Single-stranded tiles (SSTs) made of short strands of interlocking DNA can be programmed to assemble themselves into precisely designed shapes, including letters, numbers, and emoticons. (Source: Wyss Institute at Harvard University)
Thanks williamlweaver, glad you liked the article. Self-assembled devices is becoming quite an an active area of research. I have read Crichton's PREY: pretty scary stuff, in fact I found it his scariest so far because it's so believable, perhaps even inevitable. Thanks for the link to your swarms article--another area of research that's getting a lot of play, especially in robotics.
Isn't this amazing? Targeted drug delivery is definitely one of the possible apps the researchers have in mind, and if that could be done for chemotherapy it would make a lot of people healthier and happier.
This is fascinating new technology, Ann. I would imagine one of the applications could be targeting chemotherapy to the cancer instead of having to broadcast it to healthy cells as well as cancerous cells.
As the 3D printing and overall additive manufacturing ecosystem grows, standards and guidelines from standards bodies and government organizations are increasing. Multiple players with multiple needs are also driving the role of 3DP and AM as enabling technologies for distributed manufacturing.
A growing though not-so-obvious role for 3D printing, 4D printing, and overall additive manufacturing is their use in fabricating new materials and enabling new or improved manufacturing and assembly processes. Individual engineers, OEMs, university labs, and others are reinventing the technology to suit their own needs.
For vehicles to meet the 2025 Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, three things must happen: customers must look beyond the data sheet and engage materials supplier earlier, and new integrated multi-materials are needed to make step-change improvements.
3D printing, 4D printing, and various types of additive manufacturing (AM) will get even bigger in 2015. We're not talking about consumer use, which gets most of the attention, but processes and technologies that will affect how design engineers design products and how manufacturing engineers make them. For now, the biggest industries are still aerospace and medical, while automotive and architecture continue to grow.
More and more -- that's what we'll see from plastics and composites in 2015, more types of plastics and more ways they can be used. Two of the fastest-growing uses will be automotive parts, plus medical implants and devices. New types of plastics will include biodegradable materials, plastics that can be easily recycled, and some that do both.
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