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.
Archive for the 'Productive Nanosystems' Category
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 [...]
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.
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.
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).
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.
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?
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.
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.
A set of 310 short single-stranded DNA tiles, plus a few additional short sequences for the edges, has been used to form more than a hundred large, complex DNA objects.
Darpa has launched a “Living Foundries” program to bring an engineering perspective to synthetic biology to greatly accelerate progress through standardization and modularization.