NASA researchers on nanotech and medicine

An article from United Press International ("Nanotech will spur space medicine advances", by Scott R. Burnell, 25 June 2002) reports that

New developments in nanotechnology, the science of manipulating matter at the atomic scale, will find their way into devices and technologies important to the space program, particularly in medicine, speakers said Tuesday at NanoSpace 2002, a conference convened to examine common ground between the two areas of research.
As humanity moves beyond the Information Age, nanotechnology's ability to interact with the basic structures of life will spawn the "Biological Age," said Kenneth Cox, a researcher at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Johnson Space Center.
"It is extremely important to understand not just the downsides, but the benefits of diversity in science, diversity in terms of education and commerce," Cox told conference attendees. "We need to change the ways we innovate and adapt (with nanotech)."

A related story covers another presentation from the conference on the use of immunoassays based on spheres of silicon, only a few nanometers across, coated with gold atoms that could speed up blood tests for trace amounts of substances, as well as longer-term research examining how doctors might use nanoscale chemistry to guide the body's mechanisms for repairing tissue.

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