Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > News > The wonders of mechanical self-replication

April 25th, 2008

The wonders of mechanical self-replication

Abstract:
Most consumer products have a complex history, developing from raw materials to their current state. The stages of manufacturing are often overlooked by the end user, but they invariably involve either particular equipment or a skilled craftsman; in most automated processes, machines are the preferred method. Throughout the assembly line, each of these machines is highly specialized to perform one or two tasks: While one device might rivet two plates together, it cannot weld, glue, or cut as well. If the manufacturing process calls for such operations, they will have to be performed by another machine.

As if it weren't complex enough already, consider the equipment necessary to manufacture these manufacturing machines. The concept quickly develops into a tangled web of raw materials, generalized manufacturing techniques, and specialized assembly line equipment. There is a way to simplify it all, though. The technique seems bizarre to seasoned industrialists, but is strangely familiar to all biological organisms: self-assembly. Researchers have long toyed with proof-of-concept experiments utilizing baseball-size or larger robotic sub-units to arrange themselves into a functioning "organism," but one team of scientists at Purdue University has finally achieved the same feat at the molecular level.

"Autopoiesis" is a term derived from Greek words, which means "self-creation." It can be applied to evolution to describe the process undergone by inorganic molecules to form the building blocks of life. Biologically, it can be used to describe the eukaryotic cell, which produces more of itself through mitosis or meiosis. These are natural occurrences familiar to most of us on at least some level. Alternatively, self-replicating machines pioneered by scientists like John von Neumann can theoretically self-replicate, drawing from local resources to build more machines. These machines have been called clanking replicators, von Neumann machines, and universal constructors. Much of the premise of nanotechnology is based around self-replicating machines. The converse of autopoiesis is allopoiesis; current manufacturing techniques are allopoietic.

Source:
bcheights.com

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. to Publish PCAOB Audited Financials July 31st, 2014

Nanostructured metal-oxide catalyst efficiently converts CO2 to methanol: Highly reactive sites at interface of 2 nanoscale components could help overcome hurdle of using CO2 as a starting point in producing useful products July 31st, 2014

Carnegie Mellon Chemists Create Nanofibers Using Unprecedented New Method July 31st, 2014

Pressure probing potential photoelectronic manufacturing compound July 31st, 2014

Possible Futures

IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014

Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014

Surface Characteristics Influence Cellular Growth on Semiconductor Material March 12th, 2014

Molecular Nanotechnology

Optimum inertial design for self-propulsion: A new study investigates the effects of small but finite inertia on the propulsion of micro and nano-scale swimming machines July 29th, 2014

Breakthrough laser experiment reveals liquid-like motion of atoms in an ultra-cold cluster: University of Leicester research team unlocks insights into creation of new nano-materials July 25th, 2014

NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014

University of Illinois researchers demonstrate novel, tunable nanoantennas July 14th, 2014

Self Assembly

Carnegie Mellon Chemists Create Nanofibers Using Unprecedented New Method July 31st, 2014

Berkeley Lab researchers create nanoparticle thin films that self-assemble in 1 minute June 9th, 2014

Design of self-assembling protein nanomachines starts to click: A nanocage builds itself from engineered components June 5th, 2014

Molecular self-assembly scales up from nanometers to millimeters June 5th, 2014

Announcements

Industrial Nanotech, Inc. to Publish PCAOB Audited Financials July 31st, 2014

Nanostructured metal-oxide catalyst efficiently converts CO2 to methanol: Highly reactive sites at interface of 2 nanoscale components could help overcome hurdle of using CO2 as a starting point in producing useful products July 31st, 2014

Carnegie Mellon Chemists Create Nanofibers Using Unprecedented New Method July 31st, 2014

Pressure probing potential photoelectronic manufacturing compound July 31st, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE