A new era of science began to emerge with the development of Scanning Electron Microscope in 1981 and after that many major breakthroughs in scientific history have been made. It was with the help of this microscope that many smaller objects that remained undetectable with the simple microscope, they were detected using Scanning Electron Microscope producing a 3-dimensional image of minute objects with an unbelievable magnifying power. Nanotechnology is the science of manipulation of any matter at atomic or molecular level. Nano-materials or objects of size in nano-meters ranging from 1-100 nano-meters are studied and manipulated in this field of Nanotechnology. A nano-meter is actually the billionth part of an object on the scale of 1 meter. An object of size in nano-meters is smaller than the wavelength of light and is hundred-thousandth of the width of a human hair.
The science of Nanotechnology finds its roots from the talk entitled as “There is plenty of room at the bottom” by Richard Feynman at California Institute of Technology on December 29, 1959. Richard Feynman is known as the “Father of Nanotechnology”. Professor Norio Taniguchi coined the term Nanotechnology a decade after its origin.
This technology has many theoretical applications and some of these theoretical applications have been practically checked and some percentage of success has been achieved in developed countries like USA, China, Russia, England etc.
This technology has been fruitfully applied in decontamination of water using iron nano-particles, gold nano-particles are being successfully used in gene gun for transferring foreign pieces of DNA in plant’s genome, and also the use of nano-bullets in delivering fertilizers and pesticides to plants is common.
As the name suggests that Nanotechnology is the manipulation of matter at the atomic level, so the use of this technology in military intelligence is also not the thing of the past. Use of Nano-sized devices, chips, bar codes and bio-sensors are common in the military of developed countries. Wide ranges of undetectable surveillance devices have been developed and those devices are successfully being used for national security purpose by many renowned nations.
Use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips in the USA is common; these devices are inserted secretly in different body parts, in clothes or in the unnoticeable corners of houses or buildings to keep the check on any kind of criminal/terrorist activities. Similarly, nano-sized robots are under development, these robots could have the ability to detect and destroy any fatal pathogen in the body. I already mentioned that it is the manipulation of matter at the atomic level, so the possibility is that one might manipulate these nano-robots for destructive purposes, in case of military these nanobots could be manipulated to spread fatal diseases instead of eradicating them. In the USA, Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology was established in 2002, this institute consists of a 3-member team in which Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Army and Nano-materials Industry is working collaboratively to enhance soldier’s survival and protection capabilities. This institute’s main target is to manipulate brain of soldiers in order to enhance their abilities of war using cerebral fluids consisting of nano-particles and nano-chips insertion in the brain to enhance the certain part of a brain to ensure sustainability in the battlefield. This is just one example of manipulation of the human brain but imagine if this technology started to be tested on your brain, what would you become and what sufferings you have to go through.
One may think of it as a success but what about the freedom if one is to be watched by the intelligence agencies secretly, like in the USA. Where our freedom does go then if humans are to be mentally manipulated? It’s better to confine this technology to non-living things instead of testing it on human brains. This technology is really innovative and useful, as nano-medicines have already proved to be more than 50% successful in curing various cancers, despite its beneficial uses for instance, if self-multiplying nano-robots could have been developed and due to any error their multiplication goes unchecked they may start destroying friendly bacteria living in gut of humans and may start destroying any kind of cell they encounter. Similarly, developed countries are now in search of developing such self-replicating Nano-materials that would be able to destroy organic matter, which means when used in an enemy country during the war, these nanomachines could finish up the enemy territory within a matter of hours leaving nothing behind.
I finish it up here by saying that, it is still impossible to say that whether this technology would bring a boom to the economy of a country because if such technology got in the wrong hands then it would be too late to take an account of the damage that it could bring upon the world.