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Abstract for this talk:
Robert Freitas, winner of the 2010 Feynman Prize for Theory, has been making contributions to molecular nanotechnology for well over a decade. Nanomedicine Volume I, published in 1999, was the result of a multi-year effort to examine the implications of molecular nanotechnology for medicine, and included the design and analysis of a wide range of new and novel molecular machines that, taken together, will be revolutionize our medical capabilities in coming years. The medical applications can only save lives if we can economically manufacture complex molecular machines -- economies that can be achieved using self-replicating manufacturing systems. In Kinetic Self-Replicating Machines (KSRM) he filled a void in the literature by surveying the field and bringing together and comparing the many proposals that have been made over the years, as well as adding new insights and new designs in the process. More recently, he has turned to the specific reactions needed to actually build molecular machines. In "A Minimal Toolset for Positional Diamond Mechanosynthesis" he has proposed and fully analyzed (using the tools of modern computational chemistry) a core set of reactions that, once implemented, would let us build complex atomically precise hydrocarbon structures, including diamond, graphite, fullerenes, and a wide range of related structures.
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