Nano: The Emerging Science of Nanotechnology: Remaking the World-Molecule by Molecule

Edward Regis, Jr., Author
Edward Regis, Jr., Author Little Brown and Company $23.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-316-73858-3
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-316-73852-1
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Still in its infancy, nanotechnology, or molecular engineering, has as its goal the manipulation of atoms and molecules to manufacture virtually anything. Nanotechnologists aspire to create ``designer proteins'' that will assemble themselves into atomic-scale, self-replicating machines; and, in fact, Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman predicted atomic-scale machinery as early as 1959. Billions of these ``molecular robots'' will replace human labor, restructuring matter to make houses, sailboats and cars, say nanotechnologists. With such control of nature, they predict, these proteins will one day eradicate diseases and greatly extend the human lifespan. While critics dismiss such proposals as quixotic, science writer Regis (Who Got Einstein's Office?) seems more optimistic in this engaging report on what may be tomorrow's alchemy. He describes the rudimentary feats, blueprints and aspirations of molecular engineers, notably MIT aerospace scientist K. Eric Drexler, the field's pioneer. Photos. (Apr.)
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