new faster all-electric molecular motor, plus more...

From: Jeff Davis (
Date: Wed May 10 2000 - 22:46:00 MDT


No joy for Bill Joy today. All those scientists working away feverishly
with nary a thought for relinquishment. We're all doomed! Ha, ha, ha, ha.

>From EurekAlert at:

Northwestern researchers clone gene responsible for inner ear motor

>The speed of the motor, the researchers said, and the fact that it does
not require extra
> biological energy but only a voltage, such as that from a battery, to
function, holds promise
> for applications in nanotechnology.
> "Here we have a molecule that directly converts electricity into
mechanical force," said
> Dallos. "This novel motor potentially could be used to build machines
on the molecular
> scale." The other biological motors are poor candidates because they
are slow and do
> require additional energy to work.
> "This is an exciting development for nanotechnology," said Laurence
Marks, professor of
> materials science and engineering at Northwestern and an expert in
> electron microscopy and atomic structures. "One can envisage creating
hybrid structures
> using this protein in artificial membranes that are part of Nano
Electro-Mechanical Systems
> (NEMS), for instance biological pumps that might be used for drug


And if you liked that, check this out:

A droid that can change shape

>The scientists have developed what they call a polymorphic robot -- a
machine that can
> change its shape to suit the job in hand. Shape-shifting robots could
be used as planetary
> explorers, or for search-and-rescue missions, changing their shape to
meet each new
> challenge and adapting to strange and unpredictable environments.

I particularly like this part:

>It is also conceivable, says Lipson, that the 3D printing technology will
allow several
> materials to be printed, including conductive, nonconductive and even
> materials. "Wires, motors and logic circuits, as well as structure,
could be printed in one
> pass without the need for assembly," Lipson predicts.

I couldn't help wondering if this manufacturing technique might make a
macroscopic self-replicating machine
system-- much
simpler to achieve.

All in all, it's been a good day for technophiles.

Think of it as science non-fiction.

"Becuz, becuz, becuz, becuz,...
      Becuz of the wonderful things he does."

                        Best, Jeff Davis

           "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
                                        Ray Charles

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