Modeling DNA strand displacement cascades according to three simple rules can in principle mimic the temporal dynamics of any other chemical system, presenting a method to model regulatory networks even more complicated than those of biology.
Archive for the 'Artificial Molecular Machines' Category
Functional ribosomes with subunits engineered to not separate at the completion of each protein translation cycle make possible engineering systems to make a variety of novel polymers with novel properties.
At the 2013 Conference Joseph Puglisi described how single molecule fluorescence techniques were used to study changes in the conformation and composition of the ribosome, a large biomolecular nanomachine, during the process of translation of genetic information.
A molecular ring shuttles back and forth between two positions on a molecular axle held rigidly inside a solid state molecular lattice made from a metal organic framework.
At the 2013 Conference George Church presented an overview of his work in developing applications of atomically precise nanotechnology intended for commercialization, from data storage to medical nanorobots to genomic sequencing to genomic engineering to mapping individual neuronal functioning in whole brains.
Programmed assembly and disassembly of rigid 3D DNA origami objects has been achieved by designing complementary surface shapes based upon weak stacking interactions to create simple nanomachines.
A rotaxane-based single molecule pump combines cycling oxidation-reduction potential of the solution with kinetic barriers to moving backward to concentrate small ring molecules against an energy gradient.
At the 2013 Conference Dean Astumian contrasted macroscopic machines at static equilibrium and molecular machines at dynamic equilibrium, and presented information ratchets and microscopic reversibility as the organizing principle of molecular machines.
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.
A commentary over at Gizmodo argues that ideas about molecular manufacturing that sounded like science fiction in 1986 now sound more like science fact.
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.
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.
Variable length single-stranded DNA springs determine how far a hinge of double-stranded DNA joining two stiff sections of DNA origami can bend.
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.
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.
A phosphorescent molecule is made to flap like a butterfly when absorbed light shortens the distance between two platinum atoms.
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.
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.
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 [...]
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.