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What is the potential danger of nanotechnology?

  1. Oct 1, 2005 #1
    I have to pick a topic for a persuasive research paper, and I am quite interested in the nanoteachnology area. I know we have a lot of benefits from the nanoteahnology. But does it have any potential disadvantage or harm due to our society? such as in the biomedical or other area...

    PS..i am still searching for a good topic for my paper, even though I have some idea. I want to hear some suggestion from you...thanks...
    oh...the requirement of the topic is quite board, it only has to be a persuasive paper relate to techology...because it is to general, it is hard for me to pick one....
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 1, 2005 #2

    Perhaps a danger of nanotech may be in misinformation, like that found before Y2K.

    Its my opinion that in 1999, people feared "the end of the world" and spent and did things because of the possibility that this is it. In the tech world frauds were a dime/dozen, folks who said computers would croak 1/1/00?

    Water will stop, power grids will overload, supermarket cash registers will spawn legs and run away, etc. It was a giant money grab, we need to fix all computers and any embedded circuit, the embedded chip in the microwave? in the refrig? the vcr? electric toothbrush? These will all fail 1/1/00 unless you pay us $ to fix them. Only the vcr takes in the "date", the others cannot be affected!! But this was the secret, dont tell no one.

    So the misinformation over Y2K probably helped contribute to the post 2000 depression, layoffs and payback for software engineers

    Ever heard/read this:

    "...it can hold so much information, you could put the entire Encyclopedia Britannica on (thing) the size of the head of a pin..." ?

    I would contend that was claimed in the 1980s... and 25 years later, its still never been done.

    If you have doubts, keep in mind there are photos, so to put the photos in there... accurately? would take lots of megabytes, maybe 100Mb per page and how many pages in total??

    So one danger is misinformation, fortunes spent on shysters, careers ruined...
  4. Oct 2, 2005 #3


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    Don't worry; any potential Dangers are trapped in condoms somewhere in the sewer system.

    As for perils, I suppose that there's always the possibility of medical nanobots getting loose and 'infecting' a population. There are also, of course, malicious folks who might engineer destructive critters for their own purposes. (I count myself among them :devil: .)
  5. Oct 2, 2005 #4


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    Any technology can become melicious. It is people who make terrible things, not technologies themselves that make terrible things
  6. Oct 2, 2005 #5
    I read some articles about it, but the reference was not quite clear, so it was quite hard for me to build my reference for the essay...i read something like that:
    "Earlier studies in 2002 by CBEN (Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology) indicated nanoparticles accumulated in the bodies of lab animals, and still other studies showed fullerenes travel freely through soil and could be absorbed by earthworms. This is a potential link up the food chain to humans and presents one of the possible dangers of nanotechnology."
    "While the body has built-in defenses for natural particles it encounters, the danger of nanotechnology is that it is introducing entirely new type of particles. Particles some experts say the body is likely to find toxic. "
    I am trying to look for this kinds fact, but most of them are just on the interenet, I wonder if anyone can suggest some book or paper fact that relate to this topic...
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2005
  7. Oct 2, 2005 #6


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    If you're worried about Buckyballs or Fullerene nanotubes, I can't see why. They're both pure carbon, and we're made of carbon. No way would it be toxic, any more than chewing on a charcoal briquette. (Less so, in fact, since briquettes don't undergo any quality control for extraneous substances.)
    Micromachines, on the other hand, have the potential to be designed for any purpose that the human mind can come up with. Even ones made for a good application could go wrong accidentally or be used in an antisocial way. I'd certainly avoid making anything self-replicating until it had proven itself innocuous beyond any doubt. A medical bot, for instance, that's intended to modify norepinephrin levels in a depression patient would cause havoc if released into the general population.
  8. Oct 2, 2005 #7
    And delicious.
  9. Oct 2, 2005 #8


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    Cookies are delicious delicacies.
  10. Oct 2, 2005 #9
    i saw an article on NANOKITTY
  11. Oct 3, 2005 #10
    NanoKitty? where is it?
  12. Oct 3, 2005 #11
    Nanotechnology. Ofcourse it can go bad just as much as it can go good.

    And if it can it will.
    somebody could design a nanobot that goes about reproducing itself, and its main function is to take lego structure and dissesemble them. ATOM BY ATOM

    what do we do if there are quintillions of nanobots taking apart every molecule they touch.

    a human would melt into a mash of scattered elements
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