Foresight Nanotech Institute Logo
Image of nano

Archive for the 'Productive Nanosystems' Category

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.

Integrating DNA nanotechnology and RNA to transport nanoparticles along nanotubes

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 21st, 2014

A possible forerunner to a future molecular assembly line uses an artificial DNA motor to transport an artificial nanoparticle along a carbon nanotube track.

RNA nanotechnology - fewer structures in living cells than in test tubes

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 14th, 2014

A study of RNA structures actually present in cells reveals that cells spend energy restricting thermodynamically driven RNA folding so that fewer RNA structures are found in cells than in test tubes.

New Report: Nano-solutions for the 21st century

Posted by Stephanie C on December 20th, 2013

A recently released technology report titled Nano-solutions for the 21st century outlines nanotech-based solutions to global challenges. Several years in the making, the report was co-authored by Dennis Pamlin, Research Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Research Center for Sustainable Development (RCSD web site currently in Chinese only), and Eric Drexler, Academic Visitor [...]

Nanotrain uses molecular motors and DNA nanotechnology controls

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 2nd, 2013

Using DNA nanotechnology to control and organize molecular motors and the molecular tracks that they run on, a novel nanotrain transports molecular cargos tens of micrometers.

TEDx talk: "Transforming the Material Basis of Civilization"

Posted by Stephanie C on October 14th, 2013

Eric Drexler’s TEDx talk entitled “A Future of Radical Abundance: Transforming the Material Basis of Civilization” is available for viewing on Youtube as well as on Drexler’s blog site. As described by the Oxford Martin School, where Drexler is a scholar with the Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology: Dr. Eric Drexler’s talk from [...]

Computational design of protein-small molecule interactions

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 26th, 2013

A major advance in the computational design of proteins that bind tightly to specific small molecules will facilitate several technologies, possibly including the development of atomically precise manufacturing.

Warped graphene molecules offer new building blocks for nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 26th, 2013

Graphene molecules a bit more than one nanometer across and greatly distorted from planarity have altered properties and offer novel building blocks for nanotechnology.

Illuminating Atomic Precision Conference videos

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 23rd, 2013

A limited set of videos from the January 2013 Foresight Conference have been made available. John Randall started the Conference presentations describing the patterned silicon Atomic Layer Epitaxy (ALE) approach to atomically precise manufacturing.

Molecular sponges give atomic structures of trace substances

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 8th, 2013

A porous metal-organic framework ‘host’ soaks up molecular ‘guests’ to form a crystalline complex, the structure of which can be determined by X-ray crystallography, providing atomic-resolution structures of minute amounts of guest molecules, and perhaps eventually other nanostructures.

DNA nanotechnology positions components to optimize single-molecule fluorescence

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 19th, 2013

A pillar constructed and positioned using DNA nanotechnology holds two gold nanoparticles and a dye molecule to enhance fluorescence over a hundred fold.