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

Searching for errors in the quantum world September 21st, 2018

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Nanobiotix: Update on Head and Neck Phase I/II Trial with NBTXR3 and Other program data presented at ImmunoRad 2018 September 20th, 2018

Possible Futures

Searching for errors in the quantum world September 21st, 2018

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Leti Announces EU Project to Develop Powerful, Inexpensive Sensors with Photonic Integrated Circuits: REDFINCH Members Initially Targeting Applications for Gas Detection and Analysis For Refineries & Petrochemical Industry and Protein Analysis for Dairy Industry September 19th, 2018

Molecular Nanotechnology

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Measuring the nanoworld September 4th, 2018

All wired up: New molecular wires for single-molecule electronic devices August 31st, 2018

Nanotubes change the shape of water: Rice University engineers show how water molecules square up in nanotubes HOUSTON August 24th, 2018

Self Assembly

DNA drives design principles for lighter, thinner optical displays: Lighter gold nanoparticles could replace thicker, heavier layered polymers used in displaysí back-reflectors June 27th, 2018

Collaboration yields discovery of 12-sided silica cages June 20th, 2018

Self-assembling 3D battery would charge in seconds May 22nd, 2018

Engineered polymer membranes could be new option for water treatment May 6th, 2018

Announcements

Searching for errors in the quantum world September 21st, 2018

Viral RNA sensing: Optical detection of picomolar concentrations of RNA using switches in plasmonic chirality September 21st, 2018

UT engineers develop first method for controlling nanomotors: Breakthrough for nanotechnology as UT engineers develop first method for switching the mechanical motion of nanomotors September 21st, 2018

Nanobiotix: Update on Head and Neck Phase I/II Trial with NBTXR3 and Other program data presented at ImmunoRad 2018 September 20th, 2018

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project