Geek Science

Tech Term: What is Nanotechnology or Molecular manufacturing.

Tech Term: What is Nanotechnology or Molecular manufacturing.
What is Nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology, aka molecular manufacturing, is a field of engineering dedicated to the study of the world so small, we can’t even see. It is a new study of atoms and other little particles around us.  In order to understand the weird field of nanotechnology, we say: A nanometer (nm) is one-billionth of a meter, smaller than the wavelength of visible light and a hundred-thousandth the width of a human hair [source: Berkeley Lab].

Nature itself has perfected the act of molecular manufacturing. For example, our bodies are made of billions of cells and as such can be referred to nature’s nanomachines. Nanotechnology seeks to help us understand how to design and create devices at the molecular level of matter. Been able to understand the field can be of great importance to the survival of human race in the future as predicted by renowned scientists. It can help reproduce things like gold, food and cure diseases like cancer.

nanotechnology in medicine

Nanotechnology can be used to create little techs that can cure cancerous cells | Source:

Nanotechnology in Medicine.

Nanotechnology has great potential in the field of medicine as it can help develop fast and powerful computer devices called nanorobots that can be used as programmable antibodies as bacteria continue to adapt to new medical treatments, nanorobots can be programmed in a way to find and kill infected cells.

Today one of the reasons why chemotherapy is known to be a risky way of treating cancer is due to the lack available nanotechnology techniques as it uses the drug delivery method that is very bad at targeting infected cells accurately.

Recently, Researchers at Harvard and MIT were able to make a big push as they attached special strands of about 10nm in diameter, as these strands are attracted to cancerous cells, so when the nanorobot finds a cancerous cell in the body it quickly attaches itself to it and releases the drug into it. This new technique to treating cancer has great potential thereby reducing the risk factor usually attached to the conventional chemotherapy.

Nanotechnology in Batteries.

Source: Products-liability-insurance

Sometimes ago we talked about how a new battery that lasts forever was developed using nanotechnology. Companies are currently developing batteries using nanomaterials. These batteries have the potential to last decades of use and can recharge faster than conventional batteries.

Graphite and diamonds on a nanoscale level.

Who knows what differentiate graphite and diamonds? As they are both made entirely of carbon but have vastly different properties.

Caption :

Graphite is soft
Daimond is hard
Graphite are good conductors of electricity
Daimond can’t conduct electricity and are known as insulators
Graphite is opaque
Daimond are transparent

The reason this is so is due to the way the carbon atoms bond together at the nanoscale level, as the atoms in diamonds are held together firmly compared to graphites that are held together by weak bonds thereby creating a soft substance.

The Nanotechnology definition debate.

Different scientists have different view on the field of nanotech. Some are of the belief, that it is: any activity that involves the manipulation of materials between one nanometer and 100 nanometers, however, it has been noted that nanotechnology originally means building devices and technology at molecular states(small and tiny) and also the manipulation of materials on an atomic scale.

The debate arises as scientist continue to ponder on the potential of nanotechnology. Some also believe nanotech can also be used to significantly increase the human lifespan and create devices that can produce almost anything using raw materials. The third set of scientists just doesn’t see the full potential and are of the belief that it can just be a field that helps us work efficiently not influence the human race.

Then also the ethical challenges barrier that has been on all technological advancements just like artificial intelligence. If nanotechnology can help us increase our lifespans and produce goods and devices from little or no raw materials, what is the moral imperative of having such technology available to humans? Are there sufficient regulations and agencies that would help minimize harm and misuse of such technology?

Only time would tell on how nanotechnology would affect us. Whatever be the future of nanotechnology, we- (The human race) are well prepared for it.


Also published on Medium.

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