David S. Goodsell reviews Soft Machines: Nanotechnology and Life, by Richard A. L. Jones, at American Scientist:

Richard A. L. Jones, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sheffield, has provided a new entry to the burgeoning literature on nanotechnology. In Soft Machines: Nanotechnology and Life, he touches on a variety of subjects in this ever-widening field. These include, to use his classification, top-down methods (such as photolithography of silicon), which are now reaching nanoscale levels; bionanotechnology, “the ‘Mad Max’ or ‘Scrap-heap challenge’ approach to nano-engineering”; biomimetic nanotechnology, which takes its lead from biology but uses the tools of chemistry for construction; and the “radical nanotechnology” of mechanosynthesis in the style of K. Eric Drexler (author of the influential 1986 book Engines of Creation).

Like a knowledgeable host making dinner conversation, Jones moves from topic to topic with a stream of lively banter. We ask “What is it like down there?” and our host tells us about Brownian motion and dispersion forces, using Raquel Welch in Fantastic Voyage to spice up the conversation.

More here.