PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER MENZEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Eric Drexler. Portrait of US nanotechnologist and author Eric Drexler. He is seated in front of a computer graphic of a diamondoid molecular bearing he designed. This nanotechnological robot is made up of a precise number of atoms (coloured spheres). Although still at the conceptulization stage, a robot like this may one day assemble molecules one-by-one, eat pollutants, function as a computer the size of a virus, or patrol the human body in search of cancer tumours. He developed the concept and coined the word "nanotechnology" or advanced molecular manufacturing in 1981, and heads the non-profit organisation called The Foresight Institute.
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