Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

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

Self-assembling biomaterial forms nanostructure templates for human tissue formation April 27th, 2015

International research team discovers new mechanism behind malaria progression: Findings provide a new avenue for research in malaria treatment April 27th, 2015

More is less in novel electronic material: Adding electrons actually shrinks the system April 27th, 2015

Sensor Designed in Iran Able to Remove Formaldehyde Gas from Environment April 27th, 2015

Possible Futures

Printing Silicon on Paper, with Lasers April 21st, 2015

A glass fiber that brings light to a standstill: By coupling photons to atoms, light in a glass fiber can be slowed down to the speed of an express train; for a short while it can even be brought to a complete stop April 9th, 2015

Nanotechnology in Medical Devices Market is expected to reach $8.5 Billion by 2019 March 25th, 2015

Nanotechnology Enabled Drug Delivery to Influence Future Diagnosis and Treatments of Diseases March 21st, 2015

Molecular Nanotechnology

Feynman Prize Winners Announced! April 26th, 2015

Surface matters: Huge reduction of heat conduction observed in flat silicon channels April 23rd, 2015

UCLA nanoscientists are first to model atomic structures of three bacterial nanomachines: Cryo electron microscope enables scientists to explore the frontiers of targeted antibiotics April 21st, 2015

DWI scientists program the lifetime of self-assembled nanostructures April 9th, 2015

Self Assembly

Scientists Use Nanoscale Building Blocks and DNA 'Glue' to Shape 3D Superlattices: New approach to designing ordered composite materials for possible energy applications April 23rd, 2015

Advances in molecular electronics: Lights on -- molecule on: Researchers from Dresden and Konstanz succeed in light-controlled molecule switching April 20th, 2015

Carnegie Mellon chemists create tiny gold nanoparticles that reflect nature's patterns April 9th, 2015

DWI scientists program the lifetime of self-assembled nanostructures April 9th, 2015

Announcements

Scientists join forces to reveal the mass and shape of single molecules April 27th, 2015

The 16th Trends in Nanotechnology International Conference (TNT 2015) unveils 25 Keynote Speakers: Call for abstracts open April 27th, 2015

Graphenea celebrates fifth anniversary April 27th, 2015

Sensor Designed in Iran Able to Remove Formaldehyde Gas from Environment April 27th, 2015

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