Pescovitz cornered Dr. Smalley for an interview, which is more than a little disturbing to read.
The interview starts off with the normal first question: "What exactly is nanotechnology?" Dr. Smalley responded by stating:
Nanotechnology is the art, science and technology of building stuff that does stuff on the nanometer scale. [A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter.] With the term "molecular" in it, there's a special aspect to it: that the stuff you build has molecular integrity, which means when you put the last atom in it, it's a molecule. It's a molecule that maintains its identity in the real world with other molecules rubbing up against it. The key is that it's an object that does something. The dream here is to build machines, functional devices, things that go bump in the night, with molecular perfection (Pescovitz, 1997, 4).
Although actual "molecule-by-molecule" construction is still in the future, current nanotechnology has made some impressive advances.
Engineers and computer scientists across the country are developing many devices that push the envelope of the new technology. For instance: The Sensor and Actuator Center at the University of California at Berkeley, has already created and is marketing tiny devices with moving, pincer-like fingers that can grab onto bacteria. In addition,
. . . at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, engineer Mehran