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Chapter 4. Biotechnology

Chapter 4. Biotechnology

Probably the most visible and active convergence occurring in the borderland between two major fields is that uniting biotechnology with nanotechnology: bio-nano or nano-bio convergence. Arguably, biotechnology is the oldest of the four NBIC fields, dating back to prehistoric days when plants and animals were first domesticated, when techniques such as fermenting wine and culturing cheese were originally invented, and when a variety of more or less effective medical techniques were first systematized. Perhaps the very first application of biotechnology was the cooking of food, which may have begun as early as a half million years ago. By contrast, the debate regarding nanotechnology and cognitive technology takes a vastly different tack—namely, which of them is younger, as both have arisen as recently as our own lifetimes.

The fusion of nanotechnology with biotechnology is a momentous connection combining innovations from the entire sweep of human history with our radical new ability to understand and manipulate matter on the nanoscale. The nanoscale is where complex chemicals and life itself arise.


  

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