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Archive for the 'Computational nanotechnology' Category

Broadening the synthetic biology path to molecular nanotechnology

Posted by Jim Lewis on December 6th, 2014

Advances in the de novo design of coiled-coil proteins made by two different research groups proceeding by two different routes demonstrate that the range of protein nanostructures potentially available for various molecular machine systems is significantly larger than the range of such structures already exploited by natural selection.

Using DNA nanotechnology to cast arbitrarily shaped nanoparticles

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 11th, 2014

Metal or other inorganic nanoparticles of 20 to 30-nm scale can be cast in arbitrary 3D shapes and configurations dictated by stiff, atomically precise molds constructed using scaffold DNA origami.

Recent cases of 'accessible' high-tech: Open source chips & Origami robots

Posted by Stephanie C on August 22nd, 2014

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 [...]

Surprisingly real value from virtual reality

Posted by Stephanie C on August 21st, 2014

Speaking of big computation, cyberspace isn’t yet as potent as Neal Stephenson portrayed in Snow Crash and subsequent books, but it’s getting there. A new article in the Wall Street Journal online titled Can World of Warcraft Game Skills Help Land a Job? states that some job seekers are adding gaming skills to their resumes [...]

Big computation brings your ideas into 3D

Posted by Stephanie C on August 14th, 2014

What 3D printers are doing to facilitate fabrication, 3D drawing programs are surpassing to facilitate design. As described at, two systems referred to as “powerful” and “spectacular” are being highlighted at the SIGGRAPH 2014 conference in Vancouver this week: True2Form (out of University of British Columbia) brings 2D sketches into 3D (excerpt from SD [...]

Robust triangular RNA brick adds to RNA nanotechnology toolkit

Posted by Jim Lewis on June 24th, 2014

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.

Physicists suppress 'stiction' force that bedevils microscale machinery

Posted by Jim Lewis on April 19th, 2014

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.

Will crowdsourced RNA designs advance nanotechnology?

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 6th, 2014

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?

RNA nanotechnology - fewer structures in living cells than in test tubes

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 14th, 2014

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.

Carbyne: the strongest, stiffest carbon chain

Posted by Stephanie C on October 11th, 2013

Carbyne – a straight line of carbon atoms linked by double bonds or by alternating single and triple bonds — is the next stiff, carbon-based structure with unusual and desirable properties. It has been observed under limited natural and experimental conditions, is expected to be difficult to synthesize and store, and now has been theoretically [...]

Computational design of protein-small molecule interactions

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 26th, 2013

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.

Next Foresight Conference on Nanotechnology in February 2014

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 28th, 2013

The Conference to be held February 7-9, 2014 in Palo Alto, California will emphasize the integration of nano-engineered devices and materials into larger, more complex systems.

Nanotechnology revolution: An interview with Eric Drexler

Posted by Stephanie C on March 29th, 2013

In anticipation of Eric Drexler’s new book, Forbes contributor Bruce Dorminey interviews him about the meaning of nanotechnology and its revolutionary prospects. Selected excerpt: … In what fields would APM cause the most pronounced economic disruption and the collapse of global supply chains to more local chains? The digital revolution had far-reaching effects on information [...]

Computationally designed peptide sneaks nanoparticles past immune system

Posted by Jim Lewis on March 15th, 2013

Nanoparticles decorated to avoid immune system recognition were tested in mice and shown to survive longer and deliver more imaging dye and drug to tumor cells.

Controlled stepwise rotation on a single atom bearing

Posted by Jim Lewis on January 21st, 2013

Electrons from a scanning tunneling microscope tip turn a five-arm rotor connected via a single ruthenium atom bearing to a tripod anchoring the molecular motor to a gold surface.

Nanotechnology milestone: general method for designing stable proteins

Posted by Jim Lewis on November 21st, 2012

Five proteins were designed from scratch and found to fold into stable proteins as designed, proving the ability to provide ideal, robust building blocks for artificial protein structures.

Measuring individual chemical bonds with noncontact-AFM

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 18th, 2012

Noncontact atomic force microscopy using a tip functionalized with a single molecule provides highly precise measurement of individual chemical bond lengths and bond orders (roughly, bond strength).

Rational design of peptoids: a route to advanced nanotechnology?

Posted by Jim Lewis on September 7th, 2012

A combination of theoretical and experimental work on peptoids, synthetic analogs of proteins, points to the ability to design peptoids with desired structures and functions.

Toward a method to design any needed catalyst?

Posted by Jim Lewis on August 6th, 2012

Computational insights into a fundamental organic synthesis reaction may lead to the ability to design a catalyst for any desired reaction.

SAVE THE DATE: The 2013 Foresight Technical Conference

Posted by Jim Lewis on July 12th, 2012

The 2013 Foresight Technical Conference: Illuminating Atomic Precision will be held January 11-13, 2013 in Palo Alto, CA USA.