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|Monday, September 24, 2001, updated at 14:38(GMT+8)|
APEC Technomart: Show of Future TechnologySimply by analyzing a drop of blood, a doctor will be able to diagnose a birth defect or even cancer when it is in the early stage; using new technology, a material lighter but much stronger than steel can be produced; Internet users will enjoy better service as the network becomes more intelligent.
These may sound like dreams at present. But the dreams may soon come true as research findings in laboratories are being turned into products more rapidly in the new century, according to experts participating in the fourth Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Technomart, a technology exhibition and trade fair in this city east China's Jiangsu Province.
"Most people think nano-technology is too far-fetched to be real. But in fact nano-technology has been applied in a wide range of fields, such as medicine. It is coming into our daily life," said Cheng Jiachong from a Hong Kong-based nano-technology firm.
Nano-technology based on the nanometer, the unit of which is a billionth of a meter, enables scientists to have new concepts of disease diagnosis and treatment on a molecular and atomic scale, Cheng said.
By using nanometer particles, a doctor can separate the fetus cells from the blood of a pregnant woman to see if the development of the fetus is normal. This method is also being used in the early diagnosis of cancer and heart disease, he said.
One of the most significant impacts of nano-technology is at the bio-inorganic materials interface, according to Greg Tegart, executive advisor of the APEC Center for Technology Foresight.
"By combining enzymes and silicon chips we can produce biosensors. These could be implanted in humans or animals to monitor health and to deliver corrective doses of drugs," he told the participants a technology forum during the exhibition.
"Nano-technology could affect the production of virtually every man-made object, from automobiles, tires and computer circuits, to advanced medicines and tissue replacement, and lead to the invention of objects yet to be imagined," said David Minns, a special advisor to the National Research Council of Canada.
It has been shown that carbon nano-tubes are ten times as strong as steel, with one sixth of the weight, and nano-scale systems have the potential to make supersonic transport cost-effective and to increase computer efficiency by millions of times, he said.
As more and more people enjoy Internet surfing, scientists have begun research into the new generation of the Internet.
The third generation of the Internet, known as the information service grid (ISG), will connect not only computers and Websites, but also information resources, including databases, software and information equipment. The grid will provide subscribers with integrated services just like a super-large computer, said Li Guojie, director of the Computation Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
For example, when a subscriber is going to travel, he or she only needs to enter data on the number of tourists, destination, time and other factors. Then the ISG will automatically contact airlines, railway stations, travel agencies and hotels to prepare a travel program for the subscriber and finish all necessary work such as ticket booking and room reservation.
The experts agreed that the APEC technology exhibition and trade fair provided many chances for exchanges of innovative ideas and products.
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