Jonathan Pugh asked about the protein pathway and how the recent breakthrough to apply variational analysis to allow for the calculation of protein folding a billion times simpler could advance molecular nanotechnology.
One of Eric Drexler earliest papers discussed using proteins for molecular nanotechnology.
A major milestone would be to make a version 2.0 of a ribosome
A ribosome can be thought of as a factory that builds a protein from a set of genetic instructions. A ribosome has 2.3 million base pairs.
Freitas and Merkle has details on various approaches to positional assembly using Proteins