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.
Archive for the 'Productive Nanosystems' Category
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.
A set of rationally engineered transcriptional regulators for yeast will make it easier to build complex molecular machine systems in yeast, some of which may become useful additions to pathway technologies for atomically precise manufacturing and productive nanosystems.
Functioning DNA nanorobots to deliver specific molecular signals to cells were designed by combining DNA origami, DNA aptamers, and DNA logic gates.
A set of machine learning programs can now predict properties of small organic molecules as accurately as can calculations based upon the Schrödinger equation, but in milliseconds rather than hours.
Researchers in Australia and the US have demonstrated a working transistor by placing of single atom of phosphorous with atomic precision between gates made of wires only a few phosphorous atoms wide. This demonstration points to possibly extending current computer technology to the atomic scale.
Scientists at Kyoto University and the University of Oxford have combined DNA origami and DNA motors to take another step toward programmed artificial molecular assembly lines.
Foldit game players have again out-performed scientists in protein design, this time improving the design of a protein designed from scratch to catalyze Diels-Alder cycloadditions.
An article in The Guardian quotes Christine Peterson and Robert Freitas on the vision of molecular manufacturing. Freitas is quoted as expecting that the development of nanofactories could be done in 20 years for “on the order of” one billion dollars.
A four-step unidirectional molecular motor driven by light and temperature changes catalyzes different chemical reactions at different steps of its rotary cycle.
A tutorial review available after free registration presents a theory-based exploration of the difficulty in moving from simple molecular switches to arrays of artificial molecular machines capable to doing substantial, useful external work.
RNA CAD tools developed for RNA-regulated control of gene expression in synthetic biology successfully engineered metabolic pathways in bacteria. Will engineering RNA-based genetic control systems lead to design tools for other RNA-based molecular machine systems?
A tutorial review addresses the distinction between the many simple artificial molecular devices that are currently available and truly effective artificial molecular machines that would mimic the ubiquitous molecular machines present in living systems.
In a lecture at Oxford Eric Drexler argued that atomically precise manufacturing will be the next great revolution in the material basis of civilization, and discussed how we can establish reliable knowledge about key aspects of such technologies.