As stated by American Elements (http://www.americanelements.com/nanotech.htm); "Nanotechnology is a catch-all phrase for materials and devices that operate at the nanoscale. In the metric system of measurement, "Nano" equals a billionth and therefore a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. References to nano materials, nanoelectronics, nano devices and nanopowders simply mean the material or activity can be measured in nanometers." With nanotechnology defined, let's discuss the possible uses for the scientific breakthrough, nanotechnology.
Nanomachines are just that, machines. Their purpose is to rearrange matter on an atomic level. They would simply grab atoms from a piece of material and move it in such a way that it changes the molecular structure of an object. Image a tiny machine that can be programmed to convert dirt into food, or cardboard into cotton, or waste into a computer. The possibilities are endless. The potential uses of nanomachines would forever end poverty, starvation and drive the cost of every consumer good down making money virtually worthless. Then we could change all that worthless money into housing!
Another promise, and currently the reason this technology is being developed, would be to "improve the human condition. " Imagine tiny machines designed with the purpose of ripping apart cancer cells on a molecular level, and maybe turning them into vitamins. One could even improve upon themselves on a molecular level. Want blonde hair? Now you can have it no problem. Want to be eight feet tall? Sure thing!
There are so many advantages to nanomachines, this is why they are being developed right now as you read this, however there are many more cons than there are pros.
Plans to create a "self replicating" nanomachine are in the works as well, this would make nanomachines virtually free after the initial one is created, however what would happen if the nanomachine population got out of control and turned everything, including you and I into millions upon millions upon billions of nanomachines? This theory is called the theory of "grey goo."
Also militaries could use the technology to create "super soldiers" or to even completely decimate another army, population, country? This is a scary thought. Serious regulation would have to be put into effect, but this would just create another arms race situation similar to the current biological and nuclear warfare tensions.
Nanotechnology could even be used to make us mortals, immortal. Humans could possibly live forever, with super human abilities. Man would no longer exist, only machine-man would.