Metamodern isn’t intended to be “a blog about nanotechnology”; its scope includes broader issues involving technologies with world-changing potential. For example, looking well downstream in technology development, I will sketch the requirements for large-scale systems able to restore the atmosphere to its pre-industrial composition. Closer to hand, social software and the computational infrastructure of our society are high on the list.
It should be a must read for futurist and people interested in making molecular nanotechnology happen as Eric Drexler takes a systems view and will “suggest research objectives that seem practical, valuable, and ready for serious pursuit”. Many of these opportunities could lead to the goal of advanced nanotechnology.
1. Modular molecular composite nanosystems: The concept of “modular molecular composite nanosystems” (MMCS) describes an approach to building complex, self-assembled structures that can organize functional components.
The idea is to exploit the properties of structural DNA nanotechnology (in particular, DNA orgami [pdf]) to provide an easy-to-design framework, together with complementary properties of folded polymeric molecular objects (“foldamers”, and in particular, products of protein engineering) to bind and organize functional components in precise 2- and 3-D configurations
– peptoid synthesis is uncommonly flexible and straightforward.
– The field has progressed beyond making only small, floppy molecules. There are now prototypes of protein-like peptoids built up from helical secondary structures loosely analogous to the alpha helices of the peptide world
– The limit today is design, not fabrication, and pushing back this limit will require a partnership that links scientific exploration to software development.