back to article Boffins demo one-molecule DNA 'walker' nano-bot

American boffins say that they have created tiny robot spiders or "walkers", each one of which is a single complicated molecule fashioned out of DNA. They have managed to get the molecular nanorobospiders to follow a trail of DNA "breadcrumbs". DNA walker nanobot in action. Credit: Paul Michelotti The sticking-up bits are the …

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Oh ...

"nanobots would be able to attach to cells, tell if they were malignant, and if so kill them"

Milspec version --> "nanobots would be able to attach to cells and kill them"

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We’re not unreasonable, I mean, no one’s gonna eat your eyes

Zombie version --> "nanobots would be able to attach to cells, kill them and then perform basic tasks"

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The Next Stage...

This is a wonderful achievement but lots of tricky work is needed to construct them. One of the next stages of research should be to find a way of making self-replicating constructions, using this DNA stuff, so they can build copies of themselves as they walk along.

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The Next Stage...

...and thus, the Goo was born.

Great. Self-replicating cell-killer nanobots. I'd like a cup for breakfast please.

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The stage after that...

... the world gets covered in a grey goo of self-replicating nano-spiders.

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Welcome

Welcome

I for one welcome our tiny new masters. May they penetrate each and every one of us many thousands of times.

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Joke

Indeed, but ...

If that happens the Welsh police will be after you!

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Anonymous Coward

4 legged spiders

http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Metal_spider

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Boffins

The use of "Boffins" should be left to the likes of The Sun. Such a tedious and patronising word.

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Happy

@Boffins

You're new round these parts aren't you?

(Translation: Lighten up, it's Friday)

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Boffin

Boffin is a badge of honour!

This is The Register; you have to work hard to earn the right to be called a "Boffin".

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Joke

Quite right

We should refer to them as 'greybeards' or 'Tefal men'.

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Boffin

Indeed! I aspired to be a boffin but had to settle for geek.

http://www.exitmundi.nl/graygoo.htm

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24 years to get to here

That's when KE Drexlers "Engines of Creation" was first published.

People are *still* concerned about gray goo. Did you *really* think you were the first to coin that phrase?

Self replication is a pretty tough problem. However in chemistry and biology its *fairly* easy to make *lots* of copies of a component molecule (6x 10^23 parts of *anything* but molecules or bacteria is a *lot* of something. In biology and chemistry its a common number of manufactured "parts"). Making them self assemble (or creating an environment which *encourages* them to self-assemble) is *much* easier.

BTW DNA is being use for several reasons a)Techniques exist to mfg a chain at will, roughly at £0.4/base pair then replicate it in very large numbers (PCR).2)DNA is *more* than a kind of molecular mag tape. Chunks of it can control interpretation of following sections. The ability to control the actions of the tool molecules which bond to it (which it can be exposed to in different sequences, add another degree of freedom to the process) make it akin to a physical Turning machine. c)The range of tool molecules is *extensive*.

As for developments taking "100 years" I think 100 months is more likely.

Mine's the one with Martyn Amos's "Genesis Machines" in the pocket.

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Re : 24 years to get to here → #

"its *fairly* easy to make *lots* of copies of a component molecule"

I'm glad you qualified it with 'fairly'

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Anonymous Coward

Just love that picture with the caption.

Here's my version...

X i i i i i i i i i i i O

The sticking-up bits are the breadcrumbs, the "O" thing is the target

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spelling pedant

...make it akin to a physical Turning machine... (sic)

This would be Turing on wheels, I presume?

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@Dodgy Geezer

Quite correct. That should have been a Turing machine.

Thought you might have gone with the pedantic grammar nazi. My apologies.

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Jobs Halo

This is really scary

Never mind "the robots are coming to get you" Dr Who style. Now they are coming to get you "INSIDE".

AARRGHHH!

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@Mips

"Never mind "the robots are coming to get you" Dr Who style. Now they are coming to get you "INSIDE"."

That also has been done by Dr Who.

The story which introduces Capt Jack Harness.

Not so much a coat, more an anorak

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Rise of the nano bots

Incredible Journey 2.0

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Pirate

Virus

...perhaps soon we can accidentally start making something really dodgy. Hang on, a tiny molecule, that can chop DNA... Hmmm...That's already a bit dodgy, isn't it?

Make it self-replicating, and release, "Accidentally" or not, into the wild...

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