"One can see the free software movement as a precusor for a "free hardware" or "free wetware" movement--one that will provide free libraries of designs for biological or nanotechnological products that replicators can be programmed to churn out."
In the novel, genetically engineered animals are implanted with control devices.
This novel is the source for the current DARPA program HI MEMS (Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) program; read more about how researchers have successfully embedded control circuits into insects while still in the pupal stage.
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