When Prince Charles questioned the wisdom of engineering at the atomic scale, it was the first time many had heard of nanotechnology.
In a new three part series, science writer Philip Ball looks at the hopes and the reality of manipulating matter at scales hundreds of thousand times finer than a human hair. This week, how it could improve our lives.
Nanotechnologists seeking to engineer at the molecular scale know that nature got there first. Life is a collection of molecular machines. Science writer Philip Ball meets the scientists learning from nature, copying from nature and even co-opting nature for the technology of the future.