The photos from the 2014 Foresight Technical Conference highlight entrepreneurial efforts in space, biotechnology, and life extension.
Archive for the 'Nanotech' Category
The complex molecular recognition code of RNA offers RNA nanotechnology a greater variety of 3D structures and functions than are present in DNA nanotechnology, but the RNA structures can be fragile. New RNA triangles that resist boiling solve this problem.
Carbon-containing functional groups decorating carbon nanotubes decompose upon heating on copper foil to form a nanotube-reinforced graphene with novel properties that mimic those of expensive indium-tin-oxide.
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.
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.
Two different nanotechnology-based approaches to use graphene as the basis for purification and desalination of water look promising.
A novel method to control the configuration of atoms in semiconductors grown on graphene will make possible a vast array of new optical devices, including better solar cells.
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.
By targeting the protein that attaches a type of immune cell called neutrophils to blood vessel walls where they cause serious tissues damage, the neutrophils are released and returned to the circulation to resume their normal functions.
RNA interference provides potential cures for various diseases by silencing the expression of specific genes in specific organs, but delivering the RNA molecules to the right place is very difficult. A novel nanoparticle provides unprecedented efficiency in silencing target genes in liver cells.
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.
Pioneering a design and fabrication strategy to address individual nanoscale electronic devices to enable large-scale assembly into integrated computer circuits, a MITRE-Harvard team has assembled a functional nanoelectronic control computer.
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 reconstituted high-density lipoprotein nanoparticle reduces inflammation in advanced atherosclerotic plaques in mice. Will it work in humans to prevent repeat heart attacks and stroke?
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.