Nanotechnology - Salvation or damnation for humans?

M. Lupton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Nanotechnology is a term derived from the Greek word nanos, meaning dwarf. It is used to describe activities at the level of atoms and molecules. The application of this technology is aimed at controlling and manipulating the physical properties of materials with single molecule precision. Scientists use the technology to build working devices, systems and materials, molecule by molecule. This enables them to exploit the unique and powerful electrical, physical and chemical properties found at that scale. Nanotech holds the potential to revolutionise medicine, electronics and chemistry. Nanomedicine would facilitate the repair and improvement of the human body from the inside out, with a precision and delicacy far greater than the finest surgical instruments permit. Problem areas stemming from the technology include the following:- Who will benefit - just the rich or the poor as well? This paper will explore the role of law, ethics and suitable control mechanisms to limit the dangers and maximise the benefits of nanotechnology for society, especially in the field of medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-362
Number of pages14
JournalMedicine and Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


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