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Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) Unit for Language and Communication Draft number: Final Version Word count: 1094

Developments of Nanotechnology Vivian van der Burgt

Course number: DS1312 Course name: Technical English B1 Teacher: Patricia Spencer Date of Submission: 25 April 2011 1 | P a g e    


Abstract With the new developments of nanotechnology nowadays, we do not know all the consequences. That is why nanotechnology is often to be considered as something dangerous and unknown.

It can bring us a lot of opportunities for new

technological developments, but it also can be dangerous. This report describes what nanotechnology is, some future concepts, and the disadvantages of the new developments. It explains why nanotechnology is something that needs to be reconsidered. The report concludes that privacy issues and health concerns are the main issues among nanotechnology. Furthermore, social scientists and other people are kept outside the research, which will lead to misunderstandings. We are blinded by new technology developments, and not thinking about the consequences.

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Table of Contents

Page Abstract

2

Table of Contents

3

Introduction

4

1.1. Nanotechnology in our Next Nature

4

Main body

5

2.1. What is nanotechnology

5

2.2. Debate-provoking nanotech products

6

2.2.1. Twitter implant

6

2.2.2. Nano-lift – physical photoshop

6

2.2.3. Programmable wine

7

2.3. Debate among nanotechnology

7

2.3.1. Manipulation

7

2.3.2. Privacy issues

7

2.3.3. Next Nature

8

Conclusion

9

References

10

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Introduction 1.1. Nanotechnology in our Next Nature We live in a world that humankind has made for us, and where technology is number one. All the products, buildings, everything around us, are made by humans, with the current technology. Engineers are coming up with even smaller technology products than before. The thing is, we don’t even know what old nature looks like; how the world looks like without human intervention. Human kind has developed a new form of nature: Next Nature. This name is given by different designers, to make the problem of our technology culture and nature clear. [4] The development of nanotechnology is part of our next nature. Scientists are coming up with new opportunities in medicine, electronics and materials. It will realize

their

wildest

dreams,

but

what

are

the

consequences

of

these

developments? There is much debate around the developments of nanotechnology: what kinds of environmental impacts will it have, and what about the privacy of people and society? People are a bit afraid of the new developments among nanotechnology, because it is unknown to them and very abstract. Maybe nanotechnology can bring us a lot of opportunities and advantages, but it also can be dangerous. This brings us to the next statement: We need to reconsider the developments among nanotechnology.

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2.1. What is nanotechnology? We

start

with

a

definition

of

nanotechnology:”Nanotechnology

nanotechnology

from

a

leading

group

in

is the construction and use of functional

structures designed from atomic or molecular scale with at least one characteristic dimension measured in nanometers”. [5] So what they mean when they speak of nanotechnology? They manipulate the molecule structure of any atom to get unique properties, which you can implement in any material or device. This is done on a very small scale, the size of one billionth of a meter. Only in this small scale can the molecules exhibit improved and different properties, which we can use in different applications. A molecule is the smallest part of a molecular substance, such as water or oxygen. A water molecule consists out of two water molecules (H2) and one oxygen molecule (O). Figure 1 [9] shows a water molecule. Almost everything around us consists of molecules.

Figure 1: Water molecule. [9]

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2.2. Debate-provoking nanotech products 2.2.1. The twitter implant Fifteen years from now, in 2016, a twitter implant (figure 2) [6] will be available which will register everything you do: your location, your favorite music, your mood and even what happens inside your body. You connect the implant to your iPhone and you can decide what you want to share with the world. Everyone knows Twitter, and from the time it was released in 2008, everybody is sharing their tweets and spending hours behind the screen to follow people. Now it will become much easier! [6] Figure 2: Twitter implant [6]

2.2.2. Nano-lift – Physical Photoshop Plastic surgery is an emerging trend. A lot of people want to change their face or body to look even better. In the future this will be even easier with the nano-lift (figure 3) [7]. Your face has to be injected with a grid of tiny magnetic nano particles. With the nano-lift, which is a magnetic stick, you can adjust these particles at home and change the shape of your face physically. [7] Figure 3: nano-lift [7]

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2.2.3. Programmable wine You have a lot of different wines with different flavors. With the speculative nanotech wine you can have all these wines in one bottle (figure 4) [8]. This wine is filled with nano sized flavor capsules, which will open by influence of microwaves. The time and the wattage will open different capsules, which will create different wines. [8] Figure 4: Programmable wine [8]

2.3. Debate among nanotechnology 2.3.1. Manipulation Manipulation is still a dangerous thing because we do not know exactly what the consequences of it may be. Manipulation is changing the structure of the molecule to get better, different properties. With manipulating the molecule structure, you create nanoparticles which can be chemically reactive and can harm biological pathways. Normal harmless substances such as titanium dioxide, can become reactive when used and manipulated on the nano scale structure. These substances can burn bacteria at the nano level. If such nanoparticles end up in the lungs of people or animals, it can damage your health and pass on to other humans or animals. [1] 2.3.2. Privacy issues One of the most privacy issue products of nanotechnology, are the implants of microchips into human bodies. These chips can be of a great benefit to control drug usage of people or controlling hospital patients. But these chips can be expanded and sold for other purposes, for example watching your enemy or your cheating husband. The twitter implant is slightly different, because you can somehow control your information. 7 | P a g e    


Another issue is that a lot of researchers disagree among each other how far nanotechnology can go. Some are only thinking about revolutionary concepts, while others see the ethical issues. Also a lot of research and development of nanotechnology is kept confidential. A lot of social scientists, who can better evaluate the consequences of new technology on society, are kept outside the new developments. [1] 2.3.3. Next Nature Nanotechnology is part of our next nature. It is very unclear what it means and what you can do with nanotechnology. People are a bit afraid of the nanotechnology developments because it is unfamiliar to them and abstract. This is also the case with other technological products. Technology is not associated with calm and peaceful, so this has to change. This next nature, this technology world where we are living in now, will make people more afraid. To change this we need to get people more familiar with the new technological developments.

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Conclusion Nanotechnology has to deal with the manipulation of the structure of molecules, in order to get unique properties, which you can implement in any material or product. Examples of nanotech products are the twitter implant, the nano-lift, where you can physically photoshop your skin, and the programmable wine. Nanotechnology can bring a lot of opportunities, but it also can be dangerous. The main issue concerning nanotechnology is the privacy issues. Secondly, social scientists and other people are kept outside the research and developments of nanotechnology. This will lead to misunderstandings and an unknown field for society. Thirdly, while manipulating we create new substances that can be harmful for our health. The main conclusion is that we are blinded by technology and not thinking about the consequences and the laws of old nature. So the developments among nanotechnology need to be reconsidered in the future.

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References [1] Eva Gutierrez. For the Electronic Privacy Information Center: “Privacy Implications of Nanotechnology”, 2004. <http://epic.org/privacy/nano/> (7 Feb. 2011) [2] http://www.nextnature.net/events/nano-supermarket/ (13 Feb. 2011) [3] Mensvoort van, K. Information Decoration: “Our environment as an information carrier”. Published in Gerritzen, 2007. <http://www.nextnature.net/2007/10/information-decoration/> (13 Feb. 2011) [4] Sterling, B. “Next Nature intro”, 2010. <http://www.nextnature.net/2010/09/next-nature-intro-by bruce-sterling/ > (13 Feb. 2011) [5] Professor Zhong L. Wang’s Nano research group. <http://www.nanoscience.gatech.edu/zlwang/research/nano.html> (6 Mar. 2011) [6] http://www.nextnature.net/2010/03/nano-product-the-twitter-implant/ (13 Feb. 2011) [7] http://www.nextnature.net/events/nano-supermarket/ (13 Feb. 2011) [8] http://www.nextnature.net/events/nano-supermarket/ (13 Feb. 2011) [9]http://16kze.qataracademy.wikispaces.net/file/view/watermolecule.jpg/187937053/water-molecule.jpg (6 Mar. 2011)

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Technical English Nanotechnology