Drexler on our mysterious cellular vaults

vaultEric Drexler discusses “vaults” – tiny structures present in the cells of every plant and animal:

Like ribosomes, they’re atomically precise self-assembled structures made of protein and RNA, but they’re big and hollow, large enough to pack many ribosomes inside.

Looking forward, this information could help protein engineers develop methodologies for designing large self-assembling structures.

Vaults are unusual in many ways, but what I find most surprising about them is this:

To this day, no one knows what they do.

Mmm. A nanoscopic biological structure of unknown purpose and potential technological utility: I smell MacGuffin

[image from Eric Drexler’s blog]

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