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July 14th, 2006
The Science Fiction Files
David Gerrold: In Theodore Sturgeon's story "Microcosmic God" (1941), a scientist creates microscopic beings who evolve superfast, build their own Microverse, and eventually surpass even humanity. In the November 1955 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction, Philip K. Dick published a story called "Autofac." In it he predicted robot factories, where micro-machines, smaller than ants, construct duplicates of themselves. Today the nanotech revolution is under way, and we have devices similar to inkjet printers on steroids that generate 3D objects. Printing live tissue for transplants or printing steaks for dinner is a possibility. DG Predicts: Organic fabbers? Printers that can print heart valves have already been demonstrated. Are fabbed tissues and organs that far off? I think not. We'll see industrial units in five years and home units within ten.
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