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Archive for the 'Artificial Molecular Machines' Category

An expanded genetic alphabet could lead to more easily designed proteins

Posted by Jim Lewis on June 22nd, 2012

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.

New Darpa program may accelerate synthetic biology path to advanced nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 26th, 2012

Darpa has launched a “Living Foundries” program to bring an engineering perspective to synthetic biology to greatly accelerate progress through standardization and modularization.

Adding to the toolbox for making complex molecular machines

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 4th, 2012

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.

Nanotechnology-based sensor does rapid reads of single DNA molecule

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 1st, 2012

A combination of a molecular motor protein and a nanopore protein has been harnessed for rapidly sequencing single DNA molecules.

DNA nanotechnology-based nanorobot delivers cell suicide message to cancer cells

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 8th, 2012

Functioning DNA nanorobots to deliver specific molecular signals to cells were designed by combining DNA origami, DNA aptamers, and DNA logic gates.

Nanotechnology, digital fabrication, and innovation at TED

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 2nd, 2012

A talk at TEDxBerkeley includes nanotechnology among the options for digital fabrication, one of five new rules of innovation.

Novel RNA structural motifs expand tool kit for RNA nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 26th, 2012

New computational methods to explore the rapidly expanding collection of high resolution three-dimensional RNA structures reveal new RNA structural motifs, identifying additional building blocks for complex RNA nanostructures.

DNA motor navigates network of DNA tracks

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 31st, 2012

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.

Advanced nanofactories in twenty years?

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 12th, 2012

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.

Artificial molecular motor controls molecular transformation

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 30th, 2011

A four-step unidirectional molecular motor driven by light and temperature changes catalyzes different chemical reactions at different steps of its rotary cycle.

Arrays of artificial molecular machines could lead to atomically precise nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 29th, 2011

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 tool for synthetic biology may facilitate RNA nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 27th, 2011

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?

Christine Peterson on current state and future potential of nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 21st, 2011

When can we expect advanced nanomachinery to be commercialized? Will any technologies not be affected in some way by advanced nanotechnology?

A molecular switch with a single proton switched by a single electron

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 19th, 2011

How small could a molecular switch be made? It is difficult to think of one smaller than the single proton switch just demonstrated by this group in Germany.

Tutorial review of the promise of artificial molecular machines

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 11th, 2011

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.

Lecture by Eric Drexler at Oxford on physical law and the future of nanotechnology (video)

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 6th, 2011

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.

Single molecule nanocar with functional wheels driven by electron tunneling

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 14th, 2011

Electron tunneling drives a conformational change in each wheel of a four-wheel drive, single molecule nanocar, driving it across a copper surface.

An artificial molecular clock to control artificial molecular machines

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 4th, 2011

The oscillating synthesis and degradation of regulatory RNA molecules was used to produce a molecular clock to control the opening and closing of a DNA tweezers, and also to control the production of another RNA molecule to alter the fluorescence of a dye molecule.

Singularity University takes on advanced nanotech questions

Posted by Christine Peterson on October 25th, 2011

The Singularity University Executive Program recently took on the challenges of advanced nanotech: Nanotechnology: How should we evaluate the environmental impact of human-made machines that are too small to see? What limits should be placed on self-replicating nanodevices? What defenses should we institute against malevolent uses of such technology? These questions were asked by Marc [...]

Destroying cancer cells by incorporating an artificial biological computer

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 14th, 2011

A complex piece of DNA that acts as a biological computer when it is inserted into cells determines whether or not the cell is a specific type of cancer cell, and if so, initiates the suicide of that cell.