View Full Version : I need help with Nanotechnology

05-26-2008, 06:32 AM
i am curious about Nanotechnology because i am tossing some ideas around in my head for a story. What is the main purpose that nanotechnology serves? In theory, is it possible for such technology to be used in an enhancement mode? Meaning, can this mtechnology, in theory, be used to augment or enhance a normal human being? Can it be used to make our eyesight better? Make us stronger? Make us faster? And so on and so forth. All of this in theory of course.

And can stem cell therapy be used in the same kind of manner?

The idea was spurred when i was watching the tv show the new bionic woman and got to wondering about nanobots and theoretical applications.

05-26-2008, 06:58 AM
Here's a link for starters:


More indepth:


I have nanotech in my WIP, but it's science fantasy set in the very distant future, so my nanotech is used to enhance normal humans into kinda super humans. I don't think actual nanotech does that though. Oh well.

05-26-2008, 07:05 AM
What K. Eric Drexler calls "Molecular Nanotechnology" is building up things atom by atom, as opposed to "traditional" methods of making gross physical and chemical changes in raw materials to make things. Well, that's my under-25-word definition.
The seminal talk on the idea is from this rather short talk by Richard Feynman in 1959:
But much interest was sparked by thes 1986 book "Engines of Creation"
click the cover to see table of contents and read the book online, or buy a copy. Or there's the "2.0" edition free from Wowio.com.

But yes, in spite of cringing when I saw "tv show" in your post, it is "theoretically possible" to do all that and more with nanotechnology. If it's possible at all, nanotechnology may well be the method used do it. OTOH, stem cell therapy can possibly do some of those things too.

Nanobots don't exist (yet), but they are "theoretically theorized." And this latest series is far from the first reference to reference to nanobots by a fictional TV series. I recall "Seven of Nine" in Star Trek/New Generation mentioning nanobots.

Another popular fictional title that's all about nanotechnology is Michael Crichton's novel "Prey."

ETA: Here was the state of the art in moving atoms around one at a time, as of a couple decades ago:

05-27-2008, 04:07 AM

I'm not sure what the scientific name of it is, but recently, on the Today Show (NBC) they interviewed a doctor who is working in the area of nano-technology and biology. His current project is creating what is basically "nano-bots," that are smaller than a blood cell. These tiny devices will be programmed to target and kill cancer cells. They recently found a way of slipping past the defenses of white blood cells as foreign bodies in the blood.

I'm afraid I can't give you much more than that, but I'm sure they'd have it on their web site.

I think the ultimate purpose behind nano-technology is to improve life as we know it through the use of microscopic devices that have a degree of AI. Or something like that.

Michael Davis
05-29-2008, 12:21 AM
There are many technologies that we will never see in our life time, for example: teleportation and cold fusion, but Nanotechnology is not one of them. They are already doing remarkable things. For example, using NT, they have been able to double the efficiency of solar cells, problem right now is cost. NT allows you to build devices and materials at the molecular level (nanometer), vs fabrication using machines that cut, mold, forge, and shave objects. This permits the designer to form more perfect systems with fewer imperfections and that align better with natures design. One of my novels achieves some remarkable things via nano-technology. After I create the draft, I did some research and found out that a University in CA was actually working on what I created in my story.

Bottomline - Don't limit yourself as to rather it can be achieved with NT, chances are, it eventually will. I've read dozens of SF that use NT to accomplish remarkable things, including cellular repair of the senses, tumors in the brain, strength enhancement, etc. Just let your mind flow.

05-29-2008, 12:36 AM
Most of the "practical" applications of NT will come in either the medical or engineering field, where being able to operate on the molecular scale brings the most benefits. However, to that end, bear in mind that any sort of bionic woman style NT enhancement faces several problems (Not least of which is other biological limitations; if you can lift a Mini cooper with your NT enhanced muscles, might not the strain snap your arm bones in the process?).

Also bear in mind that most SF readers aren't going to hold you to strict standards on that. :)