Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In the futuristic research field of nanotechnology, an assembler is a construction machine that manipulates and builds with individual atoms or molecules. One of the prime goals of long-term nanotech research is the production of a programmable self-replicating assembler. This is a device which can make a complete copy of itself given raw materials and energy. After sufficient quantities of assemblers are available, they are then re-programmed to produce something else useful. In science fiction literature, such assemblers have been called matter compilers.
Nature abounds with nanotechnological self-replicating assemblers called bacteria, which can be reprogramed to perform some types of tasks by genetic engineering. Some progress has been made in this area, where researchers have inserted genes for a particular protein into a bacterium. One of the first examples of this is the immune-system hormone interferon.
- Molecular Assembler website (http://www.MolecularAssembler.com)
- Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines (http://www.MolecularAssembler.com/KSRM.htm) online technical book: first comprehensive survey of molecular assemblers (2004) by Robert Freitas and Ralph Merkle
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details