Nanotechnology: Creating the perfect human?
How would you feel if you had the choice of having billions of tiny robots injected into your body? A pretty unpleasant thought, am I right? What if I told you that these tiny robots could repair any mutation you may have in your DNA? Sound far-fetched? Well, scientists have been making huge breakthroughs in this! It’s called nanotechnology. These small robots are like tiny computers that are coded to attach to specific cells in your body and carry them from point A to point B. These tiny robots, 1-100nm in size (or 1 and 100 billionth of a meter!), are like transporters; they pick up the target cell at point A and move it to point B. Point B can be anything from the trash, (cell death) if the cell is not needed anymore, to another part of the body where the cell is needed. They also have the ability to reprogram a cell’s biology. If more of one cell is needed in a particular area it can bring that cell to the specified area and “tell” it to replicate. Basically, nanotechnology will eventually perfect every single cell in your body.
Some scientists are figuring out ways to use this technology as a replacement for surgery. The idea is to place billions of the robots in a drop of saline and inject it into the body and have it work from there. Other scientists are beginning to use this technology in the brain. One example is the suppression of pain. The robots can actually target neurons that release the neurotransmitter for pain and inactivate the ones that release the most of that neurotransmitter! They are also being tested to prevent and even reverse neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in particular. The machines can target the harmful aggregates and plaques that accumulate in the brain in AD and destroy them before they build up. Scientists are also working on technology that can replicate neurons in the brain!
Although this technology is an amazing breakthrough there are a few things that are concerning. For one, the robots are invisible to the mammalian immune system. This is concerning to me because if there is an error in one or all of the robots then the body will be unable to detect it and they could potentially harm it. Also, if it works the way that it is supposed to then jobs throughout the world will rapidly decrease. There are also many ethical issues that arise from this technology. Could this actually create the perfect human? Is there such a thing? It’s truly incredible but there are still questions about it that need to be answered and there is still a lot more research to be done.
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