Seconded! Thanks, Jim, for doing this. BTW, Jim, is there a setting that shows me all the posts in a thread even if I've already seen them? In these days of pretty high bandwidth, I'd rather have all the context of a discussion than minimize network traffic. Never mind, found it, it's the "All discussions" option to the left of the GO! button in the left sidebar.Resistance is futile. Capacitance is efficacious.
I think these things are getting close to technically feasible today, but I don't think (in spite of the existence of the Foresight Grand Prize) anybody in a position to do it is looking at it as an important goal to pursue. A few possible obstacles occur to me off the top of my head. Maybe the amount (US$250000) is just not enough to attract the requisite talent. Maybe the people able to do this are busy with other things, and consider this a pointless diversion from more important goals. Maybe…
I've been seeing this a few times on Facebook, a machine developed by Martin Burke et al at UIUC which is supposed to greatly simplify synthesis of a wide variety of small molecules (hype, not so hype, also not so hype). It appears to be based on something called Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling, which if I understand it, uses palladium as a catalyst for joining almost anything to almost anything else. More pretty chemistry stick figures here and here. I'm not a chemist by any means but would appre…