The conversion of chemical energy into mechanical work can be regarded as the most technologically transformative advances of modern science. Yet, even decades after Feynman’s insights on molecular machines, the capability to perform useful work remains limited to the macroscale. The realization that natural molecular motors generate mechanical forces at the nanoscale by using biochemical energy, has recently brought many to contemplate the design of synthetic biomolecular motors. Molecular motors found in nature...
Alexis Courbet, researcher at University of Washington, described computational protein design and it’s emergent possibilities. A design pipeline is emerging where first a structure or combination of structures is proposed based off of a mechanical concept, then corresponding proteins are generated that match with each section of the structure. Alexis presented a large library of computationally designed protein rotors and motors, and hopes to use deep learning to improve on those designs and create more complex machines in the future.