Welcome to the Nano Revolution.
It's a universe where scientists explore matter on a scale 80,000 times smaller than a human hair. It's a gigantic global laboratory where scientists converge from all disciplines, and dedicate themselves to observing and manipulating the smallest particles in the natural world.
How do you produce a tv series about a technology that's too small to see?
Thirty years ago, new microscopes first opened the doors to this new dimension and allowed scientists to begin moving individual atoms and molecules .This science of the miniscule is already opening up a new world of possibilities.
Nanotechnology has been called "the next technological revolution". It is said to provide groundbreaking solutions to the most serious problems that threaten our future –it promises faster computers, improved security, longer healthier lives and a cleaner earth.
In a series of short dramas, that are interspersed with the documentary content, The Nano Revolution also speculates the philosophical, political and ethical complexities that might arise as the science continues to evolve. How will the new science impact people's lives 30 or 40 years from now?
Here again, nanotechnology is promoted as an enabling technology. Nano devices can provide a way to automate routine laboratory tests. They can deliver active treatment directly to affected cells, and that means fewer side effects with increased efficiency. Dr. Chad Mirkin is the Director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology at North Western University and he shows how with the new diagnostic devices a single sample allows doctors to do multiple tests. At the Dana Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard, we learn how nano devices can be used to destroy specific cancer cells. Through nanotechnology, the practice of medicine is evolving from treating disease and illness to a practice that is predictive, personalized, and pre-emptive.
There is a medical future where permanent nano-devices can roam the body to monitor, and provide early diagnosis and take action against diseases. Nanotechnology is a powerful tool for advancing tissue engineering and stem cell therapy. Significant results have been obtained in creating artificial functioning interfaces between nerve fibers and electronic contact electrodes. This opens the way to control prosthetics and all kinds of implants.