While we are working on losing weight, exploring a new hobby, adding on that addition to the house or preparing for the future, scientists are also actively exploring the future of medicine: Nanotechnology. While exhaustively exploring nanotechnology would take an entire newspaper to cover, I’d like to cover a brief portion of this new science, and encourage you to research this topic, with all its exciting possibilities.
As you may have noticed in the past 20 years or more, technology is playing an active role in modern medicine. With imaging studies giving doctor’s the ability to explore the human body noninvasively, pace makers and diaphragmatic pacing systems sending electricity to make the heart beat and the lungs expand, and a whole slew of other forms of technology currently in the medical field, nanotechnology again takes a swing at becoming the front runner in modern medicine.
Nanotechnology is the science of manipulating extremely small molecules, the size of a “nanometer”, to achieve a certain purpose. A nanometer is technically one billionth the size of a meter. By comparison, a nanometer could be the size of a marble, while a meter is the size of planet earth. Also, a nanometer is thought to be the length that the hair on a man’s beard grows in the time it takes him to lift a razor to his face.
The basic unit of this technology is known as a fullerene, and these fullerenes can be manipulated to do extraordinary things. These “nanorobots” are given a genetic code and are built to do whatever the scientists wishes.
Nanotechnology offers us many possibilities, not only to the medical field, but to other fields as well. Nanorobots are being used in paint, which can be used for instance to paint the inside of a concert hall, such that it blocks all incoming cell phone signals, so that the concert is not disturbed.
In the medical field, nanorobots are being constructed to be used on animals to fight infection and even cancer. If this technology is successful, there may come a time when antibiotics and chemotherapy agents could be a thing of the past. These nanorobots could theoretically be ingested orally, and the nanorobots would be programmed with a genetic code that caused it to kill off the infection or cancerous cells.
The USA is currently investing roughly 3.2 billion dollars in nanotechnology, with other countries close behind, trying to become the first company to get the technology right. There are many factors that go into finalizing this technology, such as the effect it could have on the environment, as well as what harm could be done with the technology if it was placed in the wrong hands. For more information on this topic, simply type in nanotechnology in your computer’s browser, you will be amazed at what you’ll find out.
Justin Glaze is an LPN and contributing columnist for the Walker County Messenger. He can be reached at 678-988-1011 or email@example.com.