(PRWEB) August 15, 2004
Behind the public face of nanotechnology -- the science fiction novels, environmental doomsday prophecies and excited research news -- a debate has been evolving and swirling for the past decade around a fundamental question: Can tiny machines build things useful to humans by moving molecules or even individual atoms?
This isn't a debate of concern only to those in the ivory tower of academia. A major goal of nanotechnologists is to create nanoscale robots -- nanobots -- that can perform various functions at the nanoscale. These functions include molecular manufacturing: Using nanobot designs, such as fabricators and assemblers, to build products with atomically precise control. Considering the possible applications of nanobots and molecular manufacturing in medicine, computing, industrial production and more, the debate's importance becomes apparent.
Having recognized the debate's importance, writer Patrick Bailey set out to unravel the arguments for Betterhumans. In an article freely available on Betterhumans.com (http://www.betterhumans.com), Bailey reports on the debate over conceptions, misconceptions, theories and misrepresentations of physics and chemistry. And after poring over the arguments and speaking with the experts, he finds no evidence for the claim that nanobots and molecular manufacturing are impossible.
For example, Bailey reports that:
Claims that enzyme catalysis only works in water -- which some have argued is necessary for any nanobot proposals that use enzymes -- are incorrect because research shows that enzyme catalysis can occur in non-water-based environments.
Overall, Bailey reports, the evidence suggests that the debate over nanobots and molecular manufacturing might need to shift its focus from if molecular manufacturing could happen to how and when.
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