Es un mundo más pequeño de lo que creemos

Imagínese mirando a través de un poderoso microscopio y descubriendo que máquinas increíblemente pequeñas apartan la materia que hay alrededor de ellas, molécula por molécula, reorganizándola para hacer réplicas exactas de si mismas. Las réplicas, por supuesto, harán exactamente lo mismo. Después de 20 generaciones, cada máquina habrá llegado al millón de copias. ¿Es posible detenerlas, o se apoderarán del mundo?

Esta no es una historia futurista de ciencia ficción acerca de la tecnología fuera de control. Este es el mundo en que vivimos hoy en día, en donde en todos lados hay máquinas así. Incontables millones de ellas habitan en las entrañas de cada ser humano. Las llamamos bacterias, y se apoderaron del mundo millones de años antes de que aparecieran los humanos. Las tratamos con respeto, o de lo contrario nos matan.

Los evolucionistas no están seguros acerca de los progenitores de las bacterias, y no podemos repetir el experimento de la naturaleza. Después de todo, la naturaleza puede darse el lujo de disponer de todo el tiempo que desee, miles de millones de años, mientras que nosotros los mortales debemos demostrar avances antes de que se nos agoten los fondos de investigación. En todo caso, la más simple de las bacterias es maravillosamente compleja y sus cadenas de ADN contienen completas instrucciones sobre el metabolismo y la reproducción.

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