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Artificial molecular machine mimics ribosomal peptide synthesis

Foresight Update 26.01—February 15, 2013
ISSN 1078-9731

Nanotech News

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In this issue:

Toward molecular fabrication: formation of distinct bond types by STM

Scanning probe manipulation of individual atoms and small molecules were amongst the early laboratory successes that helped bring broad scale attention to the feasibility and potential of nanoscale technologies, especially molecular fabrication.

… Going a tremendous step beyond the basics, Wilson Ho of University of California, Irvine and colleagues recently reported the selective formation of two distinct types of chemical bonds between gold adatoms and the sulfur [atoms] of …

Synthetic biology industrial revolution inspires hope for molecular manufacturing

Synthetic biology and molecular manufacturing/productive nanosystems have in common the effort to rationally engineer systems to make and assemble parts for complex molecular machine systems. The effort in synthetic biology to design complex biological systems in a hierarchical architecture from well-characterized molecular parts is accelerating. …

Artificial molecular machine synthesizes a small peptide

Scientists in the UK have succeeded in mimicking [the basic process of biological ribosomal protein synthesis by] using a simple artificial molecular machine bearing no resemblance to the ribosome and an order of magnitude smaller in linear dimension than the ribosome. …

Controlled stepwise rotation on a single atom bearing

It is difficult to imagine any design for a mature molecular manufacturing system that does not require molecular motors. Now, as part of a plan to build more complex automated molecular machines, an international team has designed and built a molecular motor powered by electrons from a scanning tunneling microscope tip that uses a single atom as a bearing. …

Nanometer-scale optical positioning and focusing

One of the core concepts of molecular manufacturing is that nanotechnology will evolve to the point that it will become possible to position small groups of reactive atoms at atomically precise desired locations on a work piece in order to build arbitrarily complex atomically precise structures. For several decades optical tweezers have been used to trap and manipulate micrometer-size objects, … Two recently published papers raise the possibility that this technology might evolve through the use of surface plasmon polaritons to enable atomically precise positioning.…

—Nanodot posts by James Lewis and Stephanie C.

Foresight Events and News

Report: The 2013 Foresight Technical Conference
Illuminating Atomic Precision

Conference Co-Chairs
Larry S. Millstein, President, Foresight Institute
J. Fraser Stoddart, Board of Trustees Professor, Northwestern University

Diamond Sponsor: The Thiel Foundation
Silver Sponsors: Autodesk, Zyvex Labs
Bronze Sponsor: Millen, White, Zelano & Branigan, PC

The 2013 Foresight Technical Conference – Illuminating Atomic Precision – was held on 11-13 January at the Crowne Plaza Hotel & Cabana in Palo Alto. The conference was designed to bring together world leading researchers in five major areas of importance to developing atomically precise technologies, blending in-field conversation with cross-disciplinary stimulation. Over 35 invited speakers presented their latest results and perspectives on a wide variety of subjects relating to the development of atomic precision technologies. Their presentations revealed tremendous across the board progress over the past decade toward the processes, materials and devices first hinted at by Richard Feynman and explored in much greater detail by K. Eric Drexler. The conference had a palpable feeling of great excitement—of being just past an inflection point. And, by all accounts of the participants it was a huge success, stimulating not only imaginative extrapolation and some out of the box creatively but also numerous real world collaborations. (See participant’s comments below.)

Pre-conference bios and abstracts are available on the conference website: Videos of the presentations will be posted to the conference website as soon as they are edited. (All postings are with the speakers consent only. Some of the presentations contained confidential information and will not be posted.) A summary of conference highlights will be published in the next month or two in Nature Nanotechnology. More information may be available directly from the individual speakers.

Plans are now underway for the next technical conference. Keep an eye out for additional information on the foresight website and in future updates.

Quotations by permission from the evaluation forms filled out by conference participants
“Best conference ever” - Anon
“An excellent blend of fascinating materials some of which I understood and some of which left me eager for a break and some friendly explanation” - Kary Mullis
“Great Conference - wide-ranging, top rate research, excellent interactions” - Art Olson
“A great forum to strike up new research collaborations” - Joe Lyding
“The best [Foresight] conference I’ve attended in over 30 years of attending such conferences”- Bill Goddard III
“Extremely entertaining and worthwhile.” - John Randall
“The lunch discussion was valuable enough to justify [attending].” - Adam M. Glickman”
“Formidable! Intellectual overload in a good way. Best Foresight Conference I’ve attended.” - Marisa Alma McGinnis
“Amazing progress over last decade.” - David Gustavson
“It was amazing to see how far the science has gotten.” - Max Sims
“Historic. Very dense information content. [And] Very enjoyable!” - Anon
“Superlative interdisciplinary group engaged with a sense of group purpose meeting as a jovial, collegial conclave … definitely breeding collaboration to accelerate innovation.”
“Enthralling, broad based but cutting edge inspiring at every level.” - Anon
“Great conference!” - Anon (more than one)

For conference information

2012 Challenge Grant

The 2012 Challenge Grant has been completed.
Your donations were doubled.
Many thanks for your support of Foresight!

Other Upcoming Activities of Interest

April 15-18, Snowbird, Utah, USA
Foundations of Nanoscience: Self-Assembled Architectures and Devices
Topics include experimental and theoretical studies of self-assembled architectures and devices, at scales ranging from nano-scale to meso-scale.

Imagine Nano 2013
April 23-26, 2013 Bilbao (Spain)
Bringing together Nanoscience & Nanotechnology

Nanotech Conference & Expo 2013
May 12-16, 2013
Washington, DC USA
Don't miss this year in Washington, D.C. as we deliver the World's top innovations and the Nation's leading R&D agency programs!

2013 ASME Annual Meeting
June 21-26,2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

About the Foresight Institute
Foreseeing Future Technologies

Advancements in technologies such as nanotech, robotics, and biotech are promising to make major differences in our lives in the not-too-distant future, as the Industrial Revolution did to the agrarian world — to do for the physical world what the computer and Internet have done to the world of information.

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