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A molecular assembler as defined by K. Eric Drexler is a "proposed device able to guide chemical reactions by positioning reactive molecules with atomic precision." Some biological molecules such as ribosomes fit this definition, since while working within a cell's environment, they receive instructions from messenger RNA and then assemble specific...
A molecular assembler as defined by K. Eric Drexler is a "proposed device able to guide chemical reactions by positioning reactive molecules with atomic precision." Some biological molecules such as ribosomes fit this definition, since while working within a cell's environment, they receive instructions from messenger RNA and then assemble specific sequences of amino acids to construct protein molecules. However, the term "molecular assembler" usually refers to theoretical human-made or synthetic devices. Development of ribosome-like molecular assemblers was funded in 2007 by the British Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. It is clear that molecular assemblers in this limited sense are possible. A technology roadmap project, led by the Battelle Memorial Institute and hosted by several U.S. National Laboratories has explored a range of atomically precise fabrication technologies, including both early-generation and longer-term prospects for programmable molecular assembly; the report was released in December, 2007.
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