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Archive for the 'Artificial Molecular Machines' Category

Cotranscriptional folding of single RNA strand added to nanotechnology toolkit

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 31st, 2015

RNA origami brings new dimensions to nucleic acid nanotechnology by exploiting the much greater variety of RNA structural motifs (compared to DNA) to do what cannot easily be done with DNA origami, like fold into predetermined nanostructures rapidly while being transcribed.

Atomically precise manufacturing as the future of nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 8th, 2015

A commentary over at Gizmodo argues that ideas about molecular manufacturing that sounded like science fiction in 1986 now sound more like science fact.

Small, fast, electrically-driven nanomotors

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 5th, 2015

Bulk nanoscale technologies were used to create three-segment nanowires of gold and nickel, and magnetic bearings of gold, nickel, and chromium. Combinations of DC and AC electric fields were used to assemble nanomotors that can spin at speeds up to 18,000r.p.m., and for up to 15 hours.

Designing mechanical functions into DNA nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 3rd, 2015

An overview of three decades of progress in DNA nanotechnology emphasizes bringing programmed motion to DNA nanostructures, including efforts to incorporate design principles from macroscopic mechanical engineering.

A tunable hinge joint for DNA nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 31st, 2015

Variable length single-stranded DNA springs determine how far a hinge of double-stranded DNA joining two stiff sections of DNA origami can bend.

Structural DNA nanotechnology with programmed motions

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 28th, 2015

Scaffolded DNA origami is combined with hinges of single- or double-stranded DNA to built simple machines parts that have been combined to program simple to complex motions.

Small molecule nanorobot walks through a protein nanopore

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 30th, 2014

Among the smallest molecular robots reported so far, a walker based on phenylarsonous acid with two organic thiol ligands as feet walks through a one-nanometer-diameter protein nanopore channel by taking 0.6 nanometer steps, by thiol exchange, from one cysteine residue to the next.

Light-driven molecular flapping emits white light

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 10th, 2014

A phosphorescent molecule is made to flap like a butterfly when absorbed light shortens the distance between two platinum atoms.

What kind of nanomachines will advanced nanotechnology use?

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 31st, 2014

An interview with UK nanotechnologist Richard Jones argues that the surest and most efficient path to advanced nanomachine function will incorporate or mimic biomolecular nanomachinery rather than scaled down rigid conventional machinery.

Seeing and touching a single synthetic molecular machine

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 24th, 2014

Attaching a 200-nm-diameter magnetic bead to a 1-nm diameter synthetic molecular machine allowed optical visualization of the motion of the machine and manipulation with a magnetic tweezers.

Recent cases of 'accessible' high-tech: Open source chips & Origami robots

Posted by Stephanie C on August 22nd, 2014

Nanotech promises more commonplace access to advanced technology as material and fabrication costs fall and traditional barriers to innovation are removed. Examples are already being seen globally: more access to laptops and cell phones in developing countries, desktop 3D printers, a surge in establishment of shared-use research facilities, etc. A couple recent cases getting attention [...]

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.

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.

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.

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.

Open Access journals for nanotechnology and other topics

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 19th, 2013

A collection of open access journals on a variety of topics provides a very useful entry point to the rapidly growing collection of scientific, technical, and scholarly research that is not hidden behind pay walls.

2013 conference video: Mechanical Atom Manipulation

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 2nd, 2013

At the 2013 Conference Philip Moriarty presented non-contact Atomic Force Microscope experiments demonstrating mechanical toggling of silicon dimers on a silicon surface. The crucial role of precise control of probe tip structure was emphasized.

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.