Next steps

Atomic precision or atomically precise design?

November 6, 2013

Why is foldamer engineering a key to unlocking the potential of atomically precise engineering? The reason is that foldamers (polypeptides, polypeptoids, nucleic acids, and the like) form a modular construction kit for a vast, combinatorial range of structures, while most other atomically precise constructs do not. Consider a recent surprising discovery in the world of […]

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Serverification of molecular engineering tools

November 3, 2013

If you’re interested in RosettaDesign (see Learning practical atomically precise fabrication and Further notes…), you might want to look at this PLOS ONE paper: Serverification of Molecular Modeling Applications: The Rosetta Online Server That Includes Everyone (ROSIE) …This paper describes the ROSIE server infrastructure, a step-by-step ‘serverification’ protocol for use by Rosetta developers, and the […]

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Report on advanced nanotechnology

October 28, 2013

A recently released report on atomically precise manufacturing, NANO: Nano-Solutions for the 21st Century, is now available via the Oxford Martin School, in conjunction with the Research Center for Sustainable Development of the China Academy of Social Sciences. The report (105 pages) discusses the status and prospects for APM enabling technologies together with a range […]

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Speaking at a London Nanotechnology Event:
“How can we capture the possibilities but avoid the pitfalls of nanotechnology?”

March 15, 2013

From the Oxford Martin School’s announcement: Time: 26 March 2013 18:30 – 19:45 Location: Nesta, 1 Plough Place, London, EC4A 1DE Featured Event “How can we capture the possibilities but avoid the pitfalls of nanotechnology?” This London-based event is a collaboration between the Oxford Martin School, Policy Exchange and Nesta It’s often called the ‘fourth […]

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An Advance in Structural DNA Nanotechnology

March 5, 2013

Faster, more reliable fabrication of atomically precise products: We demonstrate that, at constant temperature, hundreds of DNA strands can cooperatively fold a long template DNA strand within minutes into complex nanoscale objects….Folding at optimized constant temperatures enabled the rapid production of three-dimensional DNA objects with yields that approached 100%. The results point to similarities with […]

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Beilstein Symposium 2012:
Molecular Engineering and Control

May 23, 2012

Last week I gave the opening talk at the 10th Beilstein Symposium in Prien, Germany, a meeting focused on molecular engineering and control. This is a small, invitational meeting series — the kind where about half the participants are also speakers. What makes the Beilstein Symposiums unusual is their cross-disciplinary orientation. At this year’s meeting, […]

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Peptoid technology for molecular nanosystems — My review is now online

November 7, 2011

My invited review “Peptoids at the 7th Summit: Toward Macromolecular Systems Engineering” [pdf] kicks off the peptoid special issue of Biopolymers: Peptide Science. Astoundingly, all the papers are open access. Here’s the abstract: Peptoids at the 7th Summit: Toward Macromolecular Systems Engineering Methods for facile synthesis of extraordinarily diverse peptide-like oligomers have placed peptoids at […]

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My next book: Radical Abundance, 2013

July 21, 2011

I’m now working on a new book, Radical Abundance, scheduled for publication in 2013 by PublicAffairs. The book has a wide scope in both its content and intended audience, addressing scientists, a general reading audience, and thought leaders in the policy arena. Radical Abundance will integrate and extend several themes that I’ve touched on in […]

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An advance in atomically precise
building-block assembly

May 27, 2011

A paper in Science reports a design method that substantially advances the macromolecular technology base for building atomically precise nanosystems. Background: foldamer engineering As many readers know, biology shows an effective way build large, intricate, atomically precise systems: Use covalent chemistry to build chains of small building blocks, and design these chains to fold into […]

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Crystallizing molecular assemblies
that don’t exist

April 26, 2011

Leroy Cronin’s group has pioneered the development of large, atomically precise metal oxide clusters (the polyoxometalates) with an eye to applications in nanotechnology. A recent publication shows why crystal engineering is a natural complement to this work — and to the engineering of self-assembling systems in general. Here’s an excerpt from the abstract (emphasis added): […]

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The Quantum Information Science
and Technology Roadmap
(for example…)

April 24, 2011

Roadmaps are crucial in developing new technology platforms — in other words, for the coordinated development of complete sets of compatible technologies that, taken together, support system-level technologies at a new level. Whether formal or informal, roadmaps address a fundamental problem of risk and mutual expectations in technology development: the problem of giving all necessary […]

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Across the blood-brain barrier with exosomes

March 22, 2011

New work with exosomes promises wide-ranging advances in medicine, courtesy of an emerging biomolecular nanotechnology. As pharmaceutical chemists know, the blood-brain barrier blocks delivery of many molecules that do wonderful things if injected directly into the brain, but injecting the brain isn’t quite as convenient as injecting a vein. Exosomes are lipid vesicles manufactured by […]

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