Kirk L. Kroeker "Technology, too, obeys the law of responding, of answering a call at whose origin we are encountering so much static." -- Avital Ronell

 
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The Rise of Molecular Machines

By Kirk L. Kroeker

The field of molecular computing is achieving new levels of control over biochemical processes and fostering sophisticated connections between computer science and the biological sciences.

Taking cues from both speculative fiction and hard science, today’s most prolific futurists have envisioned a point in the future when developments in genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics make it possible to sidestep the constraints of human durability and intelligence. Controversial assumptions notwithstanding, even the most optimistic speculation about the future symbiotic convergence of humans and technology is deriving at least some measure of credibility from emerging work in molecular computing. Researchers in this field are achieving new levels of control over biological processes and fostering sophisticated crossovers between computer science and the biological sciences.

(This article appeared in CACM, vol. 54, no. 12, December 2011, pp. 11-13.)

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