Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Dark Secret Of Hendrik Schön

Imagine a world where disease could be eradicated by an injection of tiny robots the size of molecules. That is the hope offered by nanotechnology - the science of microscopically small machines. But others fear nanotechnology could lead to a non-biological cancer - where swarms of tiny nanobots come together and literally devour human flesh.

Sounds like science fiction? It certainly did until a brilliant young scientist called Hendrik Schön seemed to bring it a step closer.

Schön's great breakthrough was to make a computer transistor out of a single organic molecule. It was an achievement of almost incalculable brilliance. Some speculated this technology could spell the end of the entire silicon chip industry.

Crucially, Schön's transistor was organic. Suddenly, this seemed to be the first step towards true nanotechnology, where minute computers could grow as living cells.

Scientists speculated about how these tiny machines could be used to target diseases with astonishing precision. Others wondered - could the military use them as a new weapon? Others, including Prince Charles, were terrified. If these machines can grow by themselves, how do we stop them from growing?

What happened next would destroy reputations and shatter lives - because there was more to Hendrik Schön's discovery than anyone knew.


  1. Click on the play icon on screen...a pop-up will open for poker or dating...close this and get rid of it.
  2. Click on the play button at the bottom of the player or on the screen and film will start to play.
  3. ...enjoy!!!

More documentaries like this...

Human 2.0

Building Gods

An Experiment to Save the World - Nuclear Fusion

In It's Image

Own this amazing nanotechnology collection on DVD...


Karl said...

economic standstill due to a slowdown in technological advances?
"war will be fought using nanotechnology"
drowning cured?
what a load of bollox

Anonymous said...

I'm happy to tell you that if we designed a self replicating machine, even with the ability to mutate and evolve, we could easily force them to have an 'un-mutateable gene', in which we could encode a self destruct switch that only we could control. No grey goo could happen.

Even if they did make a genuine artificial life system, it would have to beat our DNA based life in terms of energy efficiency and speed of reproduction, and it would be constantly combating it's own predators, evolved from the same ancestor.
and DNA has had a 3.5 billion year head start