A major nanotechnology challenge in the development of productive nanosystems is the production of molecules to catalyze specific reactions for which no natural catalyst exists. One approach is to use theory to design enzymes, as in the milestone we cited two weeks ago. An alternative is to use molecular evolution to select a molecule with the desired properties. However, this latter approach is very labor intensive. Now lab-on-a-chip technology has been used to automate the evolution of molecules so that this approach might prove useful for nanotech purposes. Excerpts from a NewScientist.com news service article written by Ewen Callaway, "'Darwin chip' brings evolution into the classroom":
An interesting question for molecular nanotechnology and productive nanosystems is, just what types of "broccoli" do we need to evolve? The research was published in an open access paper in PLoS Biology.
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Nanodot: Nanotechnology News and Discussion » Blog Archive » Automated molecular evolution as a tool for nanotechnology
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