Pros and Cons of Nanotechnology

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Nanotechnology is often depicted as some form of magic with no practical application in the modern world. After all, how can we manufacture tiny little robots that are too small for the human eye to see? Science fiction loves giving everyone the idea that nanoparticles are some crazy substance that gives superhuman abilities. This isn't stuff that's found purely in science fiction, however, as new projects are underway to utilize nanoparticles, in a more realistic manner.

What Is Nanotechnology?

Technically speaking, nanotechnology refers to the manipulation of matter on an atomic or molecular scale. The general idea is to create nanoparticles or nanomachines that can be controlled to perform a variety of operations, such as cure diseases and heal physical injuries. To put their size into perspective, a nanoparticles is typically smaller than a virus.

Created by Digital Micrograph, Gatan Inc.

Pros:

  • Improve commercial production, reducing labor costs, eliminating human errors, and improvig overall output.
  • Monitor individuals' health, looking for signs of cancer, diabetes, or other serious conditions.
  • Scientists say nanotechnology could even cure various diseases and illnesses by actively seeking out and eliminating the root cause.
  • Nanoparticles could be used to clean up pollution in the water or even the air.
  • Ability to make products waterproof, dustproof, etc.

Cons:

  • Thousands if not millions of jobs would be lost, placing a heavy burden on our country's already struggling economy.
  • Potential for nanotechnology to develop “a mind of its own.” Telsa founder Elon Musk recently described artificial intelligence as being the biggest threat to mankind.
  • If it falls into the wrong hands, nanotechnology could be used a weapon against governments and/or the general public.
  • Being that nanoparticles are so incredibly small, it may be difficult to control or even locate them.
  • Nanoparticles could have an adverse effect on a person's health, causing more harm than good.

Google recently announced plans to launch a healthcare monitoring system using nanotechnology. The project, which is being developed by the company's ultra-secretive X lab, hopes to create nanoparticles that look for signs of disease in patients. The patient must also wear a watch that will be used to recall the nanoparticles. Since the nanoparticles are made of an iron core, the wearable wristwatch can attract them using a magnetic field -- at least that's the plan. Google released the following statement in a press release regarding its bold nanotechnology-based healthcare monitoring system:

But long before those symptoms appear, the chemistry of the body has changed — its cells, or the molecules inside cells. Unfortunately, the medical profession today doesn’t understand at that molecular level what happens when a body starts to get sick. And that’s why doctors typically can only treat disease once there are symptoms. If we could somehow detect those changes earlier, as soon as a body starts to move away from a “healthy” chemistry, this could change how diseases are detected, treated, or even prevented.”

What do you think of nanotechnology? Will nanotechnology become the forefront of technology in the next 15 years?

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Andrew Plaza

Nerdy Tech fanatic interested in the intricacies of life, technology, and high existence.

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