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)
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.
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.
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.
An MIT research team has invented what they see as a solution to the need for biodegradable 3D-printable materials made from something besides petroleum-based sources: a water-based robotic additive extrusion method that makes objects from biodegradable hydrogel composites.
Alcoa has unveiled a new manufacturing and materials technology for making aluminum sheet, aimed especially at automotive, industrial, and packaging applications. If all its claims are true, this is a major breakthrough, and may convince more automotive engineers to use aluminum.
NASA has just installed a giant robot to help in its research on composite aerospace materials, like those used for the Orion spacecraft. The agency wants to shave the time it takes to get composites through design, test, and manufacturing stages.
The European Space Agency (ESA) is working with architects Foster + Partners to test the possibility of using lunar regolith, or moon rocks, and 3D printing to make structures for use on the moon. A new video shows some cool animations of a hypothetical lunar mission that carries out this vision.
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