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Posts Tagged ‘nanotechnology’

How Technology Could Corner the Gold Market

May 17th, 2010

pic by covilha @ Flickr

Gold is going up, up, up. As currencies go down, down, down.

Gold and precious metals are often safe investments because of the relative scarcity of the materials–hence, the whole “precious” thing.

Gold must be mined and smelted. That takes time and money.

But amazing technology may change that.

In an article in CNET, a group of scientists explain how they created DNA nanobots to manufacture at the molecular level. The scientists even programmed the nanobots to create  gold particles.

Read more…

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What’s The Spin On Quantum Dots

February 4th, 2009

Quantum Dots

Quantum dots are essentially semiconductors that have an enormous control over electrons. This ability to control electrons just took a new dramatic leap forward when the National Institute of Nanotechnology at the University of Alberta announced that they created the smallest quantum dot.

Previously, quantum dots could only be used in low temperature settings; this new technology does not.

This is how the invention is described at Science Daily:

Often referred to as artificial atoms, quantum dots have previously ranged in size from 2-10 nanometers in diameter.  While typically composed of several thousand atoms, all the atoms pool their electrons to “sing with one voice”, that is, the electrons are shared and coordinated as if there is only one atomic nucleus at the centre.  That property enables numerous revolutionary schemes for electronic devices

What does this mean in a practical, dollars and cents, terms. It means that quantum dot revolution could be at a tipping point. If so it means the following innovations could get a boost:

  • Quantum information processing (quantum computing)
  • Better solar cells
  • More energy-efficient electronics
  • Medical markers
  • Improved light emitting devices

Most of these innovations address the underlying fundamentals that will pave the way to the Singularity: energy and information processing. Whether quantum dot technology promotes this type of functions, remains to be seen. But, each quantum spin of the wheel draws us closer to our destination.

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Water, Water Everywhere. Thanks to Nanotechnology

August 16th, 2008

One of the big problems facing the viability of a future world is: what will everybody drink?

Water resources are almost as thin as fuel and air, according to experts. But, this is based on present technology. As technology advances, it can find sources of energy, food, water, and clothing in unexpected ways.Water

Here’s a perfect example. Scientists at the University of South Australia have discovered a way to uncontaminate drinking water through nontechnology. The process uses silica treated with a nanomaterial.

According to the article, about 6,000 people every day die due to contaminated drinking water, making this invention a life saver and, since it’s relatively cheap and simple solution, the socio-economic effects will be beneficial, especially in poor areas.

This is just another example of how nanotechnology can improve living conditions. As the article points out, this is just the beginning. As we nanotechnology becomes deeper and more widespread, almost every facet of life will be changed.

Will it always be “good change”? Not necessarily, but a lot of that depends on ourselves.

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