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Thread: an entirely different form of life

  1. #1 an entirely different form of life 
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    I had trouble deciding whether this should go in engineering, chemistry, or biology. I chose biology because it focuses mainly on life.

    The basic goal of making this thread is to get the gist of a concept for some medical contraption, and possibly get us closer to nanorobots.

    It would perform typical processes of life, but be a little more controlled. It has a sort of circuitry for its dna- not only setting out the instructions for what to do, but actively controlling those processes. It gets some chemical signal, which activates certain receptors, those set off the dna processor, and the result directly declares "make this" or "do that" with out a chemical "middleman."
    If you could make that sort of "dna," you could design it to follow commands: follow the light, clump together/disperse, turn on/off, be this/that, move this, or kill that. Simple things commanded by light signals, chemical activators, or possibly electric transmissions.
    If you can make them do those, then you could in theory, make yourself out of these, and replace the clumsy, inefficient, natural cells. Then you could change your appearance at will with some handheld, smartphone app thingymajigg.

    Ambitious? Immensely. But I'd like to have tail that I don't have to have surgery to get permanently, or some sort of bionic attachment that costs several thousand dollars.


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    Forum Professor Zwolver's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what your getting at.

    The little nanobots, that respond to chemical signals, can preform several actions etc, already exist. They are called bacteria.

    Your body already has nanobots flowing trough your bloodstream. They can be compared to protozoa, but they are a part of us, as whey are our white blood cells.

    You want to have your appearance changed by pressing a button on an iphone/samsung app, that would be pretty useless. And most of your bodymass will have to be like an LCD screen. To just have those solid 3d pixels moving all over. You would not be viable for life.


    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Yes, yes, yes, I already know about bacteria. But what I have in mind is something semi biological. It doesnt run on dna, but some tiny microchip thingy. If you work it out right, it can do things in a very organized way.
    And no, they wouldn't be making some pixel-y form. When YOU move, do you see anything shift around and rearrange? No? Its a fixed structure. Everything is stuck together. The muscles contract to move you.
    For the change in physical appearance, they would let go of each other, slide around each other in a coordinated way, and reattach with out crumbling to dust because they all fell apart. Ordinary bacteria cant do something quite so complex. I know volvox does something similar in small colonies, but that is very simple stuff.
    The signal from the phone would be sent to a device inside you, which figures out what to do, sends it down the neural pathways telling to let go, move this way, and other stuff.
    White blood cells aren't so robotic and orderly. As far as I see it, they just eat bad stuff as they find it.
    I can understand you are confused. I always have a hard time expressing myself. Anything else need cleared up?
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    We are about 300 to 1000 years away from this development. We can't even build a machine that can perform all the functions of a single cell, whatever size we make it. I would think that would be the route to take, however. Try building a machine that can derive its energy from biofuel like glucose, which it absorbs directly through its exterior suface, and uses it to preform its internal functions as well as at least one exterior function like motion or light recognition. We can work on miniturization later.
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    I don't think cells can seriously be characterised as clumsy and inefficient. Manufacturing silicon circuity - that is clumsy and inefficient, even if the result may be a less clumsy way of inserting programmable control between input and output. All that "inefficiency" of biology includes it's own "manufacturing processes" along with a lot of very important and functional stuff beyond redundancy, from active resistance to damage, self repair, waste removal through to reproduction and multigenerational adapatability. Not clumsy at all.

    A kind of bacterial cyborg, combining manufactured and grown components might lead quicker to the kinds of nano robotics invisaged by Drexler and others than purely inorganic devices. Maybe. Being self replicating is a whole different problem that I think would be sacrificed for the sake of practicality. I suspect the manipulation of existing biology will offer greater scope and quicker results on that front than the invention of alternatives.
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    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    A robot capable of performing the functions of a hijacked bacteria at a competitive and cost-efficient level probably won't happen in our lifetimes.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    A robot capable of performing the functions of a hijacked bacteria at a competitive and cost-efficient level probably won't happen in our lifetimes.
    And if the bacteria get wind of these plans they may go on strike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    A robot capable of performing the functions of a hijacked bacteria at a competitive and cost-efficient level probably won't happen in our lifetimes.
    And if the bacteria get wind of these plans they may go on strike.
    They're already pissed about that whole anti-bacterial movement. Last thing I need to do is pass through a MRSA picket line on the way to work.
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    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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