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.
Archive for the 'Productive Nanosystems' Category
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
A possible forerunner to a future molecular assembly line uses an artificial DNA motor to transport an artificial nanoparticle along a carbon nanotube track.
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.
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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.
Graphene molecules a bit more than one nanometer across and greatly distorted from planarity have altered properties and offer novel building blocks for nanotechnology.
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.
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.
A pillar constructed and positioned using DNA nanotechnology holds two gold nanoparticles and a dye molecule to enhance fluorescence over a hundred fold.
Two open access reviews portray the widening approach of DNA nanotechnology toward more complex atomically precise systems.
A simple DNA scaffold organizes light-collecting molecules for artificial photosynthesis.
Biotechnology-based isolation and amplification of sequence-verified clones of DNA oligonucleotides will provide longer and less expensive materials for building complex DNA nanostructures and nanomachinery.
Recently we pointed at a Forbe’s interview with Eric Drexler, in anticipation of his pending new book Radical Abundance. The book has shipped, and Drexler’s tour schedule now includes a few stops on the coasts of the U.S: New York: May 6th Los Angeles: May 8th & 9th Seattle: May 9th Find exact times and [...]