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Guardian Unlimited

Martyn Amos

Genesis Machines

Nanotechnology is seen as likely to be a significant presence in the future, and one way to implement it may be to use a technology that's been around for billions of years -that of life, and in particular of DNA. In Genesis Machines, Martyn Amos tells of the recent research into the possibilities of biological computers, explaining how experiments can be done which select a piece of DNA from billions within a test-tube, thus effectively implementing a massively parallel computer. Amos then goes on to describe how research has moved away from trying to compete with electronic computers, towards using biological computations within a biological context.

Its sometimes hard to follow the different research areas mentioned in the book, but then in a fast moving subject this is inevitable - one wouldn't expect a cut-and-dried explanation of what's going on. One thing that I did feel was that the book could have done with more diagrams to show what was happening in the DNA experiments which were described - there tended to be too little explanation of the DNA side of things, with possibly too much on the history of computation, which I felt interrupted the flow of the book. But overall, if you want to hear about leading edge science and technology then I think you'll find the book well worth reading.

Amazon.com info
Hardcover 368 pages  
ISBN: 1843542242
Salesrank: 3782120
Weight:1.54 lbs
Published: 2008 Atlantic Books
Marketplace:New from $7.99:Used from $1.14
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 360 pages  
ISBN: 1843542242
Salesrank: 1858058
Weight:1.54 lbs
Published: 2006 Atlantic Books
Amazon price £18.99
Marketplace:New from £11.87:Used from £0.01
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Amazon.ca info
Hardcover 368 pages  
ISBN: 1843542242
Salesrank: 2921182
Weight:1.54 lbs
Published: 2008 Atlantic Books
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 33.57:Used from CDN$ 3.44
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Product Description
The paperback version of the groundbreaking book about the next generation of computers: not only are they smaller… they’re alive. Cells, gels and DNA strands are the ‘wetware’ of the twenty-first century. Imagine taking cells from a cancer patient and programming them to detect disease and then prompt the body to cure itself. Or clothes woven with microchips, nanofibres and living cells to form wearable bio-weapons detection systems. Both of these revolutionary applications are closer than we think. Some scientists are pushing the boundaries even further by creating synthetic biology where brand new creatures are engineered in the laboratory. In this breathtaking book, a leading expert in the field reveals just how the stuff of science fiction is rapidly becoming a reality. This new technology will change the way we think – not just about computers, but about the nature of life itself.