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May 17th, 2008

Nanotechnology revolution

Abstract:
Nanotechnology manufacturing has a promise of producing new materials a hundred times stronger than steel, and more efficient and cheaper to produce as compared to the existing production techniques. Mind boggling examples of some of these products include: very small devices that can be implanted under the skin, and pincers that can be injected in the veins to perform medical procedures; self - contained portable factories ready to make cheap products efficiently at the molecular scale; and development software that can process enormous amounts of data involving diverse sources of science.

Other benefits may include: 1. Molecular manufacturing would greatly reduce water requirements, and also cheaply run greenhouses would be a means of saving water, land, and food. 2. The efficient and inexpensive generation of electricity, using solar and thermal power, will make electric power available to basically everyone in the world. 3. Faster, cheaper, and more powerful computers will be available that could help improve information and communication systems even in the remotest areas. 4. Manufacturing of new technologies will be self - contained and clean, and will have less of an environmental impact. 5. Cheap and advanced equipment for medical research and health care will make improved medicine widely available. It will be feasible to restore human organ engineered tissue while simple products will greatly reduce infectious diseases prevailing in many parts of the world. 6. Nanotechnology will enhance capabilities in space ventures and operations.

However, while nanotechnology has a promise of great benefits to the future, there are some very serious risks. Imagine, for example, weapons that could be packed in a small match box, but carrying enough lethal material that is capable of wiping out the entire population of a major city. Other risks include: 1. The stakeholders — manufacturers, salesmen, and marketing agencies — will have to revise their investment plans to survive involving tens of trillions of dollars spent on everything from basic necessities to communication devices, recreation, and our environment. Huge monopolies, command over unprecedented wealth, and control of employment and product prices, enjoyed by the manufacturers could lead to anti-competitive practices and Schumpeterian creative destruction — the process by which a new product, or new production techniques, replace existing products and techniques resulting in the replacement of one monopolist by another. 2. Criminals and terrorists equipped with stronger, more powerful, and more compact devices can cause unimaginable harm to society.

Source:
pakobserver.net

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