A bacterium has been engineered to stably propagate a DNA written with six letters instead of the usual four, greatly expanding the number of amino acids, both natural and synthetic, that can be genetically encoded. Further work could lead to novel proteins incorporating these additional amino acids, and from there to novel materials, devices, and machines.
Archive for the 'Molecular manufacturing' Category
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.
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 new tool to chemically modify one specific carbon atom among several chemically very similar ones will facilitate building larger, more complex molecules for drug discovery and for nanotechnology.
A “sense of energy, momentum, and collegiality throughout the weekend” united attendees hearing about the integration of nano-engineered devices and materials into more complex systems, and the integration of nanoscale technologies into diverse applications.
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 [...]
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.
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.
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.
A new book by Frank Boehm explores the challenges, possibilities, and visions of nanomedical device and systems design.
Modifying DNA strands with lipid-like molecules opens more possibilities for designing DNA structures for drug delivery and other purposes.
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.
“Molecular threading”, a nanotechnology developed by Halcyon Molecular and now owned by Aeon Biowares, enables precise placement of individual long molecules of DNA, either for sequencing or for nanofabrication of novel DNA nanostructures.