August 2010

The best introduction to DNA nanotechnology

August 28, 2010

For a good overview of structural DNA nanotechnology and DNA origami (a molecular wonder of the modern world), see this presentation from a course in the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois. The subject calls for a strong visual presentation, and the slides deliver this together with a good description of DNA engineering […]

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The problem: a metacognition deficit

August 27, 2010

…there’s a metacognition deficit. Very few in public life habitually step back and think about the weakness in their own thinking and what they should do to compensate… Of the problems that afflict the country, this is the underlying one. David Brooks, (“A Case of Mental Courage”, New York Times) Brooks begins with the story […]

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How to Learn about Everything in Belorussian

August 25, 2010

“How to Learn about Everything”, now in Belorussian translation:         (With thanks to Patricia Clausnitzer!)

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Updated post on high-throughput atomically precise manufacturing

August 23, 2010

I’ve updated “The Physical Basis of High-Throughput Atomically Precise Manufacturing”. Not a big change, but I expanded the discussion of reliable molecular modeling of selected, highly constrained systems, along the lines discussed here: “Making vs. Modeling: A paradox of progress in nanotechnology”.

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About releasing building blocks…

August 19, 2010

A reader asks a general question about mechanosynthesis — How could a device release a reactive molecule once it’s bound to a product? — and I’d like to outline why there are many answers.

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Factory in a box

August 17, 2010

Mobile factories that fit in a standard shipping container make replacement parts on-site, on-demand. Better and smaller systems in your neighborhood someday; military systems in Afghanistan today. John Robb sees them as part of a trend toward hyperlocal manufacturing.

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The 7th Peptoid Summit:
Progress in peptoid toolkit development

August 13, 2010

The 7th Peptoid Summit highlighted progress in design technology for one of the most promising toolkits in modular molecular systems engineering. I’ve outlined the submonomer method for peptoid synthesis as a powerful and convenient way to assemble diverse molecular components, and the recent development of crystalline peptoid nanosheets as a platform for extended atomically-precise structures. […]

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Between conferences

August 5, 2010

Last weekend: the O’Reilly Media / Nature Publishing Group “Science Foo Camp” at Google. An amazing event, as always. I spoke at a session led by Michael Nielsen — he asked four of us to speak on Three Rules (for something); I outlined rules for broad learning about science. Later in the day I led […]

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