Today in Science-Nonfiction: Nanoscale Robot Can Move Individual Atoms and Molecules

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Scientists at China's Nanjing University created a nanorobot only 150x150x8 nanometers big—a million times smaller than a red blood cell—that's able to place individual atoms and molecules with 100% accuracy. You crazy for this one, Nanjing University scientists.

An excerpt:

The nanorobotic arm is built out of DNA origami: large strands of DNA gently encouraged to fold in precise ways by interaction with a few hundred short DNA strands. The products, around 100 nanometers in diameter, are eight times larger and three times more complex than what could be built with a simple crystalline DNA array, vastly expanding the space of possible structures. Other nanoscale structures or machines built by Dr. Seeman and his collaborators including a nanoscale walking biped, truncated DNA octahedrons, and sequence-dependent molecular switch arrays. Dr. Seeman has exploited structural features of DNA thought to be used in genetic recombination to operate his nanoscale devices, tapping into the very processes underlying all life.


The article paints this as the next Industrial Revolution, which is troubling for me personally because the first one was complicated enough (steam? what?) and nanotechnology is way too much for my feeble brain to handle, but I can totally understand tiny robots. And I approve, as long as they're as adorable as their tiny size demands. [H+ Magazine]