The first proposal of a path from then current technology to the ability to fabricate complex materials and devices by placing the atoms where you want them was made by Richard Feynman in 1959: “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom“, but see also this series “Feynman Path to Nanotechnology“. The second proposal to achieve… Continue reading Unrelated de novo enzyme replaces essential enzyme in cell
Ultrafast molecular machines made using DNA nanotechnology have now been demonstrated. Over the past several years molecular machines made using DNA nanotechnology, especially the scaffolded DNA origami technology, have grown more complex and more functional (see, for example, here, here, here, and here). Long-time Foresight member Dr. Robert P. Meagley writes to point out that… Continue reading Ultrafast DNA robotic arm: A step toward a nanofactory?
Protein design has been one of the major paths from current fabrication technology toward the goal of general purpose, high-throughput atomically precise manufacturing since Foresight co-founder Eric Drexler proposed it in 1981. It also produced some of the earliest promising results. Although de novo protein design was at first slow, progress has accelerated since David… Continue reading Design of hyperstable constrained peptides
Mechanically interlocked molecules (MIMs), such as rotaxanes and catenanes, provide a fertile opportunity to study some of the complexities of large biological systems of molecular machines, composed of large protein molecules, with small molecular machines composed of small organic molecules containing components that can move relative to each other in response to external control. The… Continue reading Mechanical communication in a rotaxane molecular machine
If the above picture reminds you of something like it some 27 years ago when physicists announced a nanostructure built atom-by-atom, then it is important to recognize there are multiple crucial differences between the above 2014 image of a Swiss cross formed from 20 precisely placed bromine atoms and the 1990 image of the IBM… Continue reading Building atom-by-atom on insulator at room temperature
We have pointed to examples of how atomically precise nanotechnology might open the road to developing quantum computers (Atomically precise location of dopants a step toward quantum computers, August 4th, 2016; Architecture for atomically precise quantum computer in silicon, November 9th, 2015; A nanotechnology route to quantum computers through hybrid rotaxanes, March 27th, 2009). The… Continue reading Prototype quantum computer gives small molecule quantum simulation
Since winning the 2007 Foresight Institute Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology, Theory category, Professor David Leigh FRS FRSE FRSC MAE, and since 2012 at the University of Manchester, has continued to achieve major milestones on the road to complex systems of molecular machinery. Contributions we have recently cited here: First direct measurement of force generated by… Continue reading Molecular robot builds four types of molecules
A molecule with two unpaired electrons too unstable to be made by chemical synthesis was fabricated using a scanning probe microscope to remove two hydrogen atoms from a single molecule adsorbed to a copper surface at ultra low temperature and ultra high vacuum.
A review from the group leading recent rapid progress in de novo protein design describes the successes, identifies the remaining challenges, and heralds the advance “from the Stone Age to the Iron Age” in protein design.
Ten designs spanning three types of icosahedral architectures produce atomically precise multi-megadalton protein cages to deliver biological cargo or serve as scaffolds for organizing various molecular functions.