To borrow the name-sake of my friend Cassi's blog, We Live in the Future. I say that, because new technology just hitting the news today is reporting the creation of artificial skin that is so sensitive it can pick up on touch the way that living organisms can feel through their skin.
Reported in Nature Materials, the new technology could be used in robots to help them hold and feel fragile objects, on artificial limbs for human patients that have lost an arm or leg, or to improve minimally invasive surgery. According to the researchers, the artificial skin is made of nanowires, and is able to sense pressure changes as quickly as the human nervous system transmits such signals from real skin to the brain.
Nanotechnology is an exploding field in research, and a hot topic for science writers. But, it can be hard to explain exactly what nanotechnology is. While broken down simply it is very small technology, so small you can't see it with the naked eye. But it has a variety of applications from biomedical applications, like the artificial skin in this article, to genome sequencing mechanisms and beyond.
Talking about nano always reminds me of the old adage "bigger, better, faster" with nano the case has truly shifted to SMALLER, better, faster.