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Guide to Self-Assembly
Jamais Cascio, 29 Jun 05

Technology Research News has an occasional series entitled "How It Works," describing in relatively straightforward language how important technological or scientific processes are accomplished. The latest is on "self-assembly," with a focus on biological replication. Self-assembly is particularly important for working at the nanoscale, as top-down assembly tools are simply too big and unwieldy to build anything quickly. Such techniques can mimic or even use DNA as a base for replication.

I think the TRN piece doesn't go quite far enough in explaining how the DNA and protein tools are used, but it's a good start for understanding the basic processes involved.

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