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.
A new compression molding compound material combines the light weight, strength, and rigidity of carbon fibers with the flexibility and lower cost of glass materials in a composite compatible with automotive production.
Plastic bearings are real and millions of them are in use doing heavy-duty jobs we used to think only metals could do. Some of Germany-based igus's bearings are traveling around the world as functional parts in a car to demonstrate what they can do.
Baxter showed off his 2.0-derived moves at ATX West this year. The big red guy still looks pretty much the same, but has some new abilities, mostly due to software. The research robot version is now being used in corporate R&D departments as a design platform.
End-production using 3D printing, including objects made of multiple materials in one pass, is getting closer to reality as we saw on the exhibit floor at the recent Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show.