Monthly Archives: March 2012

Healing Stones – Part 2: Targeted Cancer Therapy

How do you get a nano-robot to target and kill just cancer cells but leave healthy cells alone?

Think like a suicide bomber:

  1. Carry a concealed mass killing weapon like a bomb,
  2. Act and look like you belong,
  3. Get into the enemy’s site, and
  4. Blow it up.

Nanotechnology for medicine does not necessarily mean robotic machinery. On the nanometer scale, the mechanism is more like a virus and can better be characterized by bio-chemistry. A nano-scaled robot uses molecular keys (cell targeting ligands) and special polymers (diblock copolymers) instead of gears and cogs.

This video explains it best:

So what are the healing stones?  They are theoretical first-aid nano-bot factories and delivery systems.  See other “Healing Stone” articles for more information.

Of all the future technological breakthroughs noted on this site, I hope this one comes first.

See Recruiting Angles for nano-medicine in action.

Image and video from Frank Gu Research Group, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Healing Stones – Part 1: Bio-Nano-Robots to the Rescue

Bio-nano-robot

I just got back from the doctor for a cybernetic implant tune-up.  She got on my case for going beyond the six month recommended tune-up cycle.  I also haven’t been taking the prescribed minerals the nano-factories need to spit out the little doctors.

Tsk tsk.

What? You haven’t heard about little doctors? (Yes, this is fictional.) How about nanites? No? What century are you living in, the 21st?  OK, I’ll explain.  Here in the 23rd Century, little doctors or bio-nano-robots are microscopic biomechanical engines — some as small as a large molecule — injected into your bloodstream either by needle, by healing stones, or more commonly by cybernetic implants.  The implants create the little doctors on an as-needed basis.

I’ll expand on this more in future posts, but in summary, they extend your natural healing systems, reinforce bone and muscular structures, and help fight against aging. Here’s an old but good vid about the early uses of nanotechnology and bio-nano-robots:

Oh, by the way.  If you do get the implants, be sure to keep your virus protection up to date.  The implants makes potential computer viruses more deadly than some biological viruses.

See Recruiting Angles for healing stones in action.

See Death Has No Shadow for for nanites gone wild.

Image from Metallurgy for Dummies.

iCheetah

Created by Boston Dynamics, Cheetah is now the fastest legged robot on the planet.  The video below was released by DARPA today.

OK.  So it looks like it’s running backwards, but a top speed of 18 mph is pretty good.  It doesn’t match a cheetah’s 70 mph, but it could probably outrun you.  The fastest human currently on record, Usain St. Leo Bolt, a Jamaican sprinter, can run 23.35 mph … for 100 meters.

Why not use wheels?  It could go a lot faster than 18 mph.  Legged robots handle some off-road terrain better. Research into making four-legged robots faster has the potential of developing better prosthetics for amputees, right?  Well, prosthetics for canines.

But it’s built by DARPA.  (Somebody commented, “Built by people who never saw The Matrix nor Terminator.”)  DARPA… they don’t make toys.  This isn’t the next contender for “Tickle Me Elmo” and you won’t find it next to the Barbie doll isle.  And DARPA isn’t a branch of the Veteran’s Administration researching better prosthetics.  Ever see the Boston Dynamics BigDog robot? Creepy.  It still gives me nightmares.  This is war craft.

Part of me says “cool!”  Another part says, “yikes!”

See Death Has No Shadow for more scary-cool-military-mechs in action.