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Archive for the 'Productive Nanosystems' Category

Nanotechnology revolution: An interview with Eric Drexler

Posted by Stephanie C on March 29th, 2013

In anticipation of Eric Drexler’s new book, Forbes contributor Bruce Dorminey interviews him about the meaning of nanotechnology and its revolutionary prospects. Selected excerpt: … In what fields would APM cause the most pronounced economic disruption and the collapse of global supply chains to more local chains? The digital revolution had far-reaching effects on information [...]

Re-engineering a junction to give a new twist to DNA nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 29th, 2013

By forcing the geometry of the junctions upon which DNA nanotechnology depends, researchers have increased the collection of 2D and 3D structures that they can build to include wire frames and mesh structures.

Proposed Brain Activity Map may also advance nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 1st, 2013

A proposed large project to produce a dynamic map of the functional connectome of the human brain will require a convergence of neuroscience, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and computation, and may therefore spur the development of advanced nanotechnology leading to molecular manufacturing.

Synthetic biology industrial revolution inspires hope for molecular manufacturing

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 2nd, 2013

A demonstration that most fundamental biological processes can be implemented in a test tube as efficiently as in live bacteria provides synthetic biology the tools to create a ‘new industrial revolution’, which may or may not lead to more general molecular manufacturing.

Artificial molecular machine synthesizes a small peptide

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 28th, 2013

A small molecular machine based on a rotaxane molecule autonomously added three amino acids in a programmed order to a seed tripeptide to form a hexapeptide

Controlled stepwise rotation on a single atom bearing

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 21st, 2013

Electrons from a scanning tunneling microscope tip turn a five-arm rotor connected via a single ruthenium atom bearing to a tripod anchoring the molecular motor to a gold surface.

Nanometer-scale optical positioning and focusing

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 16th, 2013

A theoretical proposal for optical tweezers and an experimental optical focusing device both depend upon electromagnetic waves trapped and guided along metal-insulator interfaces. Will these advances provide tools for manipulating molecular building blocks?

Testing and improving scaffolded DNA origami for molecular nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 19th, 2012

In two different sets of experiments a German research group has shown that scaffolded DNA origami can be used to assemble complex structures with precise sub-nanometer positional control, and that constant temperature reaction can greatly increase yields and decrease production times.

Optimal bond loads in designing molecular machines

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 11th, 2012

A study of a biological molecular machine has shown that the machine functions most effectively when it uses chemical bonds just barely strong enough to survive the power stroke of the machine.

Arbitrarily complex 3D DNA nanostructures built from DNA bricks

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 6th, 2012

A set of 32-nucleotide single strand DNA bricks was designed so that each can interact independently with four other DNA bricks so that sets of hundreds of bricks can self-assemble into arbitrarily complex 25-nm 3D shapes, each comprising 1000 8-base pair volume elements.

Nanotechnology milestone: general method for designing stable proteins

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 21st, 2012

Five proteins were designed from scratch and found to fold into stable proteins as designed, proving the ability to provide ideal, robust building blocks for artificial protein structures.

Writing a single-atom qubit in silicon

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 8th, 2012

A single-electron spin qubit on a phosphorous atom in a conventional silicon computer chip has been coherently manipulated, demonstrating the application of single atom nanotechnology to the development of a scalable platform for a quantum computer.

More complex circuits for synthetic biology lead toward engineered cells

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 6th, 2012

One possible pathway from current technology to advanced nanotechnology that will comprise atomically precise manufacturing implemented by atomically precise machinery is through adaptation and extension of the complex molecular machine systems evolved by biology. Synthetic biology, which engineers new biological systems and function not evolved in nature, is an intermediate stage along this path. An [...]

Biological molecular motors programmed to run DNA chasis

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 17th, 2012

Two types of biological molecular motors that run in opposite directions along a protein track can be used in different arrangements to either move a complex DNA cargo along the track or engage in a tug-of-war.

Assembling biomolecular nanomachines: a path to a nanofactory?

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 4th, 2012

A “cut and paste” method uses an atomic force microscope to assemble protein and DNA molecules to form arbitrarily complex patterns on a surface. Developing this approach to form enzymatic assembly lines could be a path toward a general purpose nanofactory.

Measuring individual chemical bonds with noncontact-AFM

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 18th, 2012

Noncontact atomic force microscopy using a tip functionalized with a single molecule provides highly precise measurement of individual chemical bond lengths and bond orders (roughly, bond strength).

Rational design of peptoids: a route to advanced nanotechnology?

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 7th, 2012

A combination of theoretical and experimental work on peptoids, synthetic analogs of proteins, points to the ability to design peptoids with desired structures and functions.

3D printers as universal chemistry sets for nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 26th, 2012

Researchers have configured a 3D printer as an inexpensive, automated discovery platform for synthetic chemistry. A road to more complex molecular building blocks for nanotechnology?

An expanded genetic alphabet could lead to more easily designed proteins

Posted by Jim Lewis on June 22nd, 2012

The demonstration that the process of DNA replication is more flexible than thought should make it easier to incorporate unusual amino acids into designed proteins, which might make it easier to design novel protein machines.

Advancing nanotechnology with protein building blocks

Posted by Jim Lewis on June 6th, 2012

A variety of protein cage structures have been constructed by designing specific protein domains to self-assemble as atomically precise protein building blocks in defined geometries.