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Microscopic Ethics. By: Matthew Sparks. History. In 1959, Richard Feynman proposed an idea that we could manipulate things as small as atoms or molecules, we just do not have the ability to do so yet. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Microscopic Ethics

Microscopic EthicsBy: Matthew SparksHistory

In 1959, Richard Feynman proposed an idea that we could manipulate things as small as atoms or molecules, we just do not have the ability to do so yet.Said we should be able to create machines that can arrange or rearrange atoms and molecules however we wantHow small can we go?Since the 1970s, computers and their components have decreased in size at least every 6 months

What is Nanotechnology?Improvement of all human biological systems from the molecular levelPreserving and improving human health using molecular toolsEmployment of molecular machine systems to address medical problems

Uses in Medical FieldsBiotechnology




Medical Robotics

BiotechnologyThe application of the principles and practices of engineering and technology to the life sciences

Limiting and delivering stem cells

Gene Therapy

SurgeryAbsolute noninvasive surgery

No risk of scars or outside influence

Doctor never even has to actually touch the patient

Construct new, or repair organs from the insideSurgery cont.Some nanomachines used as white blood cells

Viruses and bacteria cannot develop any kind of immunity

DrugsCan be administered through a regular syringe

Thousands can be administered at one time, for one, or many treatments

Can construct, or deconstruct molecules to treat, or destroy

DiagnosticsDiagnostic nanobots can take measurements, track certain cells, bacteria, etc.Transmit data back to doctorsNanocameras take images of healthy and/or damaged cellsCan determine if other nanobots present should actMedical RobotsCan be effective in almost any part of human body


Skin Cream

Immune System

Directed targeting of infected or diseased areasEthical IssuesNot enough extensive work yet

Nanobots may be so small they can pass through membranes within the body

Blood-brain barrier

Not known if nanobots toxic to humansIssues cont.Long term risks


Gray-goo scenario

Invisible tracking and recording devices

BioterrorismIssues cont.How much will it cost?

Separation of those who can afford nanomedicine and who cannot?

Gene therapy

Altering DNA in unborn childrenTranshumanismTransition from normal human, to one with enhanced abilities due to genetic enhancements

Next step in human evolution?

Longer life spans overpopulation

Eliminate disease, but eliminating humanity?

And in ConclusionOverall positive benefits would help humans in eliminating disease and better health

Negatives could be catastrophic, not only to oneself, but to the world

What do you think?Better for humanity, or a downfall?Would there still be a distinction between man and machine? Or another category?Could nanotechnology be controlled to only pertain to the good aspects?Who should be the ones that receive the nanomedicinal treatments?ReferencesBerger, M. (2008, January 9). Ethical aspects of nanotechnology in medicine. Retrieved from http://www.nanowerk.com/spotlight/spotid=3938.phpBonsor, K., & Strickland, J. (2007). Nanotechnology challenges, risks and ethics. How Nanotechnology Works, Retrieved from http://science.howstuffworks.com/nanotechnology5.htmDavidson, Keay. (2005). Big troubles may lurk in super-tiny tech / nanotechnology experts say legal, ethical issues loom. Chronicle Science Writer, Retrieved from http://articles.sfgate.com/2005-10-31/news/17396870_1_foresight-nanotech-institute-nanotechnology-industry-nanomaterialsFreitas Jr., R. A. (1999). Nanomedicine, volume i: basic capabilities. Retrieved from http://www.nanomedicine.com/NMI.htmKeating, E. L. (1999). A brief history of nanotechnology. Unpublished raw data, College of Liberal Arts, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX. Retrieved from http://www.utexas.edu/cola/progs/sts/the-nano-future/science/a-brief-history-of-nanotechnology.phpLenhert, S. (2002). A brief history of nanotechnology. Retrieved from http://www.nanoword.net/pages/history.htm


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