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.
Increasing efficiency and utilization and lowering costs for harvesting, converting, transporting, and storing energy produced from sunlight provides a showcase for a variety of nanoscale materials, structures, and processes.
Polymer chemistry and materials research provide opportunities to explore structures that harmonize phenomena unique to nanoscale technology, the role of mechanical forces generated at interfaces, and the responses of biological systems to mechanical stresses.
A molecular robotic arm synthesized from small synthetic organic molecules uses cyclic changes in pH and other reaction conditions to grab and release a cargo molecule, and swing the cargo back and forth between the two ends of the molecular platform.
An extensive review of artificial molecular machines, their large-amplitude motions, and the changes these motions produce, emphasizes small molecules and the central role of chemistry in their design and operation.
Simple molecular switches based upon bistable mechanically interlocked molecules can be incorporated within pre-assembled metal organic frameworks and addressed electrochemically.
A review of molecular parts that act as switches, motors, and ratchets illuminates similarities between artificial and biological molecular machines and argues that useful applications are coming.
A European Science and Technology Roadmap for Graphene, Related Two-Dimensional Crystals, and Hybrid Systems hints at the opportunities to be harvested from, and the need for, the development of atomically precise manufacturing (APM).
An overview of three decades of progress in DNA nanotechnology emphasizes bringing programmed motion to DNA nanostructures, including efforts to incorporate design principles from macroscopic mechanical engineering.
Reviewing Eric Drexler’s Radical Abundance, Phil Bowermaster provides an informed and insightful overview of the controversies that greeted the proposal for a nanotechnology aimed at developing a practical technology for atomically precise manufacturing. Along the way he shows how Drexler’s outlook evolved from 1986 to 2013.