Nanotechnology: The Good, the Bad and the Cautious
By Joan Boccafola
Nanotechnology is molecular manufacturing or, more simply, building things one atom or molecule at a time with programmed nanoscopic robot arms. Utilizing the chemical properties of atoms and molecules (how they “stick” together), nanotechnology proposes to manipulate atoms individually and place them exactly where needed to produce the desired structure. This would allow automatic construction of consumer goods without traditional labor, the way a Xerox machine produces unlimited copies without a human retyping the original information.
Scientists envision creating machines that will be able to travel through the circulatory system, cleaning the arteries as they go, sending out troops to track down and destroy cancer cells and tumors, or repairing injured tissue at the site of the wound, even to the point of replacing missing limbs or damaged organs. The extent of medical repair systems is expected to be quite broad, with the cumulative impact being equally large.
Nanotechnology is expected to touch the water we drink and the air we breathe. Once scientists have the ability to capture, position and change the configuration of a molecule, they should be able to create filtration systems that will scrub the toxins from the air or remove hazardous organisms from the water. They anticipate being able to actually clean up the environment.
But powerful technologies give people power, and, as we all know, power can be abused. Nanotechnology is based on self-replicating machines. Imagine using them to build missiles and other automated military equipment. Imagine adapting them to use as programmable germs for germ warfare. This technology is more easily concealed than, say, nuclear weapons, and can be produced by many of the so-called terrorist countries.
Cite, do texto, uma aplicação da nanotecnologia: (Responda em português)
a) na medicina;
b) no meio-ambiente.
a) Citar uma aplicação dentre as seguintes: (Máquinas que percorrerão o sistema circulatório para) b) Citar uma aplicação dentre as seguintes: (Criar sistemas de filtragem para)
a) Citar uma aplicação dentre as seguintes: (Máquinas que percorrerão o sistema circulatório para)
b) Citar uma aplicação dentre as seguintes: (Criar sistemas de filtragem para)
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