Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > News > Life on Mars with Pete Worden

July 2nd, 2009

Life on Mars with Pete Worden

Abstract:
Pete Worden, Director of the NASA Ames Research Center and an Advisor to the Space and Physical Sciences Track of Singularity University, "We have already done a lot of work on autonomous robots, which is the first step. Many of the Mars robots we've sent there have JPL on the outside and NASA Ames on the inside, since a lot of the software has been developed right here."

"Next, we'll want to build self-replicating robots, and that's why nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and other technologies being worked on at Singularity University are so interesting. When you start looking at self-replicating robots, a biologist would tell you "well, we already know how to do that. Those are called living cells. Microbes." in particular. So one of the obvious questions is: Can we begin to take existing microbes and engineer them to do things? And then, at some point, can you actually create synthetic life that can be engineered to extract the materials you need and construct environments?"

"We have a research group here at NASA Ames that is looking at "extremophiles," life forms able to operate under highly extreme conditions, such as close to the boiling point of water, or in highly acidic conditions. These conditions may or may not represent exactly what you'd find on Mars, but we've been able to extract these self-replicating proteins and are beginning to figure out how you can replicate them to manipulate metals to construct substrates, and maybe even grow an electronic component."

h+: Are you talking about creating "synthetic life" that will duplicate what's going on with biology?
PW: Yes. Eventually. But at first, we're just using what we've already found in nature. In fact, there was an article the other day about using viruses to create batteries, and that you can modify the genome of a virus to construct battery leads (+, -), to create a kind of "nanobattery" using the viruses.

So rather than using the current manufacturing process, where somebody melts metal and pours it into molds and machines those parts together into an electrical component, in the future, we'll use microbes and proteins to "grow" them. In a cell, a particular genetic coding manufactures a particular kind of protein that it links to build, say, a cell wall. Well, supposing we modify that so rather than building a cell wall, it builds a substrate for an electronic component. It might be a simple modification to say, "OK, build this in a flat area." Then you have another one that comes in and says "OK, every few microns we have an electronic lead."

Source:
hplusmagazine.com

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

FEFU scientists reported on toxicity of carbon and silicon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers: Nanoparticles with a wide range of applying, including medicine, damage cells of microalgae Heterosigma akashivo badly. July 18th, 2018

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

Tuning into quantum: Scientists unlock signal frequency control of precision atom qubits July 16th, 2018

Nano-kirigami: 'Paper-cut' provides model for 3D intelligent nanofabrication July 13th, 2018

Synthetic Biology

Synthetic protein packages its own genetic material and evolves computationally designed protein assemblies are advancing research in synthetic life and in targeted drug delivery December 15th, 2017

Report highlights opportunities and risks associated with synthetic biology and bioengineering November 22nd, 2017

Living computers: RNA circuits transform cells into nanodevices July 27th, 2017

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

Possible Futures

FEFU scientists reported on toxicity of carbon and silicon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers: Nanoparticles with a wide range of applying, including medicine, damage cells of microalgae Heterosigma akashivo badly. July 18th, 2018

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

Tuning into quantum: Scientists unlock signal frequency control of precision atom qubits July 16th, 2018

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 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

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

FEFU scientists reported on toxicity of carbon and silicon nanotubes and carbon nanofibers: Nanoparticles with a wide range of applying, including medicine, damage cells of microalgae Heterosigma akashivo badly. July 18th, 2018

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier: Rice U., Northwestern researchers make and test atom-thick boron's unique domains July 17th, 2018

Tuning into quantum: Scientists unlock signal frequency control of precision atom qubits July 16th, 2018

UMBC researchers develop nanoparticles to reduce internal bleeding caused by blast trauma July 13th, 2018

Aerospace/Space

Disability Can Be a Superpower in Space Disabled astronauts offer unique solutions to emergencies in space May 17th, 2018

SpaceX Founding Employee Tom Mueller to Speak at International Space Development Conference May 15th, 2018

Shrimp, Soybeans, and Tomatoes Top the Menu in Cities in Space May 10th, 2018

National Space Society Applauds NASA's Support for Commercial Low Earth Orbit Space Stations May 2nd, 2018

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage

Carbon is the new black: Researchers use carbon nanotubes to develop clothing that can double as batteries July 10th, 2018

NIST Researchers Simulate Simple Logic for Nanofluidic Computing June 30th, 2018

BNAs improve performance of Li-ion batteries June 27th, 2018

Northwestern researchers achieve unprecedented control of polymer grids: Materials could find applications in water purification, solar energy storage, body armor June 22nd, 2018

Artificial Intelligence

Executives Explore Key Megatrends and Innovations in MEMS, Sensors, Imaging Tech at SEMI-MSIG European Summits: Speakers to share developments in smart automotive, smart cities, smart industrial, biomedical, consumer and IoT, September 19-21, 2018 in Grenoble, France June 19th, 2018

Strain improves performance of atomically thin semiconductor material May 11th, 2018

Quantum algorithm could help AI think faster: Researchers in Singapore, Switzerland and the UK present a quantum speed-up for machine learning February 2nd, 2018

IBM Breaks Records to Top U.S. Patent List for 25th Consecutive Year: IBM Inventors Receive Record 9,043 Patents in 2017 in Areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Cloud, Blockchain, Cybersecurity and Quantum Computing January 11th, 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