[01:04.63]Today we’re going to look at an important area of science, namely nanotechnology.
[01:11.28]So what is it?
[01:14.40]Nano means tiny, so it's science and engineering on the scale of atoms and molecules.
[01:21.71]The idea is that by controlling and rearranging atoms, you can literally create anything.
[01:29.12]However, as we'll see, the science of the small has some big implications affecting us in many ways.
[01:37.38]There's no doubt that nanotechnology promises so much for civilisation.
[01:43.66]However, all new technologies have their teething problems.
[01:48.10] And with nanotechnology, society often gets the wrong idea about its capabilities.
[01:54.59]Numerous science-fiction books and movies have raised people's fears about nanotechnology - with scenarios such as inserting little nano-robots into your body that monitor everything you do without you realising it, or self-replicating nano-robots that eventually take over the world.
[02:15.73]So how do we safeguard such a potentially powerful technology?
[02:22.71] Some scientists recommend that nano-particles be treated as new chemicals with separate safety tests and dear labelling.
[02:31.42]They believe that greater care should also be taken with nano-particles in laboratories and factories.
[02:38.70]Others have called for a withdrawal of new nano products such as cosmetics and a temporary halt to many kinds of nanotech research.
[02:48.44] But as far as I'm concerned there's a need to plough ahead with the discoveries and applications of nanotechnology.
[02:55.87]I really believe that most scientists would welcome a way to guard against unethical uses of such technology.
[03:03.58]We can't go around thinking that all innovation is bad, all advancement is bad.
[03:09.95]As with the debate about any new technology, it is how you use it that's important.
[03:15.58]So let's look at some of its possible uses.
[03:23.74]Thanks to nanotechnology, there could be a major breakthrough in the field of transportation with the production of more durable metals.
[03:34.48]These could be virtually unbreakable, lighter and much more pliable leading to planes that are 50 times lighter than at present.
[03:43.80]Those same improved capabilities will dramatically reduce the cost of travelling into space making it more accessible to ordinary people and opening up a totally new holiday destination.
[03:56.24]In terms of technology, the computer industry will be able to shrink computer parts down to minute sizes.
[04:05.60]We need nanotechnology in order to create a new generation of computers that will work even faster and will have a million times more memory but will be about the size of a sugar cube.
[04:19.80]Nanotechnology could also revolutionise the way that we generate power.
[04:24.78] The cost of solar cells will be drastically reduced so harnessing this energy will be far more economical than at present.
[04:33.47]But nanotechnology has much wider applications than this and could have an enormous impact on our environment.
[04:43.37]For instance, tiny airborne nano-robots could be programmed to actually rebuild the ozone layer, which could lessen the impact of global warming on our planet.
[04:55.71]That's a pretty amazing thought, isn't it?
[04:59.40]On a more local scale, this new technology could help with the clean-up of environmental disasters as nanotechnology will allow us to remove oil and other contaminants from the water far more effectively.
[05:14.40]And, if nanotechnology progresses as expected —as a sort of building block set of about 90 atoms—then you could build anything you wanted from the bottom up.
[05:26.80] In terms of production, this means that you only use what you need and so there wouldn't be any waste.
[05:33.86]The notion that you could create anything at all has major implications for our health.
[05:39.82]It means that we'll eventually be able to replicate anything.
[05:44.65]This would have a phenomenal effect on our society.
[05:48.68]In time it could even lead to the eradication of famine through the introduction of machines that produce food to feed the hungry.
[05:56.40]But it's in the area of medicine that nanotechnology may have its biggest impact.
[06:03.78]How we detect disease will change as tiny biosensors are developed to analyse tests in minutes rather than days.
[06:12.64]There's even speculation nano-robots could be used to slow the ageing process, lengthening life expectancy.
[06:21.40]As you can see, I'm very excited by the implications that could be available to us in the next few decades.
[06:28.84]Just how long it'll take, I honestly don't know.
Choose the correct letter, A, B or C.
31.The speaker says that one problem with nanotechnology is that
32.According to the speaker, some scientists believe that nano-particles
33.In the speaker's opinion, research into nanotechnology
Complete the notes below.
Write ONE WORD ONLY for each answer.
Uses of Nanotechnology
• Nanotechnology could allow the development of stronger
• Planes would be much lighter in weight.
• travel will be made available to the masses.
• Computers will be even smaller, faster, and will have a greater
• energy will become more affordable.
• Nano-robots could rebuild the ozone layer.
• Pollutants such as could be removed from water more easily.
• There will be no from manufacturing.
Health and Medicine
• New methods of food production could eradicate famine.
• Analysis of medical will be speeded up.
• Life expectancy could be increased.