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Nanotechnolgy Book Reviews by Joel-Anthony Gray

Nanotechnology is one of the most paradigm changing and exciting fields to come along in the history of materials science. The amount of information and research in this field has increased astronomically in the past 10-15 years and I started this site to guide everyone from children to scientists to a better path of understanding the principles, implications and applications of nanoscience.

I feel it is important to structure this presentation in a certain way because I find most websites on the subject to either be too uniformly basic (a nano is one-billionth of a meter,  Dr. Feynman’s talk in 1959, etc.) or very topic specific without adequate context. To a large degree, this is the nature of nanotechnology as it covers a wide breadth of disciplines while often diving into advanced physics and math concepts.

The point at which any one person could fully understand all the information available on nanotech is long since passed as nanotechnology research and journals are now published faster than what is absorbed by even a team of dedicated individuals.

While I realize that many nanotechnology books are already reviewed on Amazon, that avenue of evaluation is potentially diluted by either very vague statements by students such as “This book was really hard for me to understand” to “Great textbook!” which I don’t find detailed enough to be helpful. And in some cases, the review says more about the reviewer than the actual book. Also, some books have no reviews at all because they are so specialized.

My goal is to:

1) Review and share what I feel are the best books on the range of subjects encountered by those in the nanotechnology field including adjacent fields such as vacuum science, plasma physics, etc.

2) Develop mini-quizzes of varying difficulty while covering a multitude of areas.

3) List key concepts in a concise and accurate fashion so that a more intuitive understanding of nanotechnology is gleaned – I am now building a separate website dedicated to this effort.

My focus is heavily slanted towards bio-nanotechnology as I find this the most interesting application with the potential for the greatest impact on the quality of life. Also, it often involves multiple cross-disciplinary fields including chemistry, biology, materials science, physics, electronics, fluid dynamics, microscopy, magnetism, optics, etc.

This is for my personal benefit as well; some say you don’t really understand a subject as well until you start teaching it to others.

Bio-Nanotechnology: Concept & Applications

Bio-Nanotechnology: Concept & Applications 1st Edition Hardcover

by Madhuri Sharon, Maheshwar Sharon, Sunil Pandey, Goldie Oza

Bio-Nanotechnology Book Review by Joel-Anthony Gray

Bio-Nanotechnology: Concepts and Applications

ISBN 1439852146 –  300 pages   $66.31 on Amazon  Published May 2012

I am more than a bit surprised that a fresh book in such a cutting edge field is so inexpensive and seems to be a bit unknown at this time. (at least I am not seeing any reviews on Amazon as of this writing)

Despite some flaws and shortcomings, this is quickly becoming one of my favorite texts on the subject.

There is definitely more of a bias towards helpful illustrations, photos and diagrams in here than there are equations, so this is NOT a hard-core reference manual, but it is an excellent overview of some of the latest concepts and approaches in the field of bio-nanotechnology.

The areas covered are broad and what I find to be the most valuable contribution of this work is the ILLUMINATION that it provides on fundamental concepts that are too often obscured by analysis and math symbology. For example, the chapter on ATP Synthase motor dynamics is the most detailed and yet most understandable explanation I have yet encountered on this almost supernaturally efficient wonder of nature. 

There are numerous other eureka moments I encountered throughout the book while reading; the kind of “Aha!” transitions that professors and PhD students allude to when you reach a certain quantum leap in understanding and you glimpse how all sorts of “First Principles” converge, interconnect and hang together.

The only detraction at times is the glaring grammatical mistakes in certain chapters that are the obvious result of mistranslated material and/or a lack of good proofreading. This may seem picky, but in some cases the error is of such a magnitude that the technical meaning is distorted into misinformation. In one case, the number of hydrogen bonds between nitrogenous bases is incorrectly illustrated as 2 for both A & T and C & G with the ring order in DNA accidentally reversed. (the correct number is 2 and 3 respectively) Still, a sharp student or professor should be able to suss out the wheat from the chaff; I just look forward to a 2nd edition that has been more carefully edited.

All in all, if you want a good technical overview of trends in bionanotechnology or just need to review the basics, then this is a must have, but I don’t find it suitable as a primary academic textbook. (but a recommended supplement)