Monday, April 03, 2006

A step towards MNT

Molecular Nanotechnology has been hovering in the future fog for a while now. Only this last year has the government's Nanotechnology Initiative finally recognized it as a possible area of funding. Now a Japanese university has developed the first molecular scale "grasper" which is a sizeable step in the right direction (link above.) This can be added to the growing list of items making sizeable inroads against an engineering problem which only a few years ago was described as impossible. That list includes several molecular motors, circuit elements and even a small collection of "nanocars", molecules which have a chassis and actual rotating wheels. Intra-molecular rotation was once thought of as a major stumbling block in the design of the nano-actuators necessary to design a molecular assembler.

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