Silicon Versus Carbon
Even though there is no generally accepted definition of nanotechnologies to be defined as distinct discipline there is an emerging consensus that their advent and development is a growing in importance factor of the contemporary and future technological civilization. One of these most fundamental issues we are confronted with is the compatibility with life itself. From single cell organisms to humans, carbon is a key building block of all molecular structures of life. In contrast the man created electronic industry to build on other elements, of which silicon is the most common. Both carbon and silicon create molecular chains, although different in their internal structure. All life is built from carbon-based chains. As long as the man built technological products do not directly interfere with the physiology of life the associated risks from them are relatively easy to identify. They are primarily in the environmental pollution and the possibility of upsetting the natural balance of biocoenosis, on a planetary scale. The basic life functions are still not directly subverted. We can use TV, computers, drive cars and use other technological utilities without fear of direct interference with our cellular functions. This is in particular because all these technological utilities are many orders of magnitude larger than typical scales of biological activity. Most of biological activity, from fermentative catalysis to DNA replication takes place on nanoscale. The situation is radically different when the technological goals are building nanoscale size products. All biological processes take place on nanoscale.
Will be of considerable value as a secondary text for universities currently offering courses in nanotechnologyConstitutes a valuable source of information on nanostructured materials for those interested in the related aspects of the field, such as nano-biotechnology, environmental friendly nanotechnologies, environmental and biological risks of nanobiotechnology, nanobionics and hybrid organic-silicon nanodevices