to the


Travels to the Nanoworld. Miniature Machinery in Nature and Technology
Hardback: Perseus Books, Cambridge, MA, May 1999,
ISBN 0-306-46008-4, $ 25.95 , 254 + xiii pp.
Paperback: Perseus Books January 2001, ISBN 0-738-20444-7, $ 16.00, 254 + xiii pp.



We are on the verge of controlling matter on the nanometre (millionth of a millimetre) scale, resulting in a whole new world of technological possibilities now widely known as nanotechnology. But what is the best way to approach the nanoworld: from the top down (making small things even smaller) or from the bottom up (putting molecules together)? Which lessons can we learn from the nanometre-sized molecular machinery in the living cell? And what will be the benefits and risks of the new technology?

In 'Travels to the Nanoworld' (Perseus paperback 2001), and more recently in Prospect magazine (November 2002), I have argued that nanotechnology based on molecular interactions is bound to work, as the living cell demonstrates. Learning from Nature can also show us ways to defuse the 'grey goo' scare, i.e. the idea that nanomachines going wild might obliterate our living planet. By now (2005), nanotechnology based on the fundamental principles and research described in this book has become a major focus of research and development, with many real-world applications.


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