Beyond the agricultural and industrial revolutions of the past, a globaltechnology revolution is currently changing the world. This book discussesthe broad, multidisciplinary, and synergistic trends in this revolution,including genomics, cloning, biomedical engineering, smart materials, agilemanufacturing, nanofabricated computation devices, and integratedmicrosystems. The revolution's effects on human health may be the most startling as breakthroughs improve both the quality and length of human life.Biotechnology will also enable us to identify, understand, manipulate,improve, and control living organisms (including ourselves). Informationtechnology is already revolutionizing our lives, especially in the developedworld, and is a major enabler of other trends. Materials technology willproduce products, components, and systems that are smaller, smarter,multi-functional, environmentally compatible, more survivable, andcustomizable. In addition, smart materials, agile manufacturing, andnanotechnology will change the way we produce devices and improve theircapabilities. The technology revolution will not be uniform in its effectacross the globe but will play out differently depending on its acceptance,investment, and a variety of issues such as bioethics, privacy, economicdisparity, cultural invasion, and social reactions. There will be no turningback, however, since some societies will avail themselves of the revolution,and globalization will thus change the environment in which each societylives.
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