There’s an interesting book review in the Guardian (go here). Below is a brief excerpt. The book is about biocomputing. Increasingly it’s looking as though all the interesting biology is really a form of engineering. If I ever became the president of a university (per impossibile), I would dissolve the biology department and divide the faculty with tenure that I couldn’t get rid of into two new departments: those who know engineering and how it applies to biological systems would be assigned to the new “Department of Biological Engineering”; the rest, and that includes the evolutionists, would be consigned to the new “Department of Nature Appreciation” (didn’t Darwin think of himself as a naturalist?).
. . . Amos’s fascinating book shows how such miniature manipulation is a step on the road to “truly programmable matter”. Researchers dream of a microscopic “doctor” robot that travels around in your bloodstream and dispenses drugs at the first sign of illness. But it will not be a submarine shrunk by a miniaturising ray, as in Fantastic Voyage; it won’t be electronic at all. Why reinvent the wheel? Nature’s “machines” already contain the components we need. “Science-fiction authors tell stories of ‘microbots’ – incredibly tiny devices that can roam around under their own power, sensing their environment, talking to one another and destroying intruders,” Amos notes. “Such devices already exist, but we know them better as bacteria.” . . .