The British take the reins of advanced nanotechnology.
We have previously expressed our enthusiasm about the UK Software Control of Matter project and they have surely already made progress, setting a visionary and ambitious goal that is expected to be sponsored:
We propose the creation of a molecular machine that will build new materials under the control of software. The machine is modular and designed to accept many different building units, from small molecules to nanoparticles, with a wide range of chemical and physical properties. To promote its development, we will focus on using it to create two final products: a molecular wire, capable of transporting energy and electrical charge, and a catalyst. Software control begins with the end-user specification of a sequence of building units. The final sequence is encoded on a machine-readable instruction tape: the tape is itself a molecule, a synthetic oligomer of DNA. The final sequence of building units is automatically converted to a DNA base control sequence and the tape is produced by commercial solid phase synthesis. The function of the machine is to read the instruction tape and establish the links between the building units in the specified sequence. Each component of this molecular factory is itself a molecule: our goal is to develop the system to the point where it can be distributed to end users as chemicals in plastic vials.
Source: Foresight Institute
Nanotechnology and Molecular Manufacturing