In science-fiction fantasies, the melding of organic matter and digital technology usually takes human form, from Steve Austin's six-million-dollar bionics to the replicants running amok in "Blade Runner" to the Terminator. Yet research on multiple fronts in digital technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology may, over the next half century, alter the way we think about computers and information, and our relationship to them. With these changes, bionic body parts won't seem so far-fetched as we increasingly develop ways to integrate high-tech materials into our mortal flesh. All of these overlapping strands of scientific inquiry are known colloquially as "BANG," which stands for bits, atoms, neurons and genes.
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