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Nano Bite: May 2010

Welcome to the May Nano Bite, the monthly e-newsletter for the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net).

Children's Books

Next week is National Children's Book Week, which is a nice excuse to remind everyone about some children's books on nano topics:

What's Smaller than a Pygmy Shrew? by Robert E. Wells
An examination of the very small, down to molecules, atoms, electrons, and quarks.  In addition, the University of Wisconsin-Madison MRSEC developed a lesson plan for middle schoolers based on the book
Is that Robot Real?  by Rae Ostman, Catherine McCarthy, Emily Maletz and Stephen Hale.
Learn what makes a robot a robot, then step down in size and find out which robots are real and which are science fiction.  You can download Is that Robot Real for free from the catalog here or purchase it from or
In other robot- and children's book-related news: Kim Duncan adapted the NISE Net's Shrinking Robots! program for Story Time Science at the Madison Children's Museum.  The adaptation includes a reading of Hello, Robots by Bob Staacke.  You can find the full adaptation in the comments section of the Shrinking Robots! program on
How Small is Nano: Measuring Different Things by Catherine McCarthy, Rae Ostman, Emily Maletz and Stephen Hale.
This book can also be downloaded for free from the catalog or purchased at or

Other News:

  Nanosilver in the NISE Net Catalog
We recently posted a new program to the catalog: Nanosilver: Breakthrough or Biohazard?  The presentation guides visitors through the questions What is nanosilver? Why is it used in consumer products such as teddy bears and food containers? and How safe is nanosilver, and how might it affect the environment?
 Of Nanotechnology and Superhumans
Well, Clark doesn't use the term "superhuman."  But do check out Clark Miller's recent Real World Nano blog post on nanotechnology and human enhancement.  In the post, Clark discusses recent research conducted at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University examining public opinion about human enhancement technologies.
   Thank you to everyone who already submitted a NanoDays report! 
Congratulations to Dennis Clougherty of the University of Vermont and Kimberly Hanson of the Las Cruces Museum of Natural History, the winners of our drawing for a registration and travel stipend to go to a national professional development conference as a thank you for submitting their reports early.  For those of you who haven't submitted reports yet, you still can!  And we'd like you to!   It takes just a few minutes!
   Happy Birthday, Richard Feynman!
Break out the birthday cake on May 11th, and find out more about the Nobel Prize winner on or at
  Call for Papers: MRS 2010 Fall Meeting in Boston
The Materials Research Society has issued a call for papers for the Educational Symposium at their Fall Meeting, November 29th - December 3rd.  You can download a description of the symposium and abstract submission guidelines from MRS's website here.  If you have any questions, contact Margaret Glass, one of the symposium organizers.
  Nano in the News, Continued
Last month I mentioned the AOL News special report on nanotechnology, The Nanotech Gamble.  There's been a fair amount of discussion since about the article.  Clayton Teague, the director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office wrote an opinion piece for AOL that you can read here.  In addition, you can read more reactions and reactions to reactions at Andrew Maynard's blog 2020 Science, the blog Frogheart (here and here), and at the IEEE Nanoclast blog.

Nano Haiku

Network friends, hello.
Are you social? Tell us where!
In your profile, please.

By Karen Pollard of the Science Museum of Minnesota

We now have fields for you to add your state and region as well as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter profiles. Please take a few minutes to update your profile on by logging in, then clicking on the "my profile" link at the top right of the site.  You can get complete instructions on how to update your profile and read our second profile-updating-related haiku here.

Questions? Haikus? Contributions to the newsletter? Contact Vrylena Olney at [email protected]