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The 1997 Albany Conference:
Biomolecular Motors and Nanomachines

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September 4-7, 1997

Rensselaerville, New York

In 1959, Richard Feynman gave a now famous speech to the American Physical Society in which he presaged the development of the field of nanotechnology. In this and later talks, he urged his audience to look to biological systems to see how nature stores information and fabricates structures on a nanoscale. Almost forty years later, much of what Feynman covered in his speech is coming to pass. Physicists can manipulate individual atoms and fabrication on the submicron scale is a reality. However, in spite of Feynman's exhortation, there is little interaction between nano-engineers and those biophysicists, biochemists, and molecular biologists who study the nanomachinery of the cell.

On September 4-7 of this year, an international conference on Biomolecular Motors and Nanomachines will be held at the Rensselaerville Institute & Conference Center, located just outside of Albany, New York. The aim of this meeting is to stimulate a free exchange of information and ideas among researchers working on the design and fabrication of nanoscale devices and on the structural and functional characterization of biological motors. By bringing these two groups together, we hope to start a free flow of information and opinion about how nature has designed macomolecular and supermolecular machines and to explore how or whether these principles might apply to nano-engineering.

The reputation and visibility of the Albany Conference series have grown with each meeting over the past 12 years. Recently, the conferences themselves have become a laboratory on how to conduct scientific meetings. We have incorporated innovations such as using the internet not only for pre-meeting publicity and registration (which saves considerable cost), but to actively involve the participants in program organization. Each participant submits an abstract which is posted on a meeting website, and plenary speakers are chosen by a vote of the participants themselves only a few weeks before the meeting. The intent (and effect) is to make the meeting more timely and responsive to the scientific communities being served. This format (which we are calling the "Albany model") was used last year with great success and we are anxious to try it again.

This homepage includes information (itemized below) about the conference that has been distributed on the internet. For registration information, email carmen@wadsworth.org or (between August 11 and 22) email carole@cnsunix.albany.edu. Note especially the following:

(1) the registration fee, which includes room, board and local transportation, is reduced from $400 to $350 if you preregister before August 8 (formerly August 1).

(2) to encourage participation of young scientists at this interdisciplinary meeting, 10 (or more) Young Investigator awards will be given out that cover the full registration fee.

Program Committee, The 1997 Albany Conference
Carmen Mannella, Joachim Frank, Conly Rieder, Michael Koonce, Ned Seeman, Terence Allen

Sponsored by:

The Wadsworth Center
The State University of New York at Albany
The Albany Conferences Foundation

Picture credits: (left) Ribosome from Frank, Curr. Op. Struct. Biol. (1997) 7:266-272, copyright Current Biology Ltd.; (right) DNA cube from Chen and Seeman, Nature (1991) 350:631-633.


For further information contact... Carmen Mannella: carmen@wadsworth.org
Last change: August 29, 1997

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