Pros and Cons of Nanotechnology

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Having tiny robots that can self-replicate and fix things has been the stuff of science fiction for decades. Today the field of nanotechnology is on the verge of many breakthroughs that may change medicine, science, and engineering as we know it. Can you imagine being able to cure cancer by injecting nanotechnology that has been programmed to eliminate specific cells? That could be our future world.

What Are the Pros of Nanotechnology?

1. It makes anything possible.
Nanotechnology can be programmed to accomplish virtually anything. New storm walls and levies could be built passively instead of actively. Health care could become cheaper and more effective. Instead of invasive surgeries, nanotechnology could repair organ damage with one basic injection.

2. It would increase productivity.
Because nanotechnology would support anything humanity needed, it would allow people to be productive in other areas where manual labor has been replaced by nanotech labor.

3. It could extend life.
When people are able to have nanotechnology instantly repair damage and disease, the ability to live longer would become much more prevalent within the human culture. The current limit of aging is around 120 years. Nanotech could extend that in an unprecedented way.

What Are the Cons of Nanotechnology?

1. They are only as good as they are programmed to be.
Anything that can be used for good can also be used for evil. It is not unthinkable that a rogue agency could use nanotech to commit any number of crimes, including murder, to achieve a specific end.

2. It may not be an effective technology.
Many of the expectations that we have on nanotechnology are based on concepts developed throughout the decades by science fiction writers and futurists. The reality could be very different than the picture that has been painted.

3. There could be unintended health consequences.
The human body has a remarkable ability to respond to invaders. Nanotechnology would be considered an invader and white blood cells could attack the tech. Suppressing the immune system or nanotech encounters with WBCs could have unforeseeable and unintended consequences.

Nanotechnology could change the world in dramatic ways. By weighing the pros and cons of this tech, we can each determine if this is a field of research to be supported.