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Explore Nanotechnology

We already have nanotechnology, says Ray Kurzweil, renowned futurist and director of engineering at Google. "In fact, chips today, the key features are 50 or 60 nanometers so that is already nanotechnology."

In the latest installment of Big Think's Edge, Kurzweil takes us into the exciting promising world of nanotechnology.

Molecular Level Devices

"The true promise of nanotechnology is that ultimately we’ll be able to create devices that are manufactured at the molecular level by putting together, molecular fragments in new combinations so, I can send you an information file and a desktop nanofactory will assemble molecules according to the definition in the file and create a physical object," he explains. One day we'll be able to e-mail clothes and houses just like we can email entire music albums instead of having to ship them.

Improved Medicine & Performance 

Nanotechnology can not only improve our health care, it may also make us superhuman. "Another promise is to be able to create devices that are the size of blood cells, and by the way biology is an example of nanotechnology. The key features of biology are at the molecular level," Kurzweil says. "One scientist designed a robotic red blood cell that's a thousand times more powerful than the biological version. So, if you were to replace a portion of your biological red blood cells with this respirocytes the robotic versions, you could do an Olympic sprint for 15 minutes without taking a breath or sit at the bottom of your pool for four hours."

The Next 25 Years

Due to the exponential progression of technology, says Kurzweil, nanotechnology will be a billion times more powerful in 25 years. It will create more durable and powerful materials across industries in addition to transforming the potential of the human body. 

To learn more about nanotechnology, watch Big Think's latest installment of Edge.

Image credit: null0/Flickr

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