RE: the economics of transition to nanotech

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Tue Jan 11 2000 - 14:20:55 MST

I think you're way too optimistic here. If we can get protein folding
licked, then modification is suddenly doable. Then you can look at
protein/DNA interaction, design new enzymes from scratch, etc. Before
that you can't predict the impact of your changes without doing the
actual (expensive, slow) experiment. You still need a full cell model
to tackle the hard stuff like embryomorphogenesis and such, but that's
the logical next step after solving PFP.

If I'd hazard a timeline I'd place reasonably competent genetic
engineering capability at two decades downstream.

Robert Bradbury writes:
> Now, on the biotech front, we are going to have progammable, self-replicating
> machines *very* soon (1-3 years). The only problem will be they will not
> be "general purpose". They will only be able to do things substantively
> similar to those already done. That pretty much confines you to chemical
> factories or energy conversion. Building macro-scale things in a robust
> way (think programmable trees/bones/sea shells for "houses"), is going to
> take much longer (10-15 years).

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