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February 14th, 2008
Researchers looking at tiny robots for big changes
To most people, the word "nano" refers to an electronic device that plays music. However, to a growing community in Colorado, the whole world will soon be impacted by a far different kind of "nano."
The word refers to a new body of research involving the manipulation and construction of strange new materials, one atom at a time.
Scientists have long known that materials often behave differently on an atomic and sub-atomic scale. However, it's only recently that they have learned how to actually begin building devices on such a tiny scale. The result is a burgeoning world of exotic machines that will eventually impact every human being.
Dr. Rahmat Shoureshi, dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Denver, predicts a future where molecule-sized robots do everything from curing cancer to warning of imminent bridge collapses. He says the most immediate thing that will impact people is the development of radical new ways to cure disease.
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