What is Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is very new technology. it’s mostly research but there are some products out there that use nanotechnology. There are schools that offer a dual degree such as business and nanotechnology; there are a lot of schools that are trying to get people interested in these programs. The government has started a program called National Nanotechnology Initiative (Nanotechnology education at universities).First people should know a little about nanotechnology and where it came from. Then things that nanotechnology could bring such as cures for cancer, brain injuries and many other things. Nanotechnology could also help our environment; it could make stronger materials with less toxic waste. All of this sound good but some researchers are concern about its affects in humans.

History of Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology, we have seen this word use in many sci-fi movies and books, but we knew that it was not going to become something real. Nanotechnology is defined as those materials with constituent dimensions less than 100 nm (Zhang, Lijie & Webster, Thomas J. (2008)). The term nanotechnology was first use in 1974 by Norio Taniguchi’s paper; however the first person to ever come up with such an idea was Richard Feynman at the Pasadena meeting at the American Physical Society (APS). He even gave some of this personal money as a price to anyone that could come up with a working electric motor that was 1/64 In. cube (Feynman, Richard P. (1960)). Still this isn’t as small as an atom but still that’s how the idea got started. From there scientist started to notice that this had been done before, it was done by nature. They started to look at nature for the answer. The first time that nanotechnology really got any attention was in December 29, 1989. When IBM wrote their companies initials with 35 xenon atoms on a piece of nickel (May, Mike (1999, September)). This was a real achievement for everyone because it showed that atoms could be arrange, they could be controlled. The properties of nanotechnology are unique, because when atoms are rearrange they change significantly, just like carbon, we all know that coal and diamonds are made of the same thing but when the atoms are rearrange they make two different things, one is a precious item in the world while the other one is one of cheapest. Nanomaterials can be made from metals, ceramics, polymers, organic materials. (Zhang, Lijie & Webster, Thomas J. (2008)). Nanomaterials do not follow the laws of Newtonian physics, which means that they could make something new. Nanotechnology is estimated to be worth 1 Trillion to the U.S. by 2015. This shows that businesses are becoming more interested in nanotechnology.

Applications for Nanotechnology

Since this kind of technology is new there is a lot of research going on, every nation wants a piece of the
pie. There are some promising applications for nanotechnology. One is bone and cartilage tissue regeneration. This technology could be use for to help people that have broken bones. According to The National Center for Health Statistics there was an increase of 83.72% in hip replacement in just 4 years, and the implants only last for about 15 years. Since nanotechnology works in an atomic level, the cells are able to adapt and the bone has a greater change of regenerating. They are also looking into using this technology for injuries in the brain, all of the deceases that have to do with the nervous system. (Zhang, Lijie & Webster, Thomas J. (2008)).

They are also looking into what they could do with nanotechnology in the building and manufacturing Products. With Nanotechnology they are able to build structures, with error rates less than .0000000000000001, which is pretty amazing getting this kind of precision in building things. They are also planning in using nanotechnology to create Materials that are 75% stronger than aerospace aluminum (Werthamer, N. Richard & Drexler, K. Eric, & Hadden, Susan G., & Chapa, Jorge (1992, January)). Since nanotechnology works in an atomic level, there is no pollution being produced, or if there is they are able to control its form. They could make it come out as s solid instead of a gaseous state. This could stop a lot of pollution into the air and water. They are also building detectors which would detect any toxicity in the soil and water and the technology could treat the area in its own without the help of a person. David Blair it’s looking at motors that are 25 nanometers wide that power bacteria. These cells can go 18,000 revolutions per minute, which translates into about 15 body lengths each second (Freedman, David H. (1991)). Nanotechnology could bring endless possibilities.

Concerns about Nanotechnology

There are some worries about what can nanotechnology do to people in general, because this are elements are small as an atom, they still have no way of knowing what this could cause in the human body. They are thinking of using Isotopic tracing, which is being used today to trace elements. They are suggesting that they use this to keep track of where nanomaterials are in the body. Because there not much is known about technology there has been a lot of research done, even OSHA is getting involved (Nanotechnology education at Universities). I think that the gains of nanotechnology out weight the risk.