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Archive for the 'Roadmaps' Category

Biological molecular motors programmed to run DNA chasis

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 17th, 2012

Two types of biological molecular motors that run in opposite directions along a protein track can be used in different arrangements to either move a complex DNA cargo along the track or engage in a tug-of-war.

Metal-organic frameworks provide large molecular cages for nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 10th, 2012

Large molecular cages constructed from metal-organic frameworks have set a record for the greatest surface area in the least mass.

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are back in the news again. A few months ago we cited the use of MOFs by Canadian chemists to self-assemble a molecular wheel on an axis in a solid material. More recently chemists at Northwestern University have used MOFs to set a world record for surface area. From “A world record for highest-surface-area materials“:

Northwestern University researchers have broken a world record by creating two new synthetic materials with the greatest amount of surface areas reported to date.

Named NU-109 and NU-110, the materials belong to a class of crystalline nanostructure known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) that are promising vessels for natural-gas and hydrogen storage for vehicles, and for catalysts, chemical sensing, light harvesting, drug delivery, and other uses requiring a large surface area per unit weight.

The materials’ promise lies in their vast internal surface area. If the internal surface area of one NU-110 crystal the size of a grain of salt could be unfolded, the surface area would cover a desktop. …

MOFs are composed of organic linkers held together by metal atoms, resulting in a molecular cage-like structure. The researchers believe they may be able to more than double the surface area of the materials by using less bulky linker units in the materials’ design. …

Beyond their near-term practical applications, Eric Drexler has cited MOFs as potentially useful building blocks in the molecular machine path to molecular manufacturing. Near-term applications may drive the technology development to produce more choices for molecular machine system components.
—James Lewis, PhD

Assembling biomolecular nanomachines: a path to a nanofactory?

Posted by Jim Lewis on October 4th, 2012

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.

Atomically-precise positioning of a single atom transistor-VIDEO

Posted by Jim Lewis on February 19th, 2012

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.

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.

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.

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.

Green Nanotechnology Roadmap Highlights Opportunities and Challenges

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 23rd, 2011

A green nanotechnology roadmap released by the American Chemical Society describes the opportunities and barriers to developing commercial applications of nanomaterials that present little threat of harm to health and the environment, and concludes with an action agenda to more forward.

A modular molecular composite nanosystem for solar power

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 17th, 2011

A bacterial virus called M13 was genetically engineered to control the arrangement of carbon nanotubes, improving solar-cell efficiency by nearly one-third.

New software aids design of 3-D DNA structures

Posted by Jim Lewis on May 12th, 2011

New software for scaffolded DNA origami makes it easier to predict what shape will result from a given DNA template.

Much faster directed evolution of proteins could speed development of molecular machine systems

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 25th, 2011

Phage-assisted continuous evolution of proteins is roughly a hundred times faster than conventional laboratory evolution of proteins, perhaps speeding the development of components for molecular machine systems.

Bottom Up as a next step within Top Down

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 30th, 2011

Using proprietary block co-polymer technology, directed self-assembly allows adding block co-polymers that assemble themselves into regular arrays on the surface of a silicon wafer that had been patterned using lithography.

AFM visualization of molecular robot moving along DNA scaffold (with video)

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 21st, 2011

Researchers in the UK and Japan use atomic force microscopy to visualize a DNA molecular robot moving along a 100-nm DNA track.

Debate: “How do we get there from here?” at SME nano conference

Posted by Christine Peterson on May 4th, 2010

Here we present a special report from Dave Conz of ASU on Josh Hall’s talk and subsequent panel discussion at the SME nanotech conference.  An excerpt: Technoscientific development is difficult to direct and nearly impossible to predict.  Because of this – not in spite of it – panel discussions like “How Do We Get There [...]

Matterhorn sculpture demos 3D patterning at 15 nm level (IBM video)

Posted by Christine Peterson on April 29th, 2010 brings news and a video of a new 3D patterning technique from IBM that reaches down to 15 nm resolution which “could go even smaller”: IBM Research in Zurich has demonstrated a new nanoscale patterning technique that could replace electron beam lithography (EBL). The demonstration carved a 1:5 billion scale three-dimensional model of the [...]

Robo Habilis

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on October 29th, 2009

One of the species of early hominids is named Homo habilis, meaning “handy man,” after their significant advancement in tool use over previous hominids. One of the goals of the AGI Roadmap is to chart paths to full human intelligence, and one of the paths might follow the one that evolution took. The Wozniak Test, [...]

AGI Roadmap meeting

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on October 28th, 2009

Foresight’s mission is essentially an educational one.  In simplest terms we are here to point out foreseeable technological developments that not only will make the future different from the past, but make it different in ways that aren’t obvious and which everyone isn’t already planning for. Nanotechnology — true nanotech in Drexler’s original sense of [...]

Accelerating Future » RepRap “Mendel” to be Released Soon!

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on October 27th, 2009

Accelerating Future » RepRap “Mendel” to be Released Soon!. Nicw round-up with videos of the latest in the Rep-Rap world.

Roadmap for Additive Manufacturing

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on October 14th, 2009

There’s an excellent round-up over at Next Big Future on the Roadmap for Additive Manufacturing. This is solid freeform fabrication, 3-D printing, stereolithography, rapid prototyping, and so forth. In the long run, 3-D printing is one of the more straightforward paths to full-fledged nanotech with mechanosynthesis. Mechanosynthesis might be seen simply as the ultimate in [...]