Monday, May 23, 2016

Week 8 Post

Nanotechnology is undoubtedly a field that furthers every facet of life, but honestly, I found it difficult to wrap my head around for this week. Paul Rothemund's TED Talk about DNA folding explained it rather clearly. This is an incredible union of technology and science to create an art form that doesn't really have a purpose, but illustrates how much technology can control life. Rothemund also demonstrates how a small, nano-sized manipulation can create a much larger physical change, such as the changes in DNA that produce a human versus a tree.

Ray Kurzweil said during his TED Talk that "what fits in our pockets will fit in a blood cell in 25 years," which seems to be the mantra of nanotechnology. The Nova video reminded me that technology's goal is always about optimization, and nanotech is about optimization... a million-fold. I actually worked on data analysis with my dad this past summer on FABs, which is a shortened term for computer chip wafer fabrication. All large technology companies have FAB machines that layer extraordinarily thin layers of information again and again on a large disk that gets broken up into individual computer chips. The explanation of graphene was also incredibly interesting because it directly relates to the art field. One pencil stroke would be like a layer of graphene, so imagine a graphite sketch with layers and layers that are so clearly visually represented!!

Charcoal drawing, crosshatched so the layers are clear.
Imagine a graphene layer that depicts a 3D image of what it depicts!
Medicine can progress exponentially with nanotechnology. Imagine directly inspecting the blood cells of a cancer patient or repairing the spinal cord!


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