Thursday, April 2, 2009

Nanotech, brought to you by viral assembly...

Drexler predicted that as the nanotech revolution proceeded, it would be intertwined with biotech, as cells do a great deal of the very kinds of nanoassembly the technology depends on already. Given this article, I would say we've begun reaching into that era. It seems scientists at MIT have engineered a bacteriophage - a virus that attacks bacteria - that assembles the anodes and cathodes of lithium ion batteries. The technology is in its infancy, but technologies grow up fast these days. I wonder if we'll begin seeing devices like batteries with a living pocket of viri in them that rebuild the anode and cathode over time, as it is the deterioration of these structures that limits the lives of these batteries.

Looking forward, I have to wonder how long it will be before we begin making micro-cyborgs - naomachines implanted into individual cells? Another longstanding prediction in science fiction. To be honest, I have to wonder how you'd draw the distinction by the time that becomes feasible?


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