Controversy in Stem Cell Research
Nano technology is a burgeoning field of many different sciences that are intensely focused on developed new devices and methods that work on an extremely small scale. Seeking to work at 100 nanometers (light is about 400-700 nanometers in size), these technologies would allow many different types of scientist to affect a multitude of spaces and physical areas that were previously thought impossible. Applications are occurring in medicine, chemical engineering, electronics, energy production and more. Advances in each of these areas helps to establish a larger body of language on the subject with massive benefits.
Though it sounds very exciting, the field of nanotech (as it is often called) is still in the most basic stages of development. For starters, though there are many theories about what things like microscopic machines could do, it’s unclear how to go about building such tiny machines. Furthermore, much of the work focuses on dealing with elements and chemicals at a level wherein their basic structure (bonds, electrons, and nuclei) are large objects relatively speaking. Additionally, the governments of many nations are still trying to understand how to regulate the technology and understand its implications for different levels of society.
With these ideas in mind, nanotech can be most broadly understood as a realm of scientific development that works with atoms at the individual levels like pieces of Lego blocks. One of the first impressive instances of such work is the famous “IBM” brand name written with just a few dozen atoms. Beyond such flashy instances, nanotech has been used to create extremely dense memory disks similar to the standard hard drive in most computers, but with immensely more memory capability. Specialized solar cells that function using nanotech have also been developed to increase the efficiency of solar power systems.
Most nanotech is confined to materials that have been altered at the molecular level for increased performance and improved durability over the long run. Many other advances are concerned with building small devices using nano-sized elements that will some day be used to construct nanorobotic devices. Generally all these devices can be seen as fitting into either existing products scaled down or improvements made to standard microscopic materials in order to improve their functionality.
Though there is an urgency to put ‘nano’ in front of everything that sells to make it appear more futuristic, the field of nanotech still has much further to go until it’s a part of the everyday lives of most people.