Nanotechnology, the Technology of Future

Nanotechnology is so much an in thing today, that people actively begin talking about the wonders nanotechnology promises and already delivers.

The future of nanotechnology, as in all other forms of technology brings with it opportunities, challenges and fears.

Opportunities brought forth by Nanotechnology

Research going on towards development of ultra-compact data storage devices that go well past blue ray discs promises to bring down the physical burden of storage devices. So much data in so little space will be the mantra of future. Storing all data found in and tens of thousands of other websites in a 3-inch or smaller disc is more than promising.

Such storage will be possible by controlling photons. We never believed we could actually slow down the speed of light. Slowing down, holding down the photon for a second and releasing it later give ultra sensitive storage devices that never say no to another GB.

Take the case of development of new materials. Yet to be named materials, thousand times tougher and a hundred times lighter than steel will reduce the weight of vehicles that run on road and go to mars. Such vehicles consume much less amounts of fuel, in the range of hundredths or thousandths of present day consuming. It will not be a wonder if you see a re-launchable space vehicle takes a leap from earth, orbits Mars and return to earth, all while consuming as much fuel as a present day car does to cover 150 km on road.

One such extra tough material is carbon nano-tube. Carbon nanotubes however find application in bio-technology. The development of robotic muscles by University of Texas seems to be only a beginning of a saga. At the end of the journey we will be having human shaped robots tens of thousands of times stronger than Mike Tyson (at his prime).

Biotechnology sees a great leap with advances in nanotechnology. DNA recombination or genetic modification will become order of the day, offering solutions to hereditary diseases and incurable diseases like RP (Retinitis Pigmentosa). The whole genetic constituency of a person will be tracked at the time of birth, just like preparation of Jataka or Birth Chart according to Indian Astrology. Just like the solutions for planetary influences in Natal Chart, biotechnologists will be able to modify the genetic configuration of a person so that the person can be saved from any future diseases.

Stem culture is another area of futuristic technology. Surgically or accidentally severed limbs will be developed inside a test tube to be reattached to the person’s body. For a more recent future, we will see cell culture in developing an artificial liver from the cells of a person. This way the body of the person never rejects the liver when it is used to replace his or her diseased liver.

Stem culture will also be the answer to almost all kinds of cancer.

Challenges and Fears Associated with Nanotechnology

Use of technology against enemies is always going to be a cause of worry. Genetic mapping of a whole population can give significant advantage. Weapons that cause genetic modification or target weak spots in genetic constitution can become possible. Use of the weapons need not be in a large scale. Launching the micro-weapons to the atmosphere can cause people to inhale the genetic toxins.

One cannot predict exact nature of such biotechnology weapons. It may leave the whole population sterile. It may also induce cancer, heart or lung diseases to young people.

Think about a war situation when thousands of fighter planes sized 10 inches or less, each carrying compressed nuclear weapons capable of cleaning up the whole city in a matter of nano-seconds. Defending such attacks become not a difficulty, but an impossibility.

Yesterday’s science fiction is today’s science and technology. Making of a modest claim can be ridiculed tomorrow;
“640 KB should be enough for anybody” – Bill Gates in 1981

It is safe game suppressing the urge of predictions.

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