[extropy-chat] Fwd: KSRM now available online

Brett Paatsch bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au
Thu Oct 27 07:39:41 UTC 2005

jrd1415 wrote:

> --- In nanotech at yahoogroups.com, "Gina Miller" <nanogirl at h...> wrote:
> Kinematic Self-Replicating Machines Now Freely Available Online
> The most comprehensive review of the field of Kinematic Self-
> Replicating
> Machines (KSRM), the title of a book co-authored by Robert A. Freitas 
> Jr.
> (http://www.rfreitas.com) and Ralph C. Merkle 
> (http://www.merkle.com), was
> published in hardback in late 2004.  The book is still available in 
> print
> (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1570596905), but KSRM is now 
> freely
> accessible online at http://www.MolecularAssembler.com/KSRM.htm.  
> With 200+
> illustrations and 3200+ literature references, KSRM describes all 
> proposed
> and experimentally realized self-replicating systems that were 
> publicly
> known as of 2004, ranging from nanoscale to macroscale systems.  The 
> book
> extensively describes the historical development of the field.  It 
> presents
> for the first time a detailed 137-dimensional map of the entire 
> kinematic
> replicator design space to assist future engineering efforts.  KSRM 
> has been
> cited in two articles appearing in Nature this year (Zykov et al, 
> Nature
> 435, 163 (12 May 2005) and Griffith et al, Nature 437, 636 (29 
> September
> 2005)) and appears well on its way to becoming the classic reference 
> in this
> field.

Are any readers of this list familiar enough with the contents
of  this book to tell me if it contains even a single instance of 
a full set of component parts that would together make up 
the first self replication device? 

It seems to me that a full parts list would be needed before 
those parts could be intentionally assembled by any means
into a first instantiation of a self-replicator.

Nature does self assembly with biological cells, so with biological
cells we know self-replication is possible but we don't know
exactly how. That is, to the best of my knowledge no scientist
knows even the full list of molecular parts for a biological cell
capable of replication yet.  Knowing the 960 odd genes of 
simple creatures doesn't of itself give us the set of their protein
structures and the other component molecules. 

To the best of my knowledge it is a simple statement of
the truth that we do not know how nature does self 
replication at the molecular level that it must do it. 

Brett Paatsch

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