The smallness of nanotechnology is a concept and reality difficult to grasp. The word nanos is Greek, meaning dwarf or something very small. The meaning has shifted however to mean one-billionth, as milli means one-thousandth and micro means one-millionth. For example, if a nanometer could be magnified to appear as long as a person’s nose, a red blood cell would be as tall as the Empire State Building, a human hair perhaps three miles across and a finger could span the length of the US.
Constructing anything at that scale is seen as important as the industrial revolution and the revolution of computer technology. However, the consequences of nanotechnology is not being appreciated by lawmakers, scientists who do not work in the field, laymen and other scientists who hold conflicting views about the ability to construct anything at that small of a scale.
Nanotechnology has been labeled a kind of general-purpose technology, something that is capable of, in its advanced form, of having a major impact on every industry there is and all of society as a whole. Using a segment of this technology, it will be able to construct better built, cleaner, safer, longer lasting and smarter products for communications, transportation, farming and medicine to name a few.
Think of a medical tool traveling through a human that seeks out and destroys clusters of cancerous cells, or a box no bigger than a sugar cube that contains everything in the Library of Congress. That is the scale and scope of nanotechnology. Being a general-purpose technology, it will offer efficiency not even imagined now. Nanotechnology may assemble future machines, products or even food in completely new patterns.
As a dual-use technology, it has commercial and military uses, and it can be used to construct powerful weapons and other tools. On one hand, nanotechnology offers to make life better and easier, but it comes with great risks. We are not sure what the consequences are or how devastating, depending upon the uses, nanotechnology may be for humanity.
In a broad sense, two ways of altering the world may occur soon. The first way is already taking place, though it is relatively benign. For example, cosmetics companies, through the use of nanotechnology, are applying substances to their products to enhance a glow on the skin and brighter colors in the rouge. Another example, is applying what can basically be called chemical engineering on a nano scale, by applying new stain repellents to clothing, or anti-reflective glass in sunglasses and improving our lives in the process.
Read more at http://guardianlv.com/2014/06/nanotechnology-assembles-the-future/#GwjkC0JfDLeGgGJi.99