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"it slowly dawned on me that the landscape of science is maybe what interests people a great deal in science fiction."
- Gregory Benford

Nano-Paste  
  Nanobots that use the resources around it to create a desired product.  

"Industrial Grade Nano-Paste, Planet's most valuable commodity, can also be one of its most dangerous. Simply pour out several canisters, slide in a programming transponder, and step well away while the stuff cooks. In under an hour the nano will use available materials to assemble a small factory, a hovertank, or enough impact rifles to equip a regiment."
(Col. Corazon Santiago, "Planet: A Survivalist's Guide")
From Alpha Centauri, by Sid Meier.
Published by Fraxis Games in 1999
Additional resources -

Long-time sf readers will compare this to the autofac (nanorobots) from Philip K. Dick's 1955 short story Autofac.

Thanks to Gatomon41 for submitting this item.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Alpha Centauri
  More Ideas and Technology by Sid Meier
  Tech news articles related to Alpha Centauri
  Tech news articles related to works by Sid Meier

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