Week 9_Nanotechnology: Proceeding with Caution

Nanotechnology in the blood stream

Nanotechnology in the blood stream

Week 9_ Nanotechnology: Proceeding with Caution

Nanotechnology is the head of forward progress.  When we think of the future of sciencefiction movies, we see a plethora of shiny metal structures, flying cars, and everything is automated for us.  Most of these automated objects will probably happen through nanotechnology.  This week’s letures, especaiallyt he guest lecture on Thursday, were quite insightful and informative about explaining the details and backgrounds of nanotechnology, such as the Buckminsterfullerene.  Examples of nanotechnology influences include progress with minuscule surgery, advanced production of specific items, creation of medicines and energy, and so on and on.  However, nanotechnology may not necessarily be all peachy and cheery.  Nanotechnology could cause unsuspected toxicity and may potentially harm global economics.  This article (http://scitation.aip.org/getabs/servlet/GetabsServlet?prog=normal&id=BJIOBN00000200000400MR17000001&idtype=cvips&gifs=Yes) explores the potential increase of pollution with nanotech’s miniscule size.  While our human bodies are well adapted against ash, dust, and other natural particles, our bodies’ skin and immune system are unsuitable to combat the size of nanotechnology.  Humans that deal with nanotechnology are essentially putting themselves in an environment that could cause lung damage and other damage to the circulatory, lymphatic, and nervous system. Recent studies have shown that lungs and mucus have difficulty removing inhaled nanoparticles.  Adverse effects of nanoparticles on human health depends on physical shape and level of exposure, however, the general consensus is that these miniature sized particles are smaller than cells so they can penetrate basic biological structures and disrupt normal functions.  Nanotechnology can also potentially cause a lot of privacy invasion.  Dan Brown, the author of the Da Vinci code, wrote Deception Point, where nanotechnology was frequently used to assassinate enemies and infiltrate enemy lines.  These were used to take incriminating pictures and provide constant surveillance.  While I don’t know how realistic these nanobugs are, the idea of someday reaching these stages are frightening and enraging.  The right to privacy would be repeatedly violated, and in the wrong hands, these nanobugs would repeatedly rape people’s unalienable rights.  How far is too far then?
I am not saying we should halt the progress of nanotechnology.  This would not only be foolhardy, but it would halt a lot of medical and technological advances.  However, I believe the progress of nanotechnology should be taken with an extra ounce of care.  As the lectures states, nanotechnology is bringing forth a paradigm shift and society is never going to return to a society without nanotechnology.  Because there is a new market for nanotechnology, there will be entrepreneurs eager to capitalize.  Furthermore, nanotechnology may be the answer to some of the biggest of mankind’s problems.  This article, http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/7-30-2006-103920.asp, discusses how nanotechnology may remedy our energy crisis.  Nanomaterial may be used to harness the energy of splitting water and can be used to store hydrogen, usually very flammable, may be stored with a certain type of carbon nanotube.  Nanoparticles may also be used to more efficiently capture solar energy.  Nanotechnology may yet be the answer to many of our problems, but researching this material and using nanotechnology should be handled with a lot of care and precaution.

Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology and Medicine

Nanotechnology and Medicine

By: Jason Kwok

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