Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

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

Nano 'sandwich' offers unique properties: Rice University researchers simulate two-dimensional hybrids for optoelectronics February 27th, 2017

Dream Chip Technologies Presents First 22nm FD-SOI Silicon of New Automotive Driver Assistance SoC: Advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) computer vision SoC developed for European THINGS2DO project with working first silicon fabricated on GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 22nm FD-SOI Platfor February 27th, 2017

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

New nano approach could cut dose of leading HIV treatment in half February 24th, 2017

Possible Futures

Nano 'sandwich' offers unique properties: Rice University researchers simulate two-dimensional hybrids for optoelectronics February 27th, 2017

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

New nano approach could cut dose of leading HIV treatment in half February 24th, 2017

Atom-scale oxidation mechanism of nanoparticles helps develop anti-corrosion materials February 24th, 2017

Molecular Nanotechnology

First 3-D observation of nanomachines working inside cells: Researchers headed by IRB Barcelona combine genetic engineering, super-resolution microscopy and biocomputation to allow them to see in 3-D the protein machinery inside living cells January 27th, 2017

Captured on video: DNA nanotubes build a bridge between 2 molecular posts: Research may lead to new lines of direct communication with cells January 9th, 2017

Tip-assisted chemistry enables chemical reactions at femtoliter scale November 16th, 2016

Scientists come up with light-driven motors to power nanorobots of the future: Researchers from Russia and Ukraine propose a nanosized motor controlled by a laser with potential applications across the natural sciences and medicine November 11th, 2016

Self Assembly

Molecular phenomenon discovered by advanced NMR facility: Cutting edge technology has shown a molecule self-assembling into different forms when passing between solution state to solid state, and back again - a curious phenomenon in science - says research by the University of Wa February 22nd, 2017

In-cell molecular sieve from protein crystal February 14th, 2017

Synthetic nanoparticles achieve the complexity of protein molecules: Study published in Science reveals the structure of the largest gold nanoparticles to-date and the self-assembly mechanisms behind their formation January 25th, 2017

Self-assembling particles brighten future of LED lighting January 18th, 2017

Announcements

Nano 'sandwich' offers unique properties: Rice University researchers simulate two-dimensional hybrids for optoelectronics February 27th, 2017

Dream Chip Technologies Presents First 22nm FD-SOI Silicon of New Automotive Driver Assistance SoC: Advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) computer vision SoC developed for European THINGS2DO project with working first silicon fabricated on GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 22nm FD-SOI Platfor February 27th, 2017

Sandia use confined nanoparticles to improve hydrogen storage materials performance: Big changes from a small package for hydrogen storage February 25th, 2017

New nano approach could cut dose of leading HIV treatment in half February 24th, 2017

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