Nanotechnology, Elvis, and the Beatles

Richard Jones brings to our attention an amusing note on which to end the nanotechnology workweek: A pointer to a Technology Review blog in German by Niels Boeing which compares Drexler to Elvis and the UK’s Software Control of Matter project to the Beatles. Roughly translated:

It’s intringuingly reminiscent of the history of pop music, which developed by a transatlantic exchange. The American Elvis began things, but it was the British Beatles who really got the epochal phenomenon rolling. The solo artist Drexler launched his vision on the world, but in practise the crucial developments could be made by a British big band of researchers. We have just one wish for the Brits – keep on rocking!

An excellent wish. But a vital question arises — if Drexler is Elvis, and the UK project members are the Beatles, who are the Grateful Dead?

I auto-translated the rest of the German blog post and found this:

The molecular machine of the first [Software Control of Matter] project is logically a kind artificial Ribosom to arrange in which an artificially synthesized DNS strand as storage medium is used and selected, in order molecular components. Since scientists last demonstrated such as Nadrian Seeman or Paul Rothemund impressively the Potenzial of DNS for nano-constructions to longer. The Drexler municipality however seems to have taken to today no note of it.

If we can get past the humorous quality of this automatic translation, it appears to be saying that those who are interested in productive nanosystems have not taken an interest in the Software Control of Matter project, or possibly in the work of Seeman and Rothemund. But Nanodot readers know that we at Foresight have been publicizing the project, and that Foresight has given Feynman Prizes to both Seeman (1995) and Rothemund (2006).

To reiterate: We join with Niels Boeing in his wish to the British: Keep on rocking! —Christine

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