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Johnson (2005) defines nanotechnology as a branch of engineering that is concerned with the manipulation of matter on molecular and atomic scale. Normally, nanotechnology s concerned with developing devices and materials that possess very small dimensions, usually between 1 and 100 nanometers (Crandall, 1996). Nanotechnology involves the applications of other field of science such as organic chemistry, surface science, semiconductor physics, molecular biology, and micro fabrication just to mention a few (Foster, 2009). According to Johnson (2005), nanotechnology can be used to create a variety of new devices and materials with an immense range of practical application, such as in electronics, medicine, energy production, and biomaterials. Currently, nanotechnology is used in the creation of aerosols, coatings on metal surfaces, bio-devices and targeted drugs, amplifiers and three dimensional transistors, three dimensional networking, and robotics.
According to Foster (2009), nanotechnology will be used in the future in the creation of nanorobots that are programmed to alter the molecular structure of viruses and cancer cells. It has been speculated that nanorobots can reverse or slow the aging process both in human beings and animals, which can significantly increase life expectancy (Foster, 2009). The nanorobots will be programmed to do the most delicate surgeries, especially when dealing with the liver, spleen and other delicate organs in the body (Johnson, 2005). The small scale operation of nanorobots will avoid the creation of scars that characterizes the conventional surgery. They can also be programmed to execute cosmetic surgery on the basis of rearranging an organism’s atoms to change the shape of ears, finger nails, nose, or any other feature. Nanotechnology will also be used in rebuilding the ozone layer that is thinning gradually (Johnson, 2005). This can be achieved when the nanorobots are programmed to combine three oxygen atoms to form the ozone molecules. Nanorobots will be used to clean water by removing all contaminants, including the microscopic contaminants (Johnson, 2005). However, nanotechnology has been found to possess some dangers.
Nanoparticles are very small that they can pass through blood-brain barriers into the brain. The brain barriers are meant to avoid the entry of harmful chemical substances from the bloodstream into the brain (Johnson, 2005). Therefore, human beings are supposed to be sure that nanoparticles are not poisonous before they are used for coating and other purposes. Nanotechnology can also be used to create lethal weapons that can be used by terrorists to harm other people. According to Foster (2009), the positive impacts of nanotechnology outweigh its negative impacts. This is because the negative impacts such as the poisonous nanoparticles reaching the brain, as well as the manufacturing of terrorism weapons can be avoided. Scientists can closely investigate the properties of nanoparticles before they are used for various purposes such as creating coatings (Foster, 2009).