Benefits and Risks of Nanotechnology [Mechanical engineering]

Benefits and Risks of Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology and nanomaterials

Nanotechnology has been labelled the new technology of the 21st century, comparable to the invention of electricity. The driving force is mainly the recent discoveries that matter change properties and behavior in the small nanoscale.

For example there has been observed size and structure dependant changes optical, electrical, interfacial and tensional properties. Further, the reactivity, for example the catalytic activity of nanomaterials is often superior to their larger counterparts.

By tuning the physical structure and chemical composition of nanomaterials it is thus possible to manufacture novel functional materials that can have huge beneficial impacts on solving some of the grand challenges of the society, e.g. energy production and storage, water treatment, lighter and stronger vehicles, better health care, efficient computers, etc.

Risks

The enormous investments in nanotechnology, will take a number of nanoparticles that are currently explored in labs to mass markets. Nanoparticles will become more abundant in work environments, consumer products and the environment.

There are a number of reasons for concern of the hazard potential of nanoparticles: the high reactivity may lead to adverse biological effects, nanoparticles are comparable in size to some of the structures in cells, small enough to be mobile and a few example of penetration of biological barriers and most nanomaterials are persistent.

Therefore in order to promote a sustainable development of nanotechnologies and safeguard the human health, eco-systems it is necessary to assess the risks side-by-side with the nanotechnology research and development. Otherwise there is a risk that there will be a public opinion against all kinds of nanotechnologies and thus society will lose the beneficial impacts.



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FAQ

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What are the risks of nanotechnology?

well people think that the nanoparticles will turn into self replicating nanorobots.
but that is not true. in actual fact there are no risk except the fact that scientists say if they do put them into somones body and design them so they can eg, cure an illness. well scientist think that the nanomachines might when travelling in your body somehow go into your brain and damage it big time. but we have still got years to find out yet.

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What are the benefits and possible risks of Nanotechnology? What about oversight and accountability? | Yahoo Answers

Have you read "Prey" by Michael Creighton? I read this several years back before the world had heard of nanotechnology. It was enough for me to decide that it scares the beejeezus out of me. Granted.......it was a book. But the thought that these atoms could almost take on a life of their own is a bit disconcerting.

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