• The US National Science Foundation is to spend $69 m over the next five years setting up six centres for nanoscale science and engineering. The facilities will comprise: the Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems at the University of California-Berkeley; the Center for Probing the Nanoscale at Stanford University; the University of Wisconsin's Center for Templated Synthesis and Assembly at the Nanoscale; the Center for Affordable Nanoengineering of Polymer Biomedical Devices at Ohio State University; the University of Pennsylvania's Center on Molecular Function at the Nano/Bio Interface; and the Center for High Rate Nanomanufacturing at Northeastern University.

Nanotechnica, US, a subsidiary of Arrowhead Research, has gained exclusive rights to more than 80 patents and patent applications from the California Institute of Technology. The patents cover microfluidics and micromachine technology. Nanotechnica says it is focusing initially on nanoscale devices such as scanning probe tips, pathogen sensors and medical diagnostics.

• US start-up NanoBioMagnetics has formed a subsidiary company that will produce specialized nanoparticles for research and commercial use. Dubbed ZetaCor, the business will use an ultrasonic spray nozzle system from Sono-Tek to create the particles. NanoBioMagnetics says it is currently producing magnetically responsive nanoparticles for applications in human health. The company is developing prototypes for a hearing amplification device and working on site-specific drug delivery.

• According to the Freedonia Group, the US market for nanotech tools will increase nearly 30% a year through 2008 to $900 m. And by the year 2013 it will be worth $2.7 bn. The Nanotech Tools study adds that while historically visualization tools such as scanning probe microscopes have made up a sizeable majority of the market, in the future it expects measurement, fabrication/production and simulation/modelling tools to register faster growth, as these tools become more capable and nanotechnology-product manufacturers have more sophisticated requirements.

• US magazine Technology Review has announced its world's 100 Top Young Innovators for 2004. A number of nanotechnologists feature in the list, including Marcel Bruchez of Quantum Dot, Yi Cui of the University of California Berkeley, Leroy Ohlsen of fuel-cell specialist Neah Power Systems, Molly Stevens of Imperial College London, MIT's Vladimir Bulovic, Mayank Bulsara of AmberWave Systems, Dustin Carr of Sandia National Laboratories, Martin Culpepper of MIT, Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Laetitia Delmau, Martha Gardner of General Electric, Verena Graf of DaimlerChrysler, Yu Han of Singapore's Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, Stefan Hecht of the Free University of Berlin, MIT's Darrell Irvine, Rustem Ismagilov of the University of Chicago, Purdue University researcher Albena Ivanisevic, Ravi Kane of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Stanford University Medical School scientist Kinneret Keren, Jamie Link of the University of California, San Diego, Yueh-Lin (Lynn) Loo of the University of Texas at Austin, Cornell University's Tyler McQuade, Teri Odom of Northwestern University, Nanosys employee Erik Scher, Michael Strano of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, William Taylor of ArvinMeritor, Tsuyoshi Yamamoto of NEC, the University of Pennsylvania's Shu Yang and Yuankai Zheng of the Data Storage Institute, Singapore.