Desma 9 – Nanotechnology by Michelle Wong

Before lecture I had a slight hunch of nanotechnology is, but after the Nanobama talk it was a lot clearer. I thought it was really interesting that Buckminsterfullerene and the carbon nanotubes were made of purely carbons. The structure of Buckminsterfullerene, otherwise known as the Bucky Ball abacus, is unique that it’s organic and can carry molecules inside of the abacus. Prior to the lecture, I didn’t know that different colors can be extracted from the color black at the nano state. I think this is very important because the colors in cosmetics are not natural and it contains carcinogens. This is extremely useful because manufactures are using too much artificial colors, for example, food dyes, hair dyes, and fabric dyes.

I did a simple google search for the word “nanotechnology” and I got numerous results relating it to medicine. Nanotechnology is used in cancer treatments because it allows researchers to interact and study the cancerous and normal cell in real time. It is also used during chemotherapy. The use of nanotechnology can be more accurate in pinpointing cancerous cells and deliver the drugs only to cancerous cells – sparing the healthy cells. I didn’t realize how small the nanoparticles were until I saw this youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jqQxuVncmc . I find it absolutely amazing how researchers can engineer something smaller than cells because I’ve been taught that the small building block of life is a cell. Attacking cancerous cells from the genetic level is amazing because that is the underlying problems of cancer. nano_shower

During my research for my final project, I came across a virtual reality site. In virtual reality, nanotechnology is used to create a glove that is worn the participants. During the simulation, the gloves will give off force feedback and the sensation of touch. Because nanoparticles are so tiny, virtual reality is used to examine and touch the nanoparticles and to give the researchers a better sense of it is. After the lectures and my own independent research, I learned that nanoparticles are all around us and we never really used it. Now scientists are using nanotech to create plastic solar cells in place of the expensive silicon. One of the advantages in nanotech is that the scientists can control every step of the polymerization of the molecules. Although there are many positive sides to nanotechnology, there are also some concerns. Further research is needed to determine whether it is safe for our health 100%. Scientists are still unsure what would happen if certain scientifically engineered new nanotech molecules interacted with our natural cells. Despite possible consequences, nanotechnology is the solution to sustainable health and solar problems.

Another topic that found very interesting is the way how IBM was able to move atoms by atoms by the oscillating forces from a tuning fork. This reminds me of movie screening from the sound and science symposium. I attended the movie screening where vibration was used to create waves and art. I think the similar concept should be applied to the art of moving atoms. The way how engineers move the atoms and create what they want will be beneficial to our planet because we can create what we are in deficit. Maybe someday we can alter the conformation of graphite and create diamonds!

flash-coal_diamond

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcqvJI8J6Lc

by Michelle Wong

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