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Molecular machines highlighted in 1st issue of Nature Nanotechnology

One of the top four nanotech articles highlighted in the first issue of Nature Nanotechnology is “Making Molecular Machines Work” by Wesley Browne and Ben Feringa. Full text of the article is free, at least for now. From the conclusions:

The exquisite solutions nature has found to control molecular motion, evident in the fascinating biological linear and rotary motors, has served as a major source of inspiration for scientists to conceptualize, design and build — using a bottom-up approach — entirely synthetic molecular machines. The desire, ultimately, to construct and control molecular machines, fuels one of the great endeavours of contemporary science. The first primitive artificial molecular motors have been constructed and it has been demonstrated that energy consumption can be used to induce controlled and unidirectional motion. Linear and rotary molecular motors have been anchored to surfaces without loss of function — a significant step towards future nanomachines and devices. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated unequivocally that both linear and rotary motors can perform work and can move objects. However, although the first applications of molecular motors to the control of other functions have been realized, the whole field is still very much in its infancy and offers ample opportunity in the design of nanomechanical devices.

Major challenges in the development of useful nanomachines remain, such as the development of fast and repetitive movement over longer time frames, directional movement along specified trajectories, integration of fully functional molecular motors in nanomachines and devices, catalytic molecular motors, systems that can transport cargo and so on. As complexity increases in these dynamic nanosystems, mastery of structure, function and communication across the traditional scientific boundaries will prove essential and indeed will serve to stimulate many areas of the synthetic, analytical and physical sciences. In view of the wide range of functions that biological motors play in nature and the role that macroscopic motors and machines play in daily life, the current limitation to the development and application of synthetic molecular machines and motors is perhaps only the imagination of the nanomotorists themselves.

Eoin Clancy of Newcastle University points out that the issue also includes a set of definitions and commentary from various nano researchers, including Eric Drexler, put together by Mauro Ferrari. [Correction: should read "put together by the editors with Mauro Ferrari also commenting".]

A strong start for Nature Nanotechnology. But who is the editor? —Christine [UPDATE: see the editors on this webpage.]

9 Responses to “Molecular machines highlighted in 1st issue of Nature Nanotechnology”

  1. Molecular machines highlighted in 1st issue of Nature Nanotechnology « Nano, Bio, Info, Cogno, Synthetic bio, NBICS Says:

    [...] Eoin Clancy of Newcastle University points out that the issue also includes a set of definitions and commentary from various nano researchers, including Eric Drexler, put together by Mauro Ferrari. Link to Source [...]

  2. Richard Jones Says:

    The editor is Peter Rodgers. In keeping with Nature’s policy about these things, he’s a full time, professional science journalist rather than a working scientist, though he’s a PhD physicist (quantum optics if I remember right). His last job was as editor of “Physics World”, the trade rag of UK physicists (much like the USA’s Physics Today, only more nicely designed).

  3. Stuart Says:

    Hi Christine – FYI, the feature was put together by the editors, Ferrari was one of the people who kindly contributed, cheers – Stuart

  4. eoin clancy Says:

    Hi Christine,

    From their website.. “Like the other Nature titles, Nature Nanotechnology has no external editorial board. Instead, all editorial decisions are made by a team of full-time professional editors”. follow the link for some background information on the editiorial team.
    http://www.nature.com/nnano/about/about_eds/index.html

    Eoin

  5. Alex Says:

    Here are the editors… :)

    http://www.nature.com/nnano/about/about_eds/index.html

  6. Eric Tulloch Says:

    Re: the editors–clicked on the link “About the Journal” in the column on the right under Journal Information, and it provided a sublink to “About the Editors”

    Here’s the URL:

    http://www.nature.com/nnano/about/about_eds/index.html

  7. Stuart Says:

    Sorry to be pedantic about this, but regarding the feature, Mauro was simply one of the contributors, just like the other 12. The feature was put together by the editors, who were also responsible for the introductory comments.

  8. Christine Peterson Says:

    [Stuart Cantrill, who commented above, is Associate Editor of Nature Nanotechnology.]

    Hi Stuart — Feel free to be pedantic whenever necessary! I looked at the article and now see what the problem is. When you look at the bottom to see who wrote the editorial content of the piece, Mauro’s name is at the end. It is a bit confusing if you’re moving fast. Thanks for the clarification. –Christine

  9. harshal shirodkar Says:

    im in T.E MECH ENGG,article on molecular machines was useful for me in my college presentation.

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