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Genius Grants, 2004
Alex Steffen, 30 Sep 04

The MacArthur Foundation has announced it's latest round of "genius grant" winners. A few very worldchanging folks in the list, like Amy Smith, David Green of Project Impact (which spreads medical technology and techniques in the developing world), and Angela Belcher -- who is sort of a biomimetic nanotechnologist:

"Angela Belcher is a materials scientist whose research opens new avenues for controlling inorganic chemical reactions.  Rather than relying on traditional tools of physical chemistry, such as high temperature, pressure, or metallic catalysis, Belcher has devised a means to use genetically engineered viruses to serve as templates for the synthesis of submicroscopic conductors and semiconductors. As a graduate student, she demonstrated how natural proteins in abalone establish templates for the mineralization of calcium carbonates, the principal ingredient of chalk, to form its extremely hard shell.  She followed these observations by engineering peptides that bind with great specificity to semiconductor alloys such as gallium arsenide.  Belcher has demonstrated a proclivity for developing new techniques for manipulating systems that straddle the boundary of organic and inorganic chemistry at the molecular scale."

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