Monday, November 30, 2015

Forget dialysis. Nanotech is the way to go.

Too many people suffer from kidney complications. Nanotechnology may be able to change that.

For a documentary on nanotech, check out this video. In all too brief terms, nanotechnology means machines on the nano scale. Basically that's super small and invisible to the naked eye. "Nanobots" and other such devices have all manner of potential to benefit humanity. Just one of those ways could be an artificial kidney as described in this article from Futurism.

The University of California, San Francisco and Vanderbilt University have developed prototype device that can fill in for the basic functions of a kidney. A silicon nanofilter can remove toxins, salts, water, and a few small molecules from the bloodstream. This nanotech does not require electricity to function, rather it operates on blood pressure. These filters, unlike the kind currently used in dialysis, will have uniform-sized pores.

Just think about that for a moment. The nano device is small enough to manipulate molecules. That has staggering implications for what we will be able to do in the not too distant future. When I read Kurzweil's The Singularity is Near, I sat in wonder as he discussed nano machines that would be small enough to arrange atoms. Atoms. There's not that much of a gulf between the reorganization of matter and the manipulation of reality as a whole. Will we be able to do it? Kurzweil thinks so.

Looking at developments such as this filter, I can't immediately say he's wrong. Let's hope researchers at universities keep making breakthroughs like this one. Nice to know there are bibliotaphs and other smart-types out there who want to do more than watch TV.

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