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Archive for the 'Productive Nanosystems' Category

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.

Grant program to support nanotechnology and other infrastructure

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 25th, 2014

The US National Science Foundation announced a new grant program to develop and apply next-generation networking to advance nanotechnology and other emerging technologies to meet important national needs.

Foresight Directed/Programmable Matter for Energy Workshop

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 10th, 2014

A small, interactive group of invited experts gathered in Palo Alto recently to discuss prospects for revolutionary advances in energy storage, transmission, and generation through nanotechnology.

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.

Nanomanufacturing grants available from US National Science Foundation

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 27th, 2014

The US NSF has announced a program to support fundamental research leading to complex nanosystems.

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.

What kind of nanomachines will advanced nanotechnology use?

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 31st, 2014

An interview with UK nanotechnologist Richard Jones argues that the surest and most efficient path to advanced nanomachine function will incorporate or mimic biomolecular nanomachinery rather than scaled down rigid conventional machinery.

Emergence of nanobiotechnology points to importance of deep collaboration

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 8th, 2014

Study shows more than 500 firms involved in nanobiotechnology, which is expected to soon triple in size. Research points to the importance of broad networks and deep collaborations.

Biotech lab in the cloud lowers entry barrier to nanotech research

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 5th, 2014

With biotech fundamental to several paths to advanced nanotechnology, a way to do biotech experiments in the cloud offers small groups the chance to quickly test their ideas.

Building biological molecular machines as an open source path to advanced nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 24th, 2014

B.R.AI.N.S., Berkeley BioLabs, and Foresight Institute to build an open source biological parts repository and design and distribute a line of “How-to Build Biological Machines” educational kits.

Lipid coat protects DNA nanorobot from immune attack

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 5th, 2014

Enveloped DNA nanostructures were developed to escape attacks from nucleases and the immune system, opening a path to ever more sophisticated DNA nanomedical devices.

Robust triangular RNA brick adds to RNA nanotechnology toolkit

Posted by Jim Lewis on June 24th, 2014

The complex molecular recognition code of RNA offers RNA nanotechnology a greater variety of 3D structures and functions than are present in DNA nanotechnology, but the RNA structures can be fragile. New RNA triangles that resist boiling solve this problem.

DNA nanotechnology replicates enzyme cascade

Posted by Jim Lewis on June 4th, 2014

A swinging DNA arm added to a DNA scaffold makes it possible for two enzymes attached to the scaffold to complete a coupled chemical reaction.

A bird's-eye view of half a century of nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 7th, 2014

Reviewing Eric Drexler’s Radical Abundance, Phil Bowermaster provides an informed and insightful overview of the controversies that greeted the proposal for a nanotechnology aimed at developing a practical technology for atomically precise manufacturing. Along the way he shows how Drexler’s outlook evolved from 1986 to 2013.

Physicists suppress 'stiction' force that bedevils microscale machinery

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 19th, 2014

A possible top-down path to atomically precise manufacturing that passes through microscale machinery might be rendered easier because of recent progress in suppressing the Casimir force, which contributes to the ‘stiction’ problem often encountered with microelectromechanical systems.

US government report highlights flaws in US nanotechnology effort

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 1st, 2014

The concern of the US GAO for a gap in nanomanufacturing is well-placed, but it is only half of the problem with the limited US vision of the impact of nanotechnology on the future world economy.

Bigger, stiffer, roomier molecular cages from structural DNA nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 29th, 2014

Using struts made of DNA to stiffen polyhedral corners, scientists have build rigid DNA cages an order of magnitude larger than previous DNA nanostructures, and only one order of magnitude smaller than bacterial cells.

Will crowdsourced RNA designs advance nanotechnology?

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 6th, 2014

A very large community of online gamers has consistently produced RNA designs that outperform the best design algorithms by a large margin. Can online gamers designing RNA, protein, and other molecules contribute to the development of atomically precise manufacturing?

Better nanoswitches by integrating double and triple strand DNA

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 28th, 2014

A DNA clamp engineered for higher specificity and higher affinity may improve cancer diagnosis and treatment and may also mean better control over building nanomachines.