Saturday, July 10, 2010

Information Nenotechnology

I have done a whole lot of thinking about nanotechnology off and on for the past decade or so. Why? Simply because I think it's going to be the next big thing and may possibility end up solving a lot of problems such as most deceases and even possibly old age. Fears of Grey Goo aside, nothing in science right now provides as many practical benefits.

What I have been thinking about the most is, if people use nanotechnology to augment themselves dues ex style, or something like that, how would they work? I would assume the idea would be to create blank-state nano-devices that are signaled or given directives or simple tasks... for example programing them to eliminate a class of virus or to alter a body in some way. The two major questions are, how would they make sure it's safe both in case of malfunction and outside tampering, and how would they signal a nanodevice to preform a task?

It is most likely such devices will be preprogrammed for at least the beginning period of there use. But wouldn't it be nice if you could customize your body in the same way you could your iPhone (if you have one, I don't)? Maybe so, but think about it... wouldn't it be possible for people to "hack" your body and do all sorts of nasty things? And what if you load a body Internet virus? And how to you make sure each tiny thing in your body is updated right? Likely at the very least there should be some failsafe, such as completely shutting down all devices in a strong electric field for example. Also there is always the possibility of decay of information and wild mutation, so there should be a crash condition if program checksums are compromised. Ironically, this might be exactly why we age: Our cells mutate and could turn harmful, so if they are mutated they sometimes just shut down.

On actually preforming tasks, nanodevices would probably be much like normal body cells or viruses and act in similar ways. How do viruses find cells to infect? How do white blood cells find viruses? How do bacteria do things? I really am not an expect on such things but I think a nanodevice should probably be something very close. Now not all bacteria and even possibly viruses are actually harmful. We have a hell of a lot of them inside us at any time, and many of them are good for us. There is no reason to assume any more would hurt that much.

In any case, it's way to early to say if nanotechnology will live up to it's promise, and even if it does, I doubt it will do all of the things it does in fiction. So we will have to see.

Also, stem cell research is good too.

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