’s voluntary, and the experience is fantastic. The kiosk recognizes my face, and a ticket is printed for me to take to the immigration officer. Personally, I find this AI-first process a better experience than the previous system that depended on fingerprints, and now I will always opt for the new one.

Using AI to drive adoption

And perhaps counter intuitively, what if AI was used to drive elements of TAM within existing technology? Can AI impact perceived usefulness? Can AI impact perceived ease of use? Consider CRM. It has been improved and refined over the years and is in use within most sales organizations, yet the level of dissatisfaction with CRM is high and adoption remains a challenge.

How can AI help? A machine learning algorithm that uses location services can recommend that a rep visit a nearby customer, increasing the perceived usefulness of their CRM solution. Intelligent process automation can also help reps see relevant information from a contracting database as information on renewals are being entered. Bots can engage customers on behalf of the representatives to serve up more qualified leads. The possibilities are numerous. All these AI features are designed to ensure that CRM lives up to its promise as a source of value to the sales representative.

Outside of sales, consider patients. In the past few years, many new technologies have been introduced to help diabetics. Adoption of this technology is critical to self-management, and self-management is critical to treating the disease. For any new technology in this space, patients need to see that it’s useful to them.

AI can play a role in gathering information such as glucose levels, activity and food intake and make recommendations on insulin dosing or caloric intake. Such information gathering could go a long way toward reducing the fatigue that diabetics feel while they make countless health and nutrition decisions throughout the day.

AI’s algorithmic nature makes it easy to forget that it’s another technology and that it can aid technology. Its novelty can convince us that everything about it is new. TAM holds up because it’s intuitive, straightforward and proven. While we boldly innovate a path forward in the world of AI, shed convention and think like a disruptor, let’s keep an eye on our history too. There’s some useful stuff in there.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Arun provides strategy and advisory services, helping clients build their analytics capabilities and leverage their data and analytics for greater commercial effectiveness. He currently works with clients on a broad range of analytics needs that span multiple industries, including technology, telecommunications, financial services, travel and transportation and healthcare. His areas of focus are AI adoption and ethics, as well as analytics organization design, capability building, AI explainability and process optimization.

Source: What AI Practitioners Could Learn From A 1989 MIT Dissertation

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The AI Practitioners Guide for Beginners is a series that will provide you with a high-level overview of business and data strategy that a machine learning practitioner needs to know, followed by a detailed walkthrough of how to install and validate one of the popular artificial intelligence frameworks: TensorFlow on the Intel® Xeon® Scalable platform. Read the AI Practitioners Guide for Beginners article:
https://intel.ly/2WQaiE8 Subscribe to the Intel Software YouTube Channel: http://bit.ly/2iZTCsz About Intel Software: The Intel® Developer Zone encourages and supports software developers that are developing applications for Intel hardware and software products. The Intel Software YouTube channel is a place to learn tips and tricks, get the latest news, watch product demos from both Intel, and our many partners across multiple fields.
You’ll find videos covering the topics listed below, and to learn more, you can follow the links provided! Connect with Intel Software: Visit INTEL SOFTWARE WEBSITE: https://intel.ly/2KeP1hD Like INTEL SOFTWARE on FACEBOOK: http://bit.ly/2z8MPFF Follow INTEL SOFTWARE on TWITTER: http://bit.ly/2zahGSn INTEL SOFTWARE GITHUB: http://bit.ly/2zaih6z INTEL DEVELOPER ZONE LINKEDIN: http://bit.ly/2z979qs INTEL DEVELOPER ZONE INSTAGRAM: http://bit.ly/2z9Xsby INTEL GAME DEV TWITCH: http://bit.ly/2BkNshu See also Intel Optimization Notice: https://intel.ly/2HVXVo5 Introduction | AI Practitioners Guide for Beginners | Episode 1 | Intel Software https://www.youtube.com/intelsoftware
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Tiny Graphene Microchips Could Make Your Phones & laptops Thousands of Times Faster, Say Scientists

Graphene strips folded in similar fashion to origami paper could be used to build microchips that are up to 100 times smaller than conventional chips, found physicists – and packing phones and laptops with those tiny chips could significantly boost the performance of our devices.

New research from the University of Sussex in the UK shows that changing the structure of nanomaterials like graphene can unlock electronic properties and effectively enable the material to act like a transistor.  

Innovation

The scientists deliberately created kinks in a layer of graphene and found that the material could, as a result, be made to behave like an electronic component. Graphene, and its nano-scale dimensions, could therefore be leveraged to design the smallest microchips yet, which will be useful to build faster phones and laptops. 

SEE: Hiring Kit: Computer Hardware Engineer (TechRepublic Premium)

Alan Dalton, professor at the school of mathematical and physics sciences at the University of Sussex, said: “We’re mechanically creating kinks in a layer of graphene. It’s a bit like nano-origami.  

“This kind of technology – ‘straintronics’ using nanomaterials as opposed to electronics – allows space for more chips inside any device. Everything we want to do with computers – to speed them up – can be done by crinkling graphene like this.” 

Discovered in 2004, graphene is an atom-thick sheet of carbon atoms, which, due to its nano-sized width, is effectively a 2D material. Graphene is best known for its exceptional strength, but also for the material’s conductivity properties, which has already generated much interest in the electronics industry including from Samsung Electronics. 

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The field of straintronics has already shown that deforming the structure of 2D nanomaterials like graphene, but also molybdenum disulfide, can unlock key electronic properties, but the exact impact of different “folds” remains poorly understood, argued the researchers.  

Yet the behavior of those materials offers huge potential for high-performance devices: for example, changing the structure of a strip of 2D material can change its doping properties, which correspond to electron density, and effectively convert the material into a superconductor.  

The researchers carried an in-depth study of the impact of structural changes on properties, such as doping in strips of graphene and of molybdenum disulfide. From kinks and wrinkles to pit-holes, they observed how the materials could be twisted and turned to eventually be used to design smaller electronic components.  

Manoj Tripathi, research fellow in nano-structured materials at the University of Sussex, who led the research, said: “We’ve shown we can create structures from graphene and other 2D materials simply by adding deliberate kinks into the structure. By making this sort of corrugation we can create a smart electronic component, like a transistor, or a logic gate.” 

SEE: Microsoft’s quantum cloud computing plans take another big step forward

The findings are likely to resonate in an industry pressed to conform to Moore’s law, which holds that the number of transistors on a microchip doubles every two years, in response for growing demand for faster computing services. The problem is, engineers are struggling to find ways to fit much more processing power into tiny chips, creating a big problem for the traditional semiconducting industry. 

A tiny graphene-based transistor could significantly help overcome these hurdles. “Using these nanomaterials will make our computer chips smaller and faster. It is absolutely critical that this happens as computer manufacturers are now at the limit of what they can do with traditional semiconducting technology. Ultimately, this will make our computers and phones thousands of times faster in the future,” said Dalton. 

Since it was discovered over 15 years ago, graphene has struggled to find as many applications as was initially hoped for, and the material has often been presented as a victim of its own hype. But then, it took over a century for the first silicon chip to be created after the material was discovered in 1824. Dalton and Tripathi’s research, in that light, seems to be another step towards finding a potentially game-changing use for graphene.

Daphne Leprince-Ringuet

By: Daphne Leprince-Ringuet

Subject Zero Science

Graphene Processors and Quantum Gates Since the 1960s, Moore’s law has accurately predicted the evolution trend of processors as to the amount of transistor doubling every 2 years. But lately we’ve seen something odd happening, processor clocks aren’t getting any faster. This has to do with another law called Dennard Scaling and it seems that the good old days with silicon chips are over. Hello everyone, subject zero here! Thankfully the solution might have been available for quite some time now and Graphene offers something quite unique to this problem, not only for your everyday processor types, but also Quantum computing. In 2009 it was speculated that by now we would have the famous 400GHz processors, but this technology has proven itself to be a bit more complicated than previously thought however most scientists including me, believe that in the next 5 years we will see the first Graphene commercial hardware come to reality. References https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum…https://www.nature.com/articles/s4153…https://www.hpcwire.com/2019/05/08/gr…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphen…https://www.computerhope.com/history/…http://www.tfcbooks.com/teslafaq/q&a_…https://www.rambus.com/blogs/understa…https://www.technologyreview.com/s/51…https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/13…https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases…https://www.nature.com/articles/srep2…http://infowebbie.com/scienceupdate/s…https://graphene-flagship.eu/field-ef…https://github.com/karlrupp/microproc…https://aip.scitation.org/doi/full/10…https://www.theglobeandmail.com/repor…

Enterprise Software CEOs From The Cloud 100 Predict A Massive Upswing In 2021

A GGV Capital survey reveals 94% of private cloud companies expect improved revenue in 2021, while two-thirds do not expect the pandemic to impact their businesses beyond next year.

The Covid-19 pandemic has upended almost every facet of our lives; enterprise software companies, from startups to multibillion-dollar public companies, have not been immune to 2020’s headwinds. Yet this sector also benefited from the mass shift to work-from-home and accelerated digital adoption. For the last decade, companies have been transitioning their business processes, applications, and data to the cloud, and COVID-19 simply sped up this digital transformation.

As an investor in the software industry for over 20 years, I wanted to explore the impact of the pandemic on enterprise companies and what their CEOs predict will happen to their businesses in 2021. So I conducted an informal survey; I polled 25 CEOs of top software companies, from growth-stage to pre-IPO, listed in this year’s Forbes Cloud 100, and 17 responded. It’s hardly a scientific study, but the CEOs’ responses were illuminating, proving the pandemic has hurt many software companies’ 2020 top-lines but also provided unprecedented opportunities for growth.

Survey response showing the impact of Covid-19 on annual ARR for current forecast vs. pre-pandemic plan
ADAM SHARRATT AND STUDIO 96 PUBLISHING

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Nearly 90% of respondents say the COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted their 2020 top-line results. Seven companies project their top-line annual ARR to come in up to 20% below their pre-COVID plan, while six project results that are 20-50% below their pre-COVID plans. Two companies actually project higher ARR than planned pre-COVID, proving some software business models flourished during work-from-home orders.

Not surprisingly, however, the overall top-line impact of the pandemic for this group was negative in the down 20% to down 50% range. Yet valuations for many private enterprise software companies surged during the pandemic; public market funds and venture investors alike clearly believe organizations will continue their digital transformations via cloud computing, AI, and open source.

Public Company Performance vs. Estimated Internal Pre-COVID Plan
ADAM SHARRATT AND STUDIO 96 PUBLISHING

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Interestingly, many public cloud companies also underperformed in 2020 compared to projected guidance, but they seemed to have weathered the pandemic better than private cloud companies. GGV took a look at published financial records for 36 public cloud companies, and, in aggregate, roughly two-thirds of these companies undershot our estimate of their internal, pre-COVID top-line plans for 2020, but they did so by a smaller margin than the 17 private companies I surveyed. Their median underperformance compared to plan was -2.9%.

The other one-third of the public companies we examined actually exceeded our estimates of their internal, pre-COVID top-line plans. Why did public cloud companies perform better than private ones in 2020? We don’t think public cloud companies are necessarily higher quality than private ones, but, more likely, they were not growing as fast as their private counterparts leading into COVID, so they didn’t have as high a hill to climb to maintain planned internal growth assumptions.

It has also been easier to sell new business into existing accounts than to find new accounts during the pandemic, giving public companies with a large installed base an advantage.

[Note: To identify the public companies’ internal pre-COVID growth plans for 2020, we took the simple average growth rate from the full-year 2020 public guidance these companies offered when reporting their Q4 ’19 results, just prior to the pandemic, and the full-year growth these companies sustained in 2019. Although not perfect, this seems a pretty good proxy for most public companies’ pre-COVID 2020 plans.]

Survey response on the level of optimism for the 2021 vs. 2020 business climate
ADAM SHARRATT AND STUDIO 96 PUBLISHING

Private cloud companies are already recovering and confident regarding the future. Almost all of the software CEOs we surveyed are more optimistic about 2021 than they are with the reality of 2020. Out of the 17 respondents, 16 believe their businesses will improve in 2021. Seven said their businesses would perform significantly better in 2021, and nine thought business would be mildly better next year. Additionally, while no one knows how the pandemic will play out, two-thirds of the CEOs surveyed believe the pandemic will not impact their businesses beyond 2021. 

Survey response showing the expected impact of the pandemic on business beyond 2021?
ADAM SHARRATT AND STUDIO 96 PUBLISHING

Many of the CEOs we surveyed believe that, with vaccines becoming widely available, the world will return to some semblance of normal in mid-2021. “I see a massive upswing in in-person experiences such as entertainment, travel, and social engagement beyond pre-COVID levels as people ‘make up for lost time’, and with that, I see corresponding success for tech platforms enabling these,” said one CEO.

“2021 will be the perfect storm for enterprise software—massive IT budget increases, paired with a distributed workforce,” said one CEO. Seeing strong demand for remote workforce technologies, security infrastructure, and data capture and analytics software, the CEOs were confident revenues would improve. “There will be a sustained momentum in digital transformation even as we move past COVID,” predicted one CEO, while another expects an “acceleration of technology that connects people and teams and that creates more business agility.” 

As demand for enterprise software booms in 2021, the CEOs believe a shakeout may come later in the year. “Competition between cloud providers will lead to lower margins, with each cloud trying to differentiate themselves with exclusive software,” said one CEO. Another commented that we should expect to see “much higher volatility between the winners and losers, and if the model is right, business will accelerate; if it is not, there will be no room for error and companies will collapse.”

I believe the enterprise software companies that will succeed post-pandemic will fall into three broad categories: those that serve developers with offerings that win their hearts and minds utilizing open source and API-driven models such as Hashicorp, Confluent, and Stripe; those enabling knowledge workers through low-code or no-code apps, such as SmartSheet and Notion; and those helping organizations extract value from massive quantities of data, including Snowflake, Databricks, and MongoDB.

Of course, these companies are already success stories, and many startups will emerge in an ecosystem around these winners in the next few years. With 2020 in the rearview mirror, I’m sure I speak for everyone in that I can’t wait to see what 2021 brings.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here

Glenn Solomon

Glenn Solomon

I am a Managing Partner at GGV Capital, a global venture capital firm focused on local founders. I invest in Enterprise Tech startups across seed to growth stages and across key areas including Open Source, cloud, infrastructure and cyber security sectors. I have been a VC for the the past 20+ years and in the last decade helped nine companies complete IPOs. I write about the trends and companies driving the next $1 trillion enterprise market and host the Founder Real Talk podcast, where I interview founders and startup executives about about the challenges they face and how they’ve grown from tough experiences.

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Amazing Stock

http://goo.gl/WPKt5w The world is divided in many different ways. We’re divided by invisible national boundaries, which carve up the land into different countries. We’re separated by seas and continents, which force us to live apart. Aside from that, we’re also separated by religion, and culture, and language. Because of all this, it’s sometimes hard to remember that we’re all one human race, and we all need to work together to deal with some of the issues that could change the face of the whole planet.

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Exploring Nanotechnology & The Future of Renewable Energy

Imagine a future where every home, office or building is painted with solar panels and its bricks operate as batteries thanks to nanotechnology. There’s a lot of promise, but what is nanotechnology? And is it more science fiction than fact?

When you hear the term nanotech, chances are some sci-fi book or movie pops into your head, where they used the term to explain away some technological wonder or advancement. “Don’t worry about that, it’s nanotech!” It’s become a deus ex machina for science fiction writers.

But what we’re starting to see is that nanotechnology is responsible for great advances in physics, biology, chemistry, engineering and material science. It’s responsible for the new age of modern technology that will help civilization reach for the stars and more.

Nanotechnology refers to our ability to study and engineer technologies at a nanoscale, which is the range from 1 to 100 nanometers. That begs the question, “how small is a nanometer?” Well, if I tell you “A nanometer is one billionth of a meter … or one millionth of a millimeter” I don’t think that really clears things up. I don’t know about you, but my brain breaks trying to think about that scale. So, let’s try to put it in perspective: a human hair is around 75,000 nanometers wide – and remember, the range for nanoscale is 1 to 100 nanometers. Still not doing it for you? Let’s flip it around. Imagine a marble measures 1 nanometer. In comparison to that, the Earth would measure about one meter in diameter.1 Let that sink in for a minute… a marble compared to the size of our entire planet … that’s 1 nanometer compared to 1 meter.

Given how mind-boggling these scales are, we definitely have to give credit to the father of nanotechnology, Physicist Richard Feynman. It all started with the American Physical Society meeting held at the California Institute of Technology on December 29, 1959. Feynman gave a talk titled “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom,” where he speculated about being able to construct machines down to the molecular level — and the concept behind nanotechnology was born. It wasn’t until 1974 that the term “nanotechnology” was coined by Professor Norio Taniguchi, while he worked on ultraprecision machining.

As he put it: “nanotechnology mainly consists of the processing of separation, consolidation, and deformation of materials by one atom or one molecule.” We had the concept, then the term, but it wasn’t until 1981 that this theory became a reality with the development of a scanning tunneling microscope that helped scientist actually see atoms individually. Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer developed the microscope at IBM Zurich Research Laboratories in Switzerland and were later awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 1986. That major achievement was followed by the Atomic Force Microscope in 1985, which had the distinct advantage of imaging on almost all surfaces, including biological samples, glass, composites, and ceramics. This would prove to be a major turning point.

With the advent of nanotechnology, scientists were now able to manipulate individual atoms. And that takes us into the realm of quantum mechanics, which is the science behind how matter behaves in atomic and subatomic scale. Thankfully, that’s out of scope for this video since that breaks my brain even more, but basically materials at this scale tend to behave differently and exhibit distinctive chemical and physical properties. Scientists were keen to learn and exploit this attribute to craft materials at nanoscale.

Since 1981, we’ve come forward leaps and bounds in the field of Nanotech. There’s so much that I could cover, but in the interest of time, I’ve picked two categories of examples that are helping to make what seemed like science fiction into science fact for our future. But I’d love to hear in the comments if there are any topics or examples you’d like to see covered in a future video.

Solar

The first category is one that I talk about a lot: solar. Nanotechnology is leading the charge for solar energy. Most silicon based solar panels, which accounts for about 95% of commercial solar, utilize nanoscale processes for manufacturing. Some are multi-junction solar cells, which layer different solar technologies to broaden the wavelengths of light that are captured and converted into energy. This layer cake of solar cell technologies are measured in nanometers. Thinner than a width of a human hair. But it’s the next generation of solar cells that are being researched now that could takes things to a whole new level.

Solar-Collecting Paint is an exciting future possibility.

Imagine the paint on your house or a building acting as a solar panel? Or how about your car? Chemistry professor Richard L. Brutchey from University of Southern California and researcher David H. Webber successfully developed solar collecting paint by using solar-collecting nanocrystals. At only 4 nanometers in size, nanocrystals can float in a liquid solution. You could potentially fit 250 billion nanocrystals on the head of a pin, they’re THAT small. Brutchey and Webber were able to find an organic molecule that would keep the nanocrystals conductive without sticking to each other.

So why isn’t this available in the market yet? Well those nanocrystals were built with cadmium, which is a toxic metal. Researchers have been busy trying to find alternative materials and there are some really promising leads.

Quantum dot solar cells

Quantum dot solar cells are one area to look at. Quantum dots are semiconducting particles that behave differently due to their size and the effects of quantum mechanics, like I mentioned earlier. They have energy similarities to atoms, which is why they’re sometimes referred to as “artificial atoms.” In June 2020 researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory were able to create cadmium-free Quantum Dot solar cells. Their zinc-doped variant has a high defect tolerance and is toxic-element-free.

This year researchers at the University of Queensland were even able to break a new world efficiency record of 16.6% for a quantum dot solar cell made from a halide Perovskite. That’s a 25% improvement in relative efficiency compared to the last record holder from 2017, so there’s fast progress being made. But the big challenge is around commercialization of the breakthrough, so the university is working on a large scale printing process in addition to continuing to improve the efficiency.

Perovskite solar paint

In 2014, researchers at the University of Sheffield were able to develop a spray on solar cell using Perovskite which is a class of man-made compounds that share the same crystalline structure as the calcium titanium oxide mineral with the same name.2,3 It happens to be one of the most promising solar technologies in recent years because it has a broad absorption spectrum. It consists of a 300 nanometer thin film with a crystal structure that aids solar absorption and can operate efficiently during cloudy days as well. Scientific Director at Saule Technologies, Dr. Konrad Wojciechowski, says that this could be printed using an inkjet printer.4

Swedish firm Skanska tested it on a building in 2019 and is expected to start producing it in 2021 with the expected cost to be $58 per meter and an efficiency around 10%.

The reason why all of these examples are so exciting is that a paintable solar cell opens up the floodgates for where you can apply solar power. Painting the walls of a building, not just the roof, or as I mentioned earlier, your car. It should also help to reduce the costs of manufacturing solar technologies, which will make it more accessible. It’s potentially a huge win/win.

Energy Storage

The second category I wanted to look at for this video is nanotechnology being applied to energy storage. In a previous video I’ve walked through graphene and carbon nanotubes and how they’re impacting energy storage today. Specifically, in my supercapacitor video I talked about how companies like NAWA Technologies and Skeleton are building out graphene-based supercapacitors today. Skeleton’s products can be found helping to power major tram-systems in big European hubs like Warsaw and Mannheim.5

As a quick refresher, batteries and supercapacitors share some similarities in how they work. In a battery there’s a positive and negative side, which are called the cathode and anode. Those two sides are submerged in a liquid electrolyte and are separated by a micro perforated separator, which only allows ions to pass through. When the battery charges and discharges, the ions flow back and forth between the cathode and anode. But capacitors are different, they don’t rely on chemical play in order to function. Instead, they store potential energy electrostatically. Capacitors use a dielectric, or insulator, between their plates to separate the collection of positive and negative charges building on each plate. It’s this separation that allows the device to store energy and quickly release it6. It’s basically capturing static electricity.

In one recent advancement in batteries from July 2020, scientists from Clemson Nanomaterials Institute were able to achieve high rate capability, fast diffusion, high capacity, and a long cycle life thanks to sandwiching silicone nanoparticles with carbon nanotubes called bucky papers.7 The cycle life for lithium batteries with silicon based anodes is less than 100, but thanks to the new sandwiched silicon electrode structure they were able achieve 500 cycles and deliver three times more capacity than graphite. Silicone happens to have ten times higher capacity than graphite, but it expands by about 300 percent in volume as it absorbs ions. The end result is an anode that breaks apart. This nanostructure counters this factor and would help us replace graphite with silicone, so that our batteries can become safer and lighter.

But I’ve saved the craziest research I’ve seen in a while for last… Nanotechnology could potentially turn bricks into batteries. …well, more like supercapacitors, but that doesn’t have the same alliteration. Washington University’s Institute of Materials Science & Engineering took work from their microsupercapacitor research using Fe2O3 (iron oxide – or rust) as a conducting polymer, also known as rust-assisted vapor-phase polymerization. Rolls right off the tongue. I’m not going to get bogged down into the technical details, partially because of my broken brain, but what sets this process apart is that the nanostructures formed by this process are self-assembled. Other processes like this might take several steps and treatments, which makes this process unique.

So I can hear you asking how does this possibility relate to bricks? That red pigment in your classic brick is … you probably guessed it … Fe2O3 (iron oxide – or rust). By applying their polymer process to a standard red brick, you end up with a capacitor.8 Julio D’Arcy, assistant professor of chemistry, who worked on this research, described it:

“In this work, we have developed a coating of the conducting polymer PEDOT, which is comprised of nanofibers that penetrate the inner porous network of a brick; a polymer coating remains trapped in a brick and serves as an ion sponge that stores and conducts electricity.” -Julio D’Arcy, Assistant Professor9

This process leaves a blue PEDOT coating on one side of the brick, so that could be easily hidden on one side of the brick wall. They estimate that it would take about 50 bricks to power an emergency lighting system for 5 hours, so this clearly isn’t going to power your entire house. But then again, a building is made up of thousands of bricks, so there’s a potential for a building’s brick walls to act as a massive supercapacitor to absorb solar panel overproduction, or to cover peak energy use to smooth out demand, and pair with battery storage in a hybrid setup.

We’re already seeing some of nanotechnologies benefits in the world around us today, but the research and advancements we’re seeing in the lab, like these, are what to look forward to for the future. Nanotech may have been an overused and blanket term that’s lost a little bit of it’s meaning to most of us, but there’s real progress being made.


  1. Nano.gov, “Size of the Nanoscale” ↩︎
  2. Energysage, “Perovskite solar cells: the future of solar?” ↩︎
  3. Wikipedia, “Perovskite solar cell” ↩︎
  4. Energy & Environmental Science, “Towards the commercialization of colloidal quantum dot solar cells: perspectives on device structures and manufacturing” ↩︎
  5. Railway Technology, “Skeleton Technologies to provide ultracapacitor for Warsaw tram system” ↩︎
  6. Green Techee, “How does an ultracap work?” ↩︎
  7. New Atlas, “Silicon ‘sandwiches’ make for lightweight, high-capacity batteries” ↩︎
  8. Nature Communications, 11, “Energy storing bricks for stationary PEDOT supercapacitors” ↩︎
  9. Washington University in St. Louis – The Source, “Storing energy in red bricks” ↩︎

By: https://undecidedmf.com

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Exploring Nanotechnology and the Future of Renewable Energy. Imagine a future where every home, office or building is painted with solar panels and its bricks operate as batteries thanks to nanotechnology. There’s a lot of promise, but what is nanotechnology? And is it more science fiction than fact? ▻ Watch Exploring solar panel efficiency breakthroughs – https://youtu.be/2uIOeHCOr-0 ▻ Vice Versa with Matt & Ricky – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbaG… ▻ Follow-up podcast episode: coming soon – http://bit.ly/stilltbdfm ▻ Full script and citations: https://undecidedmf.com/episodes/2020… ——————– ▶ ▶ ▶ ADDITIONAL INFO ◀ ◀ ◀ ▻ Support us on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/mattferrell ▻ Check out my podcast – Still To Be Determined: http://bit.ly/stilltbdfm ▻ Tesla and smart home gear I really like: https://kit.co/undecidedmf ▻ Undecided Amazon store front: http://bit.ly/UndecidedAmazon ▻ Fun, nerdy t-shirts All shirts sold help to support the channel http://bit.ly/UndecidedShirts ▻ Great Tesla Accessories From Abstract Ocean – 15% Discount – Code: “Undecided” http://bit.ly/UndecidedAO ▻ Jeda Wireless phone charger: http://bit.ly/UndecidedJeda ▻ Get 1,000 miles of free supercharging with a new Tesla or a discount on Tesla Solar/Powerwalls: https://ts.la/matthew84515 PLEASE NOTE: For the Abstract Ocean discount you may have to click on the “cart” button, then “view bag” to enter the coupon code manually. Be sure to enter “undecided” there if you don’t see the discount automatically applied. All Amazon links are part of their affiliate program. Thanks so much for your support! ——————– ▶ ▶ ▶ GET IN TOUCH ◀ ◀ ◀ ▻ Twitter https://twitter.com/mattferrell ▻ Instagram https://www.instagram.com/mattferrell/ ▻ Facebook https://www.facebook.com/undecidedMF/ ▻ Website https://undecidedmf.com ——————– ▻ Audio file(s) provided by Epidemic Sound http://bit.ly/UndecidedEpidemic#nanotechnology#renewableenergy#solarpanels#exploring#undecidedwithmattferrell

Japan To Release Radioactive Fukushima Water Into Ocean

The new Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga, is facing additional international pressure over the weekend, amid reports that Japan will be accelerating plans to dump millions of gallons of radioactive water directly into the ocean.

Reports have being widely circulated among Japan’s leading news agency and across international media that suggest the decision has already been taken by the new Japanese Government, and will be publicly communicated later this month.

Over 1.2 million tons of radioactive cooling water from the Fukushima Nuclear Plant will be released. Recommended For You

Residents travel on the opened road in f
The May 2011 tsunami devastated Japan. AFP via Getty Images

While the water will be treated, it will still be radioactive. 170 tons of new radioactive wastewater is generated each day and is stored in 1000 specially designed tanks.

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Environmentalists and local fishermen have been urging the Japanese Government to reconsider this option, after almost a decade trying to build back their reputation around the plant, where elevated radioactive levels can still be detected.

JAPAN-QUAKE-DISASTER-TUNA
14 Apr 2011: 17 tons of tuna caught off Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean were put up at auction … [+] AFP via Getty Images

South Korea still bans all seafood imports from this part of Japan, and has held urgent talks with Japanese counterparts to try and find a more measured approach to managing the Fukushima water crisis that would not risk the environment or human health.

The outrage over these plans come just three weeks after Prime Minister Suga personally visited the Fukushima plant, on September 26.

Japanese Prime Minister Suga inspecting the water at Fukushima.  This comes amid a scandal engulfing Japan's scientists.
Japanese Prime Minister Suga inspecting the water at Fukushima. This comes amid a scandal engulfing … [+] TEPCO

It follows a series of policy announcements by Japan that raises questions about how effective the country is a sustainable steward of the ocean amid the global climate and biodiversity crisis. In 2019, Japan withdrew from the International Whaling Commission to begin commercial whaling. At the UN shipping regulator, the IMO, Japan chairs the influential Environment Committee and has consistently pushed for much lower emission and pollution standards for its powerful shipping lobby.

Running out of storage space

A Look At TEPCO's Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant In Fukushima
29 Jan 2020: Members of the media and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) employees walk past a storage … [+] Getty Images

To cool radioactive fuel cores at the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, Japan had pumped 1.2 million tons of water through the rods and this water became contaminated with radioactive tritium. Once used for cooling, this radioactive tritium cannot be removed, so the water was placed into storage.

Japan is now running out of space as it rushes to fully decommission the nuclear plant. The clean up has already cost the Japanese utility owner, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), $200 billion.

According to the Japanese Ministry of Environment, its tanks will be full by 2022.

Japanese Ministers under former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Government had been pushing for the dumping of radioactive waste in the ocean for years. Last year, Japan’s environment minister said that the only solution was to “release it into the ocean and dilute it.”

“There are no other options,” he said.

With the new Prime Minister in place, it looks like Japan wishes to move ahead quickly.

Japan ignoring UN advice

JAPAN-POLITICS-NUCLEAR-QUAKE-TSUNAMI
Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga (front) visits Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in … [+] JAPAN POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Several UN human rights experts had been urging Japan not to release the radioactive water, amid fears it would drift into the coastline of neighboring countries and enter the food chain.

This comes as Japan appears to be rushing forward the decision following the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and using the cover of Covid-19 to restrict debate.

Scandal surrounding Japan’s Scientific Council

New particle accelerator in Dresden rock cellar laboratory
04 July 2019, Takaaki Kaija, physics Nobel Prize winner from Japan and member of Science Council of … [+] picture alliance via Getty Images

Prime Minster Suga is already engulfed in a scandal around political interference in the once neutral Scientific Council of Japan.

A pattern seems to be forming with the new Japanese administration, where there has been greater political interference into academia whenever scientific truth appears to be inconvenient.

In the Japan Scientific Council scandal, several academics had challenged the Japanese Government on whether the growing militarization of Japan’s armed forces was permitted under the Constitution. They were then rejected from the Governing Board of the 206 member organization. This is the first time such an interference has occurred, and had been widely criticized by Japan’s academic and research community, including several Nobel Prize Winners, who argue this is political interference in academic freedom.

This comes on the back of Japan taking a very controversial position on climate change, the oil spill response in Mauritius due to a Japanese vessel, and now with significant questions about the safety of releasing Fukushima water into the ocean.

Released as ballast water?

JAPAN-POLITICS-ENVIRONMENT-DIPLOMACY-WHALING
A captured minke whale is unloaded from a whaling ship at a port in Kushiro, Hokkaido Prefecture on … [+] AFP via Getty Images

One of the ideas that had been suggested in Japan was whether the radioactive Fukushima water could be taken as ballast water in ships, far away from Japan’s shores.

This would be in strict violation of several UN ocean ship pollution laws, called Marpol.

However, the IMO has been criticized for being lax in the monitoring and enforcement of such laws that it was so proud to announce and accept external funding for from another UN trust fund, GEF, in 2017.

As islanders in Mauritius are still reeling from the aftermath of the deadly oil spill, new questions are being raised about the potential content of the ballast water from the Japanese-owned and operated vessel.

MAURITIUS-ENVIRONMENT-DISASTER-OIL
An aerial view taken in Mauritius on August 17, 2020, shows the MV Wakashio bulk carrier, belonging … [+] AFP via Getty Images

70 days on, and there are an unprecedented number of unanswered questions, ranging from how much oil was actually spilled in the oil spill, to the amount of ballast water that was being carried by the empty 200,000 ton Capesize iron ore bulk carrier (one of the biggest ships in the ocean), to what has happened to the fingerprinting of the oil.

The Japanese owners of the Wakashio, Nagashiki Shipping, have not responded to any question from the media since August 30, prompting further anger among Mauritians who are still in a state of national environmental emergency.

Hundreds of local fishermen have been banned from venturing into seven of Mauritius’ coral lagoons amid high cancer-causing PAH readings from fish samples. Yet, large industrial fish farms just five miles from the oil spill have been allowed to continue producing and selling 3 million fish into international export markets.

The oil spill surrounded the one major aquaculture farm in Mauritius, yet it has been permitted to continue exporting fish amid a general ban in the lagoon
Satellites show the oil spill surrounded the one major aquaculture farm in Mauritius, yet it has … [+] Ursa Space System | Iceye

Satellite analysis by Ursa Space Systems and Iceye, taken in the immediate aftermath of the spill showed the toxic oil spreading ten times in size in just five days, reaching Mauritius’ more northerly islands, 14 miles away.

President Macron folds to Japan’s weaker climate position

FRANCE-LEBANON-POLITICS-DIPLOMACY
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a press conference POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Japan’s position on the ocean has been strongly criticized, and it has been found putting forward proposals that would undermine the Paris Agreement.

Global shipping is the sixth largest emitter of carbon, and produces more carbon than France and Germany combined.

President Macron, once seen as a champion for the environment, appears to be siding with Japan at next week’s crunch UN talks on ship emissions that will decide the trajectory of ship emissions for the next decade.

US-FRANCE-SHIPPING-CMA CGM BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin is the largest container ship to ever call at a North America port, seen … [+] AFP via Getty Images

Japan’s proposals are less than a quarter of the level of ambition needed to meet Paris commitments on climate change, leaving shipowners with very little changes that they need to make to their ships.

With France having the world’s fourth largest container ship company, CMA-CGM, whose revenues at over $30 billion are more than double that of Wakashio operator, Japan-based Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), meeting emissions targets would have impacted the French shipping company harder than the Japanese major.

Perhaps this was the deal that was needed to allow Japan to get rid of that other inconvenient problem – radioactive Fukushima water.

Nishan Degnarain

Nishan Degnarain

I am a Development Economist focused on Innovation, Sustainability, and Ethical Economic Growth. I currently work with leading Silicon Valley technology companies on sustainable growth opportunities, particularly targeted at lower income nations. I Chair LSE’s Ocean Finance Initiative, am a member of WEF’s Global Expert Network, and a member of CCICED’s China Council. My book on Sustainability in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, called ‘Soul of the Sea in the Age of the Algorithm,’ focuses on an Ocean and Climate Renaissance and builds on my experience as an Economic and Innovation adviser to Fortune 500 CEOs and Governments around the world. I hold degrees in Development Economics from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and University of Cambridge.

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Ending over seven years of debate on how to dispose of the radioactive water from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant,… Tokyo is reported to have finally admitted that it plans to release the water into the sea. Kim Hyo-sun has more. The Japanese government will most likely to release radioactive water from the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean,… amid growing concerns over its environmental impact. Citing government officials, Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun reported Thursday that the Japanese government will convene a Cabinet meeting on the matter this month to reach a final decision.

A massive amount of underground water has seeped in to cool the reactors that suffered core meltdowns in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The space, however, is expected to run out by the summer of 2022,… with contaminated water increasing by about 170 tons per day. The stored water has totaled 1-point-23 million tons,… filling up over 1-thousand tanks as of last month. In September, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Tokyo wants to “make a decision as soon as possible,”… on how to deal with the increasing water,… during his visit to the Fukushima plant.

According to Mainichi,… it would take at least two years until the water is actually discharged into the sea following the government’s final decision to do so,… as a new system as well as an approval by Tokyo’s Nuclear Regulation Authority are required. Until then, the Japanese government will most likely try and persuade local fishing communities and residents who are widely opposed to the idea. It’s also expected to face increasing opposition from neighboring countries like South Korea. Kim Hyo-sun, Arirang News. 2020-10-16, 07:00 (KST) #Fukushima #radioactive_water #Japan 📣 Arirang News(Facebook) : https://www.facebook.com/arirangtvnews 📣 Arirang News(Twitter) : https://twitter.com/arirangtvnews 📣 News Center(YouTube) : https://www.youtube.com/c/NEWSCENTER_…

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Igniting Passion And Diversity In STEM

It wasn’t until my first job out of college—one in the wireless business—that I developed a passion for technology and saw how STEM impacts everything we do. This was the spark that led me to fall in love with the network engineering elements of wireless, and the more immersed I got in the industry, the more exposed and interested I was in other components of technology.

Now, as the father of a teenage daughter who’s interested in STEM subjects and potentially even computer science, I want her to find her own opportunities, discover where her passions lie, and to ensure she has the resources and encouragement to pursue them.

In the U.S., there simply aren’t enough people pursuing STEM to meet growing technology demands. According to the Smithsonian Science Education Center, “78 percent of high school graduates don’t meet benchmark readiness for one or more college courses in mathematics, science or English.” And then there are barriers to STEM advancement like four or six-year degree requirements for many jobs—which are remarkably difficult for most people to afford. So it’s not that surprising when people like Nasdaq vice chairman Bruce Aust say, “By 2020, there will be one million more computing jobs than there will be graduates to fill them, resulting in a $500 billion opportunity gap.”

What’s clear is we need to make it easier for people to experiment with STEM early in life, then create accessible and alternative opportunities to pursue their dreams. Equally important, we need to find ways to dramatically advance gender diversity in STEM fields to accelerate innovation around the world.

Fostering Excitement Around STEM Takes a Village

Organizations like the Washington Alliance for Better Schools (WABS)—which I’m on the board of—partners with school districts around Western Washington State, and is an example of families, teachers, schools, and public and private sector businesses uniting to develop meaningful STEM education and advancement opportunities, because everyone involved can benefit. Hands-on learning and vocational programs like their After School STEM Academy is a great way to help students connect the dots of scientific principles in a fun way. And WABS’ 21st Century Community Learning Centers leverage Title IV funds to help students meet state and local academic standards—from homework tutoring to leadership opportunities that can turn into summer internships or jobs.

As students’ interests in STEM grow, it creates a fantastic opportunity for businesses to see passions play out through hackathons, group ideation, and other challenges. Recently, for the second consecutive year, T-Mobile’s Changemaker Challenge initiative—in partnership with Ashoka—called on youth aged 13 to 23 from the U.S. and Puerto Rico to submit big ideas for how they would drive change in their communities. T-Mobile received 428 entries—a 28% increase over last year—133 in the ‘Tech for Good’ category. Interestingly, one quarter of all the tech entries were focused on STEM projects and even more interestingly, 63% of all technology category applications were from young women. We saw submissions from apps to robots to video games—all with the goal of changing the world for good. Next up, we’ll announce the Top 30 teams and each of them will receive a trip to T-Mobile’s HQ for the three-day Changemaker Challenge Lab to supercharge their projects along with some seed funding. Three category winners will pitch their ideas to T-Mobile leadership for a chance to win the $10,000 grand prize. To say that these young people’s ideas are inspiring is an understatement!

Accelerating Innovation Through Gender Diversity and Inner-Sourcing

Women aren’t typically well represented in many STEM-focused industries. Gender diversity is crucial to designing and building innovative solutions around the world, including T-Mobile’s products and services. At least half of our customers are female, and of the more than 50,000 employees who make up T-Mobile, 42% identify as female. If our product and technology employees don’t represent the diversity in our community, we stand to lose relevance in the market. By making diversity and inclusion a thoughtful, premeditated, sustained, and structural part of our recruitment and retainment of employees—including network engineers, software developers, data scientists, and other STEM professions—we’re able to foster a stronger company culture and build more innovative, customer experience obsessed products and services.

Let’s not forget that plenty of STEM-related jobs don’t include “engineer”, “developer”, or “scientist” in the job title across fields that intersect technology and digital customer experiences. One way we’ve cultivated the right talent at T-Mobile is “inner-sourcing” existing employees. For instance, through our Team of Pros program (TOPs), we provide opportunities for our frontline retail and customer care employees to apply for a 6 to 9-month program in a product management capacity to learn and work directly with engineering teams to ensure a tight coupling between what customers really want and the products, apps, training, and troubleshooting resources we design and develop. This is a great opportunity for our frontline employees to pivot into full-time STEM-related roles within T-Mobile corporate, without the need to pursue a formal technology-oriented education.

Championing STEM to Create a Better World

We live in a world where technology is omnipresent however connected, collaborative, and continuous STEM education isn’t equally accessible, and gender diversity is not well represented. To address pervasive global issues like climate change, resource inequality, economic stagnation, disease prevention, and others, we need diverse people who understand technical processes and technologies to work together to develop effective solutions. For those of us fortunate enough to reach a level of financial stability in STEM fields, we owe it to the future of our world to give back by leading and inspiring today’s and the next generation of technology leaders.

Cody Sanford is T-Mobile’s Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, leading the company’s digital transformation strategy fueling the Un-carrier revolution. He is responsible for spearheading the development of a product-centric technology organization that leverages the power of people, process and technology to bring to life T-Mobile’s innovative experiences for customers and frontline employees. Under Cody’s leadership, the Product & Technology organization is driving T-Mobile’s digital transformation, with an industry-leading software dev shop, expansion into adjacent products and services categories, and a leadership role in delivering open source innovations that solve large customer pain points.

Source: Igniting Passion And Diversity In STEM

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Many people in the world of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) have begun to question why the STEM workforce doesn’t reflect the diversity of society at large. In this talk, Jess Vovers tackles some key questions: What is diversity? Why does it matter? Why does STEM lack diversity? And what can we do about it? Jessica Vovers is a PhD candidate in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Melbourne, with a focus on sustainable solvents. When she’s not painting herself blue, she’s usually playing video games or riding her bike. Jess advocates for diversity in STEM through her work with Science Gallery Melbourne and mentoring with Curious Minds. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

 

Microsoft Just Lost A Big Fight With America’s Top Huawei Prosecutor

Newly unsealed court documents have revealed a secret legal battle between Microsoft and one of America’s leading prosecutors focused on chasing Chinese technology companies breaking U.S. law.

U.S. attorney Alexander Solomon—who also happens to be the lead prosecutor on two criminal cases involving Huawei—just scored a big victory in that tussle, forcing Microsoft to keep quiet about a demand to hand over customer emails.

That request was originally filed in August 2018 and was followed by a gag order. Both were kept secret until Wednesday, when it emerged Microsoft was told to hand over emails, text messages and voicemails belonging to two employees at one of its unnamed enterprise customers. Microsoft said that while it could provide the data, it should be allowed to inform executives at that unnamed company. It asked the government to lift a gag order that had prevented it from informing anyone. As revealed in a Microsoft blog post and court documents unsealed Wednesday, the software giant lost that fight, though it will appeal.

Nothing was said about why the government wanted those emails. But there are numerous indications the data grab is related to America’s fight against Chinese businesses’ breaches of U.S. law.

Today In: Innovation

To start, the prosecutors in the case are both leading high-profile cases into various offenses committed by Chinese nationals and businesses against the U.S. And one, Alexander Solomon, is the lead prosecutor in two cases in which Huawei is at the center.

The biggest is the one in which Huawei stands accused of illegally exporting equipment to Iran from the U.S. via a subsidiary called Skycom, and then repeatedly lying about the deals. Not only were Huawei, its U.S. business and Skycom charged, so was the daughter of the Huawei CEO and the current CFO, Wanzhou Meng, who is currently fighting extradition from Canada. Huawei has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The Huawei entities were, in January this year, charged with bank fraud, wire fraud and violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (lEEPA), a law that Trump recently used to enforce sanctions on Iran. As per court documents detailing the order on Microsoft, the two employees of the unnamed customer are suspected of similar crimes, namely wire fraud, money laundering and breaches of lEEPA.

Going deeper, those staff at the Microsoft customer are being investigated for working for one multinational corporation and conspiring with another to violate the lEEPA. They did so “by sending and attempting to send U.S. origin goods to [a company] in [a foreign country], in contravention of U.S. sanctions,” according to a court filing.

The name of the customer remains a mystery. It’s unlikely to be Huawei, though. That’s because Microsoft was asked to hand over the emails of two “low-level employees in one business unit of a multinational, publicly listed Microsoft customer.” Huawei is not publicly listed; its private ownership has, in fact, been the subject of much speculation. Though it claims to be owned by its employees, academics have suggested that’s misleading.

The prosecutor, Solomon, is also leading a case against Chinese professor Bo Mao, who has been accused of stealing technology from a California company for a Chinese company, reportedly Huawei. Mao has pleaded not guilty on a single charge of wire fraud.

Huawei hadn’t responded to a request for comment on the above cases. Microsoft also hadn’t provided comment. The prosecutor’s office declined to comment.

Microsoft’s fight with the U.S.

But Microsoft had a lot to say in court filings and a blog post about the government’s attempts to completely silence the maker of the Windows operating system.

It argued that 20 years ago, the government would go directly to the company that controlled the data, not its cloud-based tech supplier. Microsoft said it was “disturbing” that governments were now going to tech companies instead. And it therefore should be allowed to at least tell employees at an affected company about a government data grab, as long as it wouldn’t jeopardize an investigation. “The government cannot justify such a total ban on Microsoft’s speech,” the company’s lawyers said.

Dev Stahlkopf, Microsoft’s corporate vice president and general counsel, said the company would “continue to stand up for the principle that our customers are entitled to know when the government obtains their data.”

“Absent extraordinary circumstances, government agents should seek data directly from our enterprise customers, and if they seek our customers’ data from us, they should allow us to tell our customers when demands are made,” Stahlkopf added.

“We believe strongly that these fundamental protections should not disappear just because customers store their data in the cloud rather than in file cabinets or desk drawers.”

Microsoft has also been vocal about restrictions on American companies doing business with Huawei. Company president Brad Smith recently said the U.S. should revisit the ban preventing Microsoft and others from letting Huawei run American software.

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website. Send me a secure tip.

I’m associate editor for Forbes, covering security, surveillance and privacy. I’ve been breaking news and writing features on these topics for major publications since 2010. As a freelancer, I worked for The Guardian, Vice Motherboard, Wired and BBC.com, amongst many others. I was named BT Security Journalist of the year in 2012 and 2013 for a range of exclusive articles, and in 2014 was handed Best News Story for a feature on US government harassment of security professionals. I like to hear from hackers who are breaking things for either fun or profit and researchers who’ve uncovered nasty things on the web. Tip me on Signal at 447837496820. I use WhatsApp and Treema too. Or you can email me at TBrewster@forbes.com, or tbthomasbrewster@gmail.com.

Source: Microsoft Just Lost A Big Fight With America’s Top Huawei Prosecutor

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Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou returned to British Columbia Supreme Court on September 23, 2019 to fend off her extradition case. At the hearing, attorney Richard Peck alleged that Canadian authorities delayed Meng’s arrest in an effort to collect evidence for U.S. authorities, conducting a “covert criminal investigation” in the process. Subscribe to us on YouTube: https://goo.gl/lP12gA Download our APP on Apple Store (iOS): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cctvn… Download our APP on Google Play (Android): https://play.google.com/store/apps/de… Follow us on: Website: https://www.cgtn.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChinaGlobalT… Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cgtn/?hl=zh-cn Twitter: https://twitter.com/CGTNOfficial Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/CGTNOfficial/ Tumblr: http://cctvnews.tumblr.com/ Weibo: http://weibo.com/cctvnewsbeijing Douyin: http://v.douyin.com/aBbmNQ/

Robotic Exoskeleton Helps People With Neurological Disorders – TECHNOLOGY IN BUSINESS

This robotic exoskeleton helps people get their mobility back. Harmony, the robotic exoskeleton, can assist individuals who have had strokes or spinal injuries.

 

 

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Can NanoTechnology Help Treat Alzheimer’s – Ileana Varela

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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. It takes a devastating toll on patients and family members, who are usually the caregivers. Current drugs only treat symptoms of AD, not its causes.

FIU researchers are studying a new approach to treating Alzheimer’s using nanotechnology aimed at reducing the inflammation in the brain.

“Current drugs affect neuro-transmitters in the brain. However, inflammation is still clearly present in patients with AD—and seems to be a root cause,” says Madhavan Nair, associate dean for biomedical research and vice president for nanotechnology at Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s; someone in the U.S. develops the disease every 66 seconds; and it is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States – killing more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.

Nair and his team will target brain cells called microglia and will use his FIU patented MENs (magneto electric nanoparticles) carrier system for the specific delivery and sustained release of two
anti-inflammatory drugs, Withaferin A and CRID3, into those cells.

“We are hoping that this will inhibit the neuroinflammatory response in microglia and thus help to improve cognitive function in AD patients,” Nair says. The study is funded by a $224,643 grant from the Florida Department of Health.

Although scientists are not sure what causes cell death and tissue loss in the Alzheimer’s brain, they suspect plaques and tangles are to blame. The plaques form when protein pieces called beta-amyloid clump together between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain.

Investigators in Nair’s lab are using sophisticated technology –bioinformatic tools and 3D structure of beta-amyloid – to find the binding site of these anti-inflammatory drugs on beta-amyloid. These studies could translate into new therapies in the treatment of Alzheimer’s.

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