Medical nanorobots win poll on engineering's Next Big Thing

Medical nanorobots win poll on engineering's Next Big Thing

Thanks to Robert A. Freitas Jr. for passing along this news item. NewScientist recently conducted a poll of its readers on What will be engineering’s Next Big Thing?. The answer to the question “Which technology do you think will have the biggest impact on human life in the next 30 years?“:

The clear winner with 3,097 votes — 35 per cent of the total — is Catherine McTeigue’s prediction of nanorobots that will repair cancerous cells:

Nanorobots fight the medical battles of the future

“Say the word “cancer” and people are fear-ridden. Projects being undertaken to harness nanotechnology and develop nanorobots to enter into the human body and repair cancerous cells, without the need for life-changing, disfiguring and painful chemotherapy, will have the greatest impact in the next 30 years. Watching loved ones suffer will be a thing of the past as the robots aid speedy recoveries, mortality rates drop, and as the technology is used more frequently, so will the cost, that oft deciding factor. An enormous step forwards for all mankind, in the form of a microscopic creature.”

The winning suggestion is a bit vague as to just what kind of medical nanorobots are envisioned. Recent posts (here, here, and here) suggest that near-term, incremental nanotechnology could be successful in curing cancer by selectively killing cancer cells while sparing normal cells. However, the phrase “repair cancerous cells” suggests advanced medical nanotechnology, of the type Freitas has proposed, that could be capable of molecular level repair of cells rather than necessarily killing cancerous cells. On the other hand, using near-term nanotechnology to deliver into cancer cells siRNA or miRNA to alter cellular gene expression might also make it possible to “repair cancerous cells”. The next poll we would like to see is something to the effect of “How do you think medical nanorobots will be developed over the next 30 years?”

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  1. NanoMan May 12, 2011 at 6:41 am - Reply

    While highly controversial to some, there is another way to construct nanorobotic systems, in addition to mechanosynthesis-based machines. This is the electromagnetic method. Essentially, you produce beams of electromagnetic interference summed to zero, so they act directly on the stress-pressure of the “vacuum” itself, essentially what Nobel Prize winner TD Lee back in 1957 (For Broken Symmetry) called “Vacuum Engineering”. This allows you to manipulate the quantum potential field discovered by David Bohm and Yakir Aharanov through their experiments in which they shielded the magnetic field, and the electron was still affected, it still moved and phase shifted, through the use of the potentials, which are physically real and usable. This experiment has been replicated over 20.000 times world wide. Such “Electrical Nanos” would allow us to do all that mechanosynthesis promises, and, alot more, such as reaching down into the atomic nucleus and engineering it: aka Pico and Femto Technology.

  2. Rony May 12, 2011 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    That is a nice post over above. Such a good invention could be used to solve many health related problems. Nanotechnology has a big future among in the every field relating to life.

  3. Rage May 12, 2011 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    Its a very good post over there. Nanorobots witch are very small can change the health industry’s future. They could help in medicine carriage and surgery also. Its very good for our many businesses as industrial chemical manufacturer and supplier also.

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  6. NanoMan May 30, 2011 at 8:26 am - Reply

    Did you see this website?

    INSANE! The EU wants to ban multi walled nanotubes and nano particles from finished products?

    Or at least say :This contains Nano: ?

  7. manoj kumar December 4, 2015 at 5:04 am - Reply

    In the recent years, the potential use of polymeric nanoparticles as carriers for a wide range of drugs for therapeutic applications has been increased due to their versatility and wide range of properties Due to limitations in the conventional drug therapy the increased risk of adverse reactions will occur. Nanoparticles provide the action at the desired sites and thus gaining importance nowadays. With these nanoparticles the specific targeting to various cells or receptors can be achieved. There are various mechanisms exists which are responsible for cellular internalization and cellular uptake Please

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