Category Archives: Nanotech

Nanotechnology, Genetic Engineering & Robotics – Doomsday or Miracle?

Nanotechnology, Genetic Engineering & Robotics – Doomsday or Miracle?
by Tatiana Velitchkov  © 2007

Advances in nanotechnology have proven that incredible progress is not only possible today and in the future, it is pretty well inevitable. Fantastic advances in nanotechnologic medical research have resulted in life saving techniques that were unheard of even a decade ago.

Genetic engineering research and development provides a means of revolutionizing agricultural output by enhancing crop yields while encouraging a decrease in the necessity for pesticides.  It also holds out a promise of attaining newer, improved species of plants and animals, the ability to someday replace or supplement reproduction with cloning and the hope that cures will be developed for many fatal and debilitating diseases, which can only result in increased life spans and improved quality of life.

Robotic engineers firmly believe that development of a truly intelligent machine that is capable of performing most tasks better than humans will be perfected within our lifetime.  They envision a time when a highly organized system of machines will perform all tasks with little or no human input.

It is not hard to imagine the revolutionary advancements that are possible if nanotechnology, genetic engineering and robotics combine their expertise in future technological advancements. Either the result will be a utopian world free of disease or pestilence or a jumbled chaos of grey goo and confusion.

Regardless of the outcome, it is inevitable that the future holds profound changes because of nanotechnology, genetic engineering and robotics, whether the accomplishments are made on their own or as a result of a coordinated effort.  Along with the imminent progression, however, we must also be aware of the philosophical, moral and ethical issues that will come about as a result of biological change.

In addition to the potential threat from the unleashed power of nanotechnology based scientific advancements, there is also the promise of an improved future for mankind and the world in which he dwells.  The line of demarcation is thin and easily crossed and therefore great care and planning must go hand in hand with technological advances.

Naysayers are quick to point out the many pitfalls of unbridled nanotechnology, genetic engineering and robotics research and implementation; however, to the chagrin of futurists, these non-progressive individuals fail to fully conceive of the many benefits these scientific advancements can and will provide.  Progressive thinkers are quick to embrace the very real possibility of incredibly low-cost solar power, cures for debilitating disease via intensification of the human immune system, the ability to clean up our environment and the overall improvement of human existence that is not only possible but entirely plausible in the very near future because of nanotechnology, genetic engineering and robotics.

So, are nanotechnology, genetic engineering and robotics to be feared as an impending doomsday event or should they be embraced as miracles of the future?  Only by carefully reviewing the past while embracing the future will we be able to tell.  After all, if we are willing to build an artificial brain, we must be willing to construct one that is able to see what we cannot.

© Tatiana Velitchkov

About the Author:

Tatiana is the owner of the Nanotechnology site www.ecophagy.com
and runs www.totally-useless.com among many other sites

Nanotechnology meets Metaphysics

By Tatiana Velitchkov,  © 2007

Metaphysics is a division of philosophy whose aim is to explain the nature of the world.  Basically a study of substance, metaphysics refers to themes that go beyond the physical world.

Metaphysicians interested in getting to the bottom of issues regarding universals or particulars are devoted to analyzing the character of objects and their properties and, more specifically, the underlying mutual relationship between them.

Metaphysics is a philosophy that theorizes on the way the world could have been which is why it is sometimes referred to as the science of illusion. Metaphysical theories, although not written off as meaningless, are however viewed by some as non-verifiable because there is no definite method of attesting as to whether they are true or false.

Although many metaphysicians believe properties are abstract objects whose existences are beyond space and time, some are convinced that particulars are actually comprised of a collection of properties.  Based on this evaluation it is sometimes easy to understand why, historically, metaphysics is often condemned as a futile and excessively vague concept.

Nanotechnology, on the other hand, is a science whose foundation is based on fact. Credited with the scientific application of constructing functional and sometimes powerful devices by manipulating single atoms until they are molecularly sized, nanotechnology has a proven connectivity to advancements in manufacturing, computers and medical technology.

So, how exactly how does one correlate the philosophy of metaphysics with the science of nanotechnology?  Because scientifically nanotechnology is still in its infancy, its awesome potential power is still largely based on conjecture.  Admittedly, the basis for further advancement of this technology is well established in the existence of molecular sized robotics; still, the potential breakthroughs in nanotechnology have yet to be proven as a contributing factor or a detrimental threat to future societies. Rather than focusing on the world as it could have been, proponents of nanotechnology are intent on establishing proof of the way the world will be when this science is perfected.

Metaphysicians have long suffered attacks because others perceive their dogma as having no apparent access to real knowledge; yet nanotechnology, while decidedly advancing in its development is, nevertheless, unable to lay claim to absolute knowledge.

Human perceptions are based on a combination of reality and its interpretation of reality.  As previously established scientific truths and laws disintegrate under newer and more advanced breakthroughs, thought processes become relative to the spectator’s viewpoint.

Science has made so many life-altering advancements in recent times that what was once only possible in the realm of science fiction novels has now become commonplace and accepted as routine.

Yet, despite its ever-increasing excitement at scientific progression (especially in the field of robotics and self-replicating nanobots) mankind in general has trouble comprehending the vast and far-reaching implications of such a rapidly advancing technology.

Although some would like to draw clear lines of distinction between Metaphysics (which is predominantly concerned with recognizing and defining themes that go beyond the physical world) and nanotechnology (whose theories have the potential to encompass the corporeal and psychological sphere of our world as we know it), in actual fact neither, it seems, is very far removed from the other.

© Tatiana Velitchkov   About the Author:   Tatiana is the owner of the Ecophagy site www.ecophagy.com and runs www.Totally-Useless.com among many other sites

Nanotechnology and the Emphatic Computer

Nanotechnology and the Emphatic Computer
by Tatiana Velitchkov  © 2007

People show their emotions in many diverse and specialized ways, some of which a computer can be programmed to detect. By employing nanotechnology, a camera and image analysis software, some computers are able to observe a user’s body language and, with proper programming can accurately interpret a person’s posture, restlessness and various facial expressions like grimacing, smiling or scowling. Nanotechnology advances provide onboard sensors which can monitor heartbeats, breathing rates, fluctuations in blood pressure, and other subtle body changes such as skin temperature and voice inflection.

Because human skin has the capability of transmitting electric signals which can be utilized as a method of transmission, nanotechnology researchers have already been able to develop computers that are designed with nano sensors that have the uncanny ability to actually ‘see’ and ‘hear’ the people using them.  Inevitably it is only a matter of time until the technology is available to create a computer that can readily identify whether their users are in high spirits or in a bad mood.

With ever advancing nanotechnology equipped computers, scientists figure it is entirely possible to develop a computer that is able to interpret a user’s mood via input it receives based on body language, voice tone and facial expressions and that it will be programmed to adjust itself by providing images designed to provide a feeling of comfort and serenity.  Since emotions are ambiguous, transient and ultimately difficult to interpret, it would be very difficult for a computer to accurately construe the many human mood variances, regardless of how advanced the nanotechnology utilized. Therefore, in order to operate with any modicum of precision, a user would have to input the required data in advance.

Nanotechnology, with its sensor based abilities, gives programmers little problem with ‘intelligence’ based activities such as diagnosing a medical condition or participating in a game of chess, yet even with the major advancements in nanotechnology in recent years it is still somewhat of a challenge to design computers that accurately simulate human sight, audio functions, language interpretation and/or motor control.

Human vision and other sensory perceptions have evolved over billions of years and the how and why of their operations are still difficult to understand and/or simulate, while things like mathematics are explicitly taught and are, therefore, easier to express in a computer program.

Programmers are also attempting to employ nanotechnology advancements into programs that they expect to be able to accurately determine a person’s innate wishes regarding resuscitation should they fall ill and not be able to make that decision for themselves.  Although, theoretically this information would be beneficial to medical teams, caution should be exercised whenever we allow a machine to determine matters relative to ethics.  Regardless of the technology involved, machines are not equipped to differentiate between what is intrinsically right or wrong.

© Tatiana Velitchkov

About the Author:

Tatiana is the owner of the Nanotechnology site www.ecophagy.com
and runs www.cspy.org  among many other sites

Nanotechnology – Just What the Doctor Orders!

by Tatiana Velitchkov  © 2007

What if you were terminally ill and your doctor informed you that the venom from a snail could save your life?

What if the technology was available to produce a non-addictive painkiller that was thousands of times more potent than any morphine based product available today?

What if nanotechnology could provide the method of administering these potentially life-saving, pain elimination medicines within the near future?  Would you be willing to support its advancement?

Well, nanotechnology is rapidly taking the “what if” out of just such medical conundrums.  Biochemists, working in close liaison with nano-scientists, have discovered that the highly lethal venom contained in cone snails, which are found in coastal waters near coral reefs, can be extracted and, when administered via nanotechnologic methods, can potentially be used as a safe and effective alternative to highly addictive morphine-based medications.

Nanotechnology initiative programs are leading the highly competitive worldwide race in mining and providing a conduit for administering spiral snail toxins (known as conotoxins) and are developing methods of administering this peptide in a safe and positive manner.

Changes to the ion channels in human cells are directly responsible for a myriad of health disorders.  Ion channels, which traditionally allow only calcium and potassium through their highly specific filtering system, can now be treated with toxins that have the ability to deactivate these channels.  However, in the past, administration of these life altering conotoxins has offered a bit of a challenge to biology experts.  That is, until now.  This is where nanotechnology, with its innate ability to connect quantum dots, has provided a viable method of probing and infiltrating the cells in order to safely administer life altering drugs.

Due to its ability to specifically target finite and defined cells, nano-quantum dot technology provides the wherewithal to deliver conotoxins to targeted areas.  Quantum dot, a nano-scale crystalline structure, is being investigated as a method of introducing medicine to specific areas of the body where the crystals act as probes that are able to track and report on antibodies, any viral activity, proteins in the area and even DNA composition.

By a system of imaging, this biochemistry and nanotechnology combination allows scientists and medical personnel alike to monitor the progression of the administered conotoxins within the body and allow the manipulation of toxin released at the designated sites.

Conotoxins have been proven as effective early detection and treatment methods for small cell lung cancer and for promoting anti-seizure treatment in epileptics. In addition, some success has been shown in treating patients who have suffered spinal cord injury, re-activating cells damaged due to oxygen deprivation and in treating clinical depression, irregular heart rhythms and some instances of urinary incontinence.  Nanotechnology plays a vital role in the success of administering this innovative treatment by providing a safe and non-invasive method of administering treatment while reducing the risk of rejection by the body.

The possibility of advanced medical treatments when biochemistry, medicine and nanotechnology work in conjunction with one another is limitless.

Nanotechnology research has showed some promise in treatment of aging-related tissue degeneration in humans.  With its in- vivo therapy, nanotechnology is credited with repairing degraded components of human DNA which significantly counterbalances and, in some cases, actually corrects the effects of common crippling age-related afflictions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and other debilitating diseases.

© Tatiana Velitchkov

About the Author:

Tatiana is the owner of the Nanotechnology site www.ecophagy.com  and runs www.totally-useless.com

Nanotechnology – For All to Use, or Only for the Free (read Wealthy)?

By Tatiana velitchkov,  © 2007

The overwhelming disparity in riches between third world countries and the more developed nations has never been more poignant that in today’s modern society.  While the technology exists, in the form of rapid strides in nanotechnology, its access is limited to and concentrated on the more affluent power brokers of the world.

The innovative strides in nanotechnology have the potential control poverty, eliminate hunger, and provide safer and cleaner water for the poor as well as providing a ready cure for tropical diseases in those areas where human suffering is the hallmark of existence.

But, will this technology ever reach those who need it the most? This is the burning question that must be addressed by the controlling agents within the government, military and private sectors.

Unfortunately, history has a disquieting way of repeating itself and, traditionally, the poorer nations of the world have been last on the list for technological advances that contribute to easing their innate suffering. Rather than focusing on enveloping poorer nations within the bosom of caring and just actions, far too often the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ is ever widening.

Nanotechnology, with its promise of hope and renewal could be the solution to drastically improving the quality of life for all, if it is distributed fairly and evenly.

Nanotechnological strides are being developed in some third world countries like Brazil, India, Thailand and South Africa where millions of dollars has been earmarked to encourage the progression of research and development of nanotechnology and its promise of overwhelming advancements in environmental, agricultural, medical and sustainable natural resources.  The hope is that the resulting developments will benefit rich and poor alike, thus satisfying the Millennium Development Goals as set out by the United Nations in their bid to eliminate, or at least control poverty in the poorest nations.

The more powerful scientific communities, like those in the United States, Britain and Japan lead the universal thirst for nanotechnology perfection. Yet there are those who decry the seeming objectives of these more powerful nations.  They say the nations who are able to encourage the rapid strides in scientific research in nanotechnology appear to be allocating more effort into using it for military gains and covert surveillance than in benefiting the poor and disadvantaged.

It is said that if you want to see into the future, you need only look to the past.  In previous decades, humanitarians put a lot of faith and hope into burgeoning technologies in biotechnology and its promise to solve world hunger via genetically modified organisms. However, the proposed benefits to the poorer nations have yet to materialize. It appears the developed nations are reaping the rewards of widely grown and readily available GMO enhanced foods which are being consumed in countries that do not have the abject poverty of the under-developed worlds.

The promise of dramatic improvement to the quality of life for the poor has yet to come to fruition.  It can only be hoped that saner minds will take precedence in the development of nanotechnology and that its benefits will be shared by both rich and poor throughout the entire world.

© Tatiana Velitchkov   About the Author:   Tatiana is the owner of the nanotechnology site www.ecophagy.com You could find her marketing articles on http://www.takeyourfortune.com/archives.php?page=archive

Is Nanotechnology Totally Useless according to you?

By Tatiana Velitchkov,  © 2007

Nanotechnology is the science and art of constructing functional and sometimes powerful devices by manipulating single atoms until they are molecularly sized.  In order to achieve some relativity on this, one must be aware that a molecule is measured in nanometers, which is, essentially, one billionth of a meter – an atom is ten times smaller than that.   As a revolutionary concept, nanotechnology covers a wide spectrum that can often be a double edged sword. In the right hands, the extreme capability of nanotechnology can be a positive contributor to medical advancements, environmental cleansing, energy conservation and many other areas that can largely improve human existence on our planet. The down side to nanotechnology is that in the wrong hands it can be a destructive force that may ultimately lead to the annihilation of human existence and even of our planet.   There are varying schools of thought on the benefits versus the threats of nanotechnology pursuits.  One outlook is that replicating nanostructures could gobble up the entire planet in about three hours flat while another is that nanotechnology as a science could revolutionize medical treatments for conditions that are presently incurable using standard technology.   Nanotechnology has been credited with many beneficial improvements to existing products like fabrics that totally resist staining, scratch resistant eyewear and sunscreen that can endure greater exposure to the elements for longer periods of time.  In addition, creating smaller, more powerful devices via this technology has been a positive contributor to revolutionary advancements in computers, more improved diagnostic medical testing and more efficient means of removing toxicity from areas afflicted with environment contamination. Anyone would have to agree that these advantages are certainly not totally useless attributes of nanotechnology.     Additionally, nanotechnology has been credited with creations from a biodegradable plastic made from waste products produced from fruit growing operations to experimental replacement bone tissue that will not be so easily rejected by the human body after transplant. The advantage of such a product will result in easing human suffering while actually contributing to an extended life span. Anybody wanting to improve on humanity would be hard pressed to declare breakthroughs like this as totally useless.    Despite its propensity to do good, nanotechnology could also lead to the creation of more compact and essentially more dangerous weaponry, which, if it fell into the wrong hands could lead to the development of chemical and biological weapons that are far more deadly, harder to avoid and much easier to conceal than conventional warfare.   Naysayers are quick to point out additional negativities of nanotechnology such as the ability of the military or other covert government organizations to conduct continuous, surreptitious surveillance on each and every citizen. Some go even further by concentrating on the hypothesis that nanotechnology, when used to advance greed and power, could result in total physical and/or psychiatric control of one faction over another.   Will nanotechnology ultimately result in ecophaghy – the consumption of the entire worldwide ecosphere – or will all these doomsday predilections just be totally useless fodder for overactive imaginations?

© Tatiana Velitchkov   About the Author:   Tatiana is the owner of the nanotechnology site www.ecophagy.com and runs www.Totally-Useless.com among many other sites and blogs     Tatiana is the owner of the nanotechnology site www.ecophagy.com You could find her marketing articles on http://www.takeyourfortune.com/archives.php?page=archive

Tatiana

The Dilemma of Nanotechnology – Science Vs. Ethics

Feb 01, 2007

What is Nanotechnology and why should I care about it?

Nanotechnology, referred to commonly as molecular manufacturing, is making huge strides within scientific and government communities. Despite its growth and the potential impact it will have on society at large, too little emphasis has been placed on the ethical considerations of nanotechnology and the ever-rippling effects of its applications. Continue reading The Dilemma of Nanotechnology – Science Vs. Ethics

Nanotechnology and the Future with Clean Energy

05/06/2007

Nanotechnology and the Future with Clean Energy by Tatiana Velitchkov

Harnessing the power of tidal currents has the potential to provide unheard of clean, renewable energy production. Nanotechnology, with its innovative approach and non-surpassed success rate, may be the conduit needed to perfect the viability of ocean-current power as an alternative energy source. Continue reading Nanotechnology and the Future with Clean Energy