Posted: Fri, March 01, 2013 | By: Technology
by Dick Pelletier
Dr. Tuan Vo-Dinh, award-winning researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) dreams of the day when nano-sized robots will roam freely through the bloodstream, zapping diseased cells with pinpoint lasers, automatically and instantaneously repairing all problems they encounter along the way.
Vo-Dinh heads the advanced biomedical science and technology group in ORNL’s life sciences division. He is one of the most honored researchers at Oak Ridge, having received more than 100 Awards that recognize the nation’s most innovative research projects.
Though he admits that nanobots sound like something out of “Fantastic Voyage,” this star scientist feels confident his dream will come true. “Already we can insert nano-biosensors into cells and observe their process,” he says.
Officials at Foresight Institute, an industry think tank, agree that future nanobots will revolutionize healthcare. Ability to self-replicate makes them inexpensive, and because they can position each atom in place with perfect precision, they leave no doubts about the quality of performance.
Today, when a cell is damaged, doctors rely on drugs to instruct the cell to repair itself, a process that does not always bring the patient back to health. With nanobots, damaged cells are completely rebuilt, one atom at a time, creating a flawless and brand new, or better than new youthful cell.
Nanobots work like tiny surgeons as they reach into a cell, sense damaged parts; repair them by reformatting new atoms, and leave. By repairing and rearranging cells and surrounding structures, nanobots can restore every tissue and bone in the body to perfect health – including replacing aging skin with new, resilient skin, restoring youthful looks and good health.
Glen Fishbine of nanomagazine.com sees other advantages of these amazing machines. “By manipulating individual atoms, nanobots can replicate themselves, and build nearly any desired product on command. This capability promises to end disease, create wealth for everyone, stop pollution, provide unlimited energy, and build goods at little or no cost.”
Foresight thinkers compare nanotech with the importance of humanity’s taming of fire. Because assemblers build copies of themselves quickly, using inexpensive materials, little energy, and no human labor, a single nano-machine can copy itself billions of times with almost no cost.
However, opponents remind us that the human body contains about ten thousand billion billion protein parts, which make up an extremely complex machine called “life.” Can nanobots really improve on what nature has accomplished through all its years of evolution? Advocates believe they can.
These amazing ‘bots will easily understand how healthy cells differ from damaged ones, and in the time it takes an enzyme to change a single bond, nanobots could perform more than a thousand steps, easily winning the “speed race” over nature.
Expected by many as early as 2020, nanobots will clearly revolutionize medicine, giving us the ability to drastically extend our lives. Since forward-thinking scientists now consider death a treatable disease resulting from damaged molecular machinery, chemical imbalances, and defective structures – all problems within the range of nano-repair devices – youthful health and indefinite lifespan could soon be available to every adult, regardless of age.
This “magical future” can become reality in our lifetime! Think positive and it could become your future.