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Archive for the 'Research' Category

Swarms of DNA nanorobots execute complex tasks in living animal

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 6th, 2015

Combinations of different types of DNA nanorobots, implementing different logic gates, work together to tag a specific type of cell in a living cockroach depending on the presence or absence of two protein signals.

New software reveals more molecular machine structures

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 31st, 2014

New software makes it possible to generate 3D structures of proteins without artificially incorporating metal atoms in the proteins, making it possible to study many molecular machines using data that could not previously be analyzed.

Small molecule nanorobot walks through a protein nanopore

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 30th, 2014

Among the smallest molecular robots reported so far, a walker based on phenylarsonous acid with two organic thiol ligands as feet walks through a one-nanometer-diameter protein nanopore channel by taking 0.6 nanometer steps, by thiol exchange, from one cysteine residue to the next.

Computational framework for structural DNA nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 27th, 2014

A more general computational framework predicts the structures of 2D and 3D-curved DNA nanostructures impossible to predict using previously available computational methods. May lead to 3D-printing DNA nanostructures?

New way to couple carbon atoms yields novel molecular architectures

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 24th, 2014

A new strategy to form bonds between carbon atoms opens the way to a wide variety of molecular architectures that had been difficult or impossible to access using previous methods.

Artificial enzymes created from building blocks not found in nature

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 22nd, 2014

Artificial enzymes have been created from nucleic acids that use synthetic molecules instead of ribose or deoxyribose sugars.

Large, open protein cages designed and built

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 7th, 2014

Design principles have been developed and tested to construct novel synthetic protein monomers that can self-assemble into large, open protein cages for potential use in vaccines and drug delivery.

Broadening the synthetic biology path to molecular nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 6th, 2014

Advances in the de novo design of coiled-coil proteins made by two different research groups proceeding by two different routes demonstrate that the range of protein nanostructures potentially available for various molecular machine systems is significantly larger than the range of such structures already exploited by natural selection.

Nearly perfect carbon nanotubes key to energy-saving lights

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 2nd, 2014

Painting atomically precise carbon nanotubes onto a cathode produces flat panel lights a hundred times more energy efficient than LEDs.

Micrometer-scale structures built from DNA bricks

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 19th, 2014

A general framework is presented for using 32-nucleotide DNA bricks to build large two-dimensional crystals up to 80 nm thick and incorporating sophisticated three-dimensional features.

Using DNA nanotechnology to cast arbitrarily shaped nanoparticles

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 11th, 2014

Metal or other inorganic nanoparticles of 20 to 30-nm scale can be cast in arbitrary 3D shapes and configurations dictated by stiff, atomically precise molds constructed using scaffold DNA origami.

Light-driven molecular flapping emits white light

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 10th, 2014

A phosphorescent molecule is made to flap like a butterfly when absorbed light shortens the distance between two platinum atoms.

A Breakthrough in 3D Imaging by EM Alone

Posted by Stephanie C on October 8th, 2014

The need for improved imaging and characterization on the nanoscale was emphasized in the 2007 Roadmap and again at the 2013 Foresight Conference on Atomic Precision. We noted last year a new advancement in atomic-scale resolution of 10-nm platinum particles, requiring multiple imaging techniques in combination, and recently the marked improvement in optical imaging for [...]

Tailoring the shapes of organic molecules by assembly-line synthesis

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 3rd, 2014

To emulate the process by which nature assembles complex organic molecules by passing subunits through a series of enzyme domains, UK chemists developed a procedure to elongate a boronic ester by using a reagent that inserts into carbon-boron bonds with precise control of molecular configuration.

Scaffolded DNA origami improvements advance DNA nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 25th, 2014

A 10-fold larger breadboard and 350-fold lower DNA synthesis costs make DNA origami a more useful stepping-stone toward atomically precise manufacturing.

Novel multifunctional nanoparticle for diagnosis and therapy

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 14th, 2014

A nanoparticle that self-assembles from porphyrin, cholic acid, amino acids, and polyethylene glycol is a promising vehicle for delivering both imaging agents and cancer drugs to tumors.

Proof of principle for nanoscale assembly line

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 2nd, 2014

Swiss researchers have used biomolecular shuttles to capture molecular building blocks from solution and transport them across fluid flow boundaries to be further manipulated in a subsequent chamber.

Seeing and touching a single synthetic molecular machine

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 24th, 2014

Attaching a 200-nm-diameter magnetic bead to a 1-nm diameter synthetic molecular machine allowed optical visualization of the motion of the machine and manipulation with a magnetic tweezers.

Tunable Assembly of Nanoparticles for (Photovoltaic) Devices

Posted by Stephanie C on August 13th, 2014

Photovoltaics are an interesting case where atomic precision is not necessary to achieve potentially dramatic global impacts. Even an “ok efficiency” device that is easy to manufacture with reduced environmental hazard could have significant beneficial effects on energy resources and on device fabrication processes (which could, in turn, contribute to developments toward APM). The struggle [...]

Nanotechnology-based next generation memory nears mass production

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 10th, 2014

Rice University’s breakthrough nanoporous silicon oxide technology for resistive random-access memory (RRAM) appears poised for commercialization.