Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Molezart Molecule

Control reactions with elaborate timing.
  (+12, -2)(+12, -2)
(+12, -2)
  [vote for,

This idea is more of an experiment that may yield some interesting results.

Current chemical processing is dominated by steady state processes (constant continuous generation of one or two endproducts), or batch processing (Put x units in, get x units out). The paradigm is rigid and optimization is usually a simple affair.

Now, imagine a symphony. Many insturments all sounding at different times, with different sounds to create a grand unifying sound. Imagine now, that instead of insturments, we use reactants. Instead of different sounds, we have varying concentrations, and varying properties (temp, pH, pressure). Now, devise a machine whereby you insert your reactants, and the machine forces the interaction in a sort of timed symphonic fashion. A is released in milisecond bursts while B slowly increases in concentration and then large burst of C, another burst of C! Stacatto A... fortissimo C! Okay, so you see the idea, but what's the point?

The hypothesis is that such timing may result in different products, perhaps more desired products. the intermediates of certain reactions may be selected based on proper timing. Also, the rate of yield may be increased due to nonintuitive results of such timing. I propose most of the timing would work on milisecond scales, when the chemical intermediates are all in quantum superpositions and such.

This idea may especially work for protein chemistry, enzymatic processes where there are many more intermediate states in the course of a reaction.

Inspiration for such an idea comes from computational genetics, where gene interplay is nothing short of symphonic, nor short of beyond our grasp, and Mozart, whose music makes me happy.

Imagine using the proper reactants and programming their release to some composition, getting a maximum yield of product A. Now, change the composition, and the yeild changes to product B. This paradigm would require much combinatorial chemistry, whereby all musical compositions would be tested for various sets of reactants, creating a database of yields for each combination.

daseva, Jun 01 2005

GEB http://www.forum2.org/tal/books/geb.html
No, but very interesting... [daseva, Jun 01 2005]

Combinatorial Chemistry http://www.netsci.o...chem/feature02.html
[daseva, Jun 01 2005]


       Somebody's been reading GEB again...
justaguy, Jun 01 2005

       //Imagine using the proper reactants and programming their release to some composition, getting a maximum yield of protein A. Now, change the composition, and the yeild changes to protein B.// You mean regulation of translation? Not sure how protein synthesis fits into this...
Basepair, Jun 01 2005

       Would the whole rig look like a giant organ, or a cappucino machine?   

       And thanks for the link, I didn't know there was a 20th anniversary edition of GEB.
Soterios, Jun 01 2005

       [basepair], I scurry with my words a bit, and did not mean to include proteins as products. Proteins would be used, instead, enzymatically in the machine. Proteins are hard to produce. Denatured protein synthesis is a slow stepwise process that probably wouldn't benefit from the machine I speak of. fermentation is also too slow. Imagine, instead, this machine capable of shooting amino acids out in some array, and then shooting out some ligases or something, and constructing a protein instantaneously, taking advantage of the precise timing and spatial accuracy of the machine.   

       [Sot], giant organ sounds good. With independently moving flexible pipes, some big, some very small, capable of dispensing chemicals in any preprogrammed 3D array, at any millisecond interval, into a reactor.
daseva, Jun 01 2005

       It's like deliberately injecting a bit of chaos into the experiment, I suppose. Forcing an accidental discovery, if you will. I like it.
justaguy, Jun 01 2005

       //Imagine, instead, this machine capable of shooting amino acids out in some array, and then shooting out some ligases or something, and constructing a protein instantaneously, taking advantage of the precise timing and spatial accuracy of the machine.// Sounds like a harey way of making a synthetic peptide. If you want to generate a known a.a. sequence, you do it either chemically by stepwise synthesis or, for longer peptides/ proteins, you make the relevant DNA and let bacteria (or an in vitro transcription/translation system) make it for you. If you want randomness, you can again do this in vitro or make randomized DNA libraries and put them into bugs.

However, this is just a side-niggle, and doesn't relate to your main idea of precise temporal control of conventional chemical syntheses. It is interesting to think about, particularly if you had two different irreversible reactions which compete with eachother for reagents. Perhaps an example would be some polymerisations which can form alternative (say, branched or linear) polymers, with the balance between the outcomes being determined by local concentrations of monomers, catalysts...

So, a bun for an interesting idea, though I'm not completely convinced that the current chemical industry hasn't explored some aspects of controlling kinetics along these lines (maybe?).
Basepair, Jun 01 2005

       [Basepair], I follow you. If the machine were to be used for protien synthesis it would use entirely new methods aside from stepwise polymerization or GM bug fermentation. These methods are good but have their pitfalls, as annoed above.   

       Indeed, controlling the layout of branched and linear polymers would surely be a profitable feat.   

       The chemical industry is notoriously "mature". The most interesting thing they've done recently is develop combinatorial chemistry (link), and take strides in modeling proteins. Kinetics seems to be on the backburner.
daseva, Jun 01 2005

       I'm still not getting your method of protein synthesis or why it would differ from what's done at present. But maybe I'm missing a point.
Basepair, Jun 01 2005

       Mozart makes you happy, eh? You must be a lover of math and logical progressions.
bristolz, Jun 01 2005

       I have no idea what you're all babbling about. +
moomintroll, Jun 02 2005

       Wouldn't that be Bach?
Basepair, Jun 02 2005

       More of a "Mach". <Nigel Tufnell> "I call this 'Lick my Love Pump'"</NT>
gnomethang, Jun 04 2005

       The Iommi21 multiplexer reads subharmonics in a range from latent molecular static states to twin free radical repulsion transition states, but turn up the volume and there is unmistakable power to affect any reaction face wave design!
reensure, Jun 04 2005

       From what I understand so far, this thing is a big metal box that injects various reagents in some sort of sequence, repeating thousands of times per second.   

       What I'm wondering is how your machine would overcome the random effects of diffusion, because the path each molecule takes to smack into a target will be different, right? And that would augment the timing for each individual molecule.   

       Perhaps the placement of the the chemical injection sites will also come into play? I'm imagining a large box, housing a matrix of millimeter-diameter tubes, with reactants ejected at certain nodes, so as to make the injection more uniform throughout the entire solution.
Cuit_au_Four, Apr 18 2006

       Fluidics - a stupid name for the fluid flow analogy to electronics is capable of analogue and digital (logical) operations albeit much slower than electronics. It is being developed for very small scale testing and self-controlling analyses. I also read somewhere someone's idea of advancing on digital fluidic computing by using chemical kinetics as analogue operations and chemical products as memory or actual end products (manufacturing). Probably not worth necro-ing this thread for but I've done it now; best just not to think about it.
sneakythumbs, Jan 12 2010

       Thanks [sneaky], I still love this one. Very vague, but I imagined it too often not to post. Where's [Sot]?
daseva, Jan 12 2010


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