Sunday, January 11, 2009

Nanotechnology: the answer to all of our problems

So I'm taking Biotechnology right now, and for my final project last term, I researched nanotechnology. And let me tell you, nanotechnology is pretty freaking awesome.

No idea how small a nanometer is? Okay, well think of a meter (it's a little longer than a yard). A nanometer is one billionth of a meter- that's about half the diameter of a DNA helix, 1/40,000 the diameter of a human hair, or 1/10 the thickness of the protective coating on a pair of sunglasses.

In doing research for this project , I came to the conclusion that nanotechnology can solve all of our problems. Well, okay, maybe not ALL of our problems, but nanotechnology can sure solve a lot of problems, including but not limited to:

-Clean water. Nanotechnology could be used to filter water (in theory) 100% effectively. That would be pretty cool, considering all the people that die from drinking dirty or diseased water.
-Cheap computers. Think about this: a supercomputer, only a few cubic millimeters in size. It costs less than a cent, so computers could be affordable for almost everyone.
-Stain-resistant clothing. Many companies are using nanotech-based fabrics that literally repel stains. Pretty cool, right?
-Improved medicine. The applications of nanotechnology in medicine are practically endless- some of them are the Kanzius machine (destroys cancer tumor cells), flesh welding, and improved drug delivery.

And guess what? Once products are actually developed, what's cool about nanotechnology is that since everything is so small, they would be extremely cheap to produce.

Of course, there's also the whole, end-of-the-world, "grey goo" scenario (a theoretical scenario in which self-replicating nanobots consume their environment- the Earth- and create more of themselves). But nanotechnology is pretty cool.

Still don't think nanotechnology is cool? Look at this.

This is a nanoguitar. It's comparable in size to one of your red blood cells. Yeah, if you ask me, that's pretty cool. You wanna know what's even COOLER? It can be played with a laser beam. I don't see how that's NOT cool.

And take a look at this:
This is called "dip pen nanolithography", which is basically writing on the nanoscale. If you think it's cool when someone can write your name on a grain of rice, imagine fitting this entire paragraph onto an area that is much, much smaller than that.

In conclusion: nanotechnology is really cool. Also, science is cool.

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