Eric Drexler’s New Blog Metamodern and Belated H+ E-Magazine

Eric Drexler, the visionary of molecular nanotechnology and mechanosynthesis, has started a new blog Metamodern: The Trajectory of Technology.

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.

Sample articles:
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

2. A DNA Imaging Bottleneck: the scarcity of cryo-electron tomography capability is a problem.

3. Peptoids at the molecular foundry. Peptoids have potential for complementing biomolecules in building composite nanosystems

– 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.

4. Combining molecular signals

5. Nanoplasmonics

There is also the new H+ magazine, which covers Humanity Plus/Transhumanist Technology and Society.