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Nanorobots for Drug Delivery?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the best-way-is-the-nano-way dept.

Biotech 69

Roland Piquepaille writes "The idea of using nanorobots to deliver drugs and fight diseases such as cancers is not new. But there are still lots of issues to solve before nanorobots can diagnose our diseases and treat them. Now, an international team of researchers has designed a software and hardware platform of a nanorobot to be used in medical applications. The researchers think their nanorobots could become available around 2015. 'The proposed platform should enable patient pervasive monitoring, and details are given in prognosis with nanorobots application for intracranial treatments. This integrated system also points towards precise diagnosis and smart drug delivery for cancer therapy.'"

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Pager # PLZ? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21627487)

Anyone have this nanobot's pager number?

Re:Pager # PLZ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21627517)

It's cheaper to just use high school kids.

Re:Pager # PLZ? (3, Funny)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627983)

If this works, the next thing will be nanorobots delivering pizza and Chinese food. I just wonder how they can see over the steering wheel and reach the pedals.

clearing that up for ya (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21628629)

Obligatory LOST reference: []

Can we have the exercise ones, please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21627525)

Hey, like many Slashbots I spent a lot of time in front of my computer, leaving me with little chance to exercise. So, where are those nanobots that Neal Stephenson prophesized in The Diamond Age [] that crawl along your muscles, constantly stimulating them without any effort involved? I could have massive biceps and pecs, but the slow progress of technology is really hurting.

Re:Can we have the exercise ones, please? (2, Informative)

seededfury (699094) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627605)

In 2003 they solve the exercise problem with genetics....
Muscle Gene []

Re:Can we have the exercise ones, please? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630435)

You can just attach electrodes to your muscles.

Re:Can we have the exercise ones, please? (2, Informative)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#21633273)

I know this woman that likes to dress in black leather corsets, fishnet stocking and silleto high-heels that will attacfh some electrodes to your muscles and make you dance like a puppet; more exercise than you can handle!

Terrorism (1, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627527)

Imagine Al Quida putting a Beowulf Cluster of these in a politician or world leader, making them do strange and dangerous things.......wait a second!

Re:Terrorism (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21628445)

Block an artery on command- cause a stroke-- blackmail with that threat. Hell, once these things exist, you could claim you've injected someone and theyd never know...

Yeah right (1, Funny)

Thiago Tomei (1104697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627543)

Ow, come on. Nobody would use this as a weapon.

Re:Yeah right (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627849)

Um, that information is classified.


Re:Yeah right (2, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21628551)

I can think of much cheaper ways to kill people. Practically any other way, in fact.

Interference (1)

Plazmid (1132467) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627597)

In the article they mention, "The use of mobile phones with RF is adopted in this platform as the most effective approach for control upload, helping to interface nanorobots communication and energy supply." Thats just gonna roll over real nicely in our RF saturated world. Heck, a cellphone call might cause these things to kill people or a grey goo, end of the world scenario. Anyway this is not recent work, they have been simulating virtual nanobots for sometime now.

Re:Interference (3, Interesting)

Falstius (963333) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627699)

Considering how quickly cellphone frequencies (900MHz and up) are absorbed by tissue, I don't see how this is a viable solution. Most implanted devices communicate at 100MHz or less. There is a 400MHz band available for these types of applications, but I haven't seen it widely used yet. The article has pretty much zero details but it looks like the guy does purely conceptual work and should be taken with a grain of salt.

Anyway, the real problem with these things is how to power them. Once we have nanorobots that work off blood sugar, that will be exciting. That might be a good time to become paranoid too.

Re:Interference (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21628953)

Once we have nanorobots that work off blood sugar, that will be exciting. That might be a good time to become paranoid too.
The question that comes to my mind: Who'll be the first to sponsor this research, Coke or Pepsi?

Re:Interference (1)

Falstius (963333) | more than 6 years ago | (#21629025)

The makers of Splenda will probably push through a law banning the research of sugar eating nanobots in the name of "protecting the children."

Re:Interference (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#21633329)

Oh come on even a mobile processor sucks up 20 watts or some, to get a cpu shrunk down to fit in a "nanobot" the circuit traces would have to be smaller than electrons! If i had an antimatter reactor strapped to my back I'd have a plasma rifle like in Doom then I'd shrink down like in "Fantastic Voyage" and just blast the cancer manually! It's all science-fantasy designed to suck up gullible grant money, pure hucksterism.

Meh, wake me up for a REAL nanobot (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#21628429)

Well, to start with your concern, it's actually pretty easy to put a patient in a Farrady cage, isn't it?

That said, I'm getting tired of "nano" news whose only connection to the topic is that they too want the buzzword that bríngs in teh big grant bucks.

To it, a nano-bot was supposed to be a bit more complex a bit of hardware. You know, stuff that actually resembles -- in any form or shape -- a little autonomous robot.

The closest we have to a natural nano-bot is a Ribosome [] . It actually interprets a "tape" containing some instructions (messenger RNA) and assembles a protein according to those instructions. It's a tiny little machine tool. I'd take that as the threshold of what I'd consider a "nano-bot".

What we got instead being proclaimed as nano-technology, for no obvious reason other than that "nano" is the buzzword du jour, is:

- mayo. No, really, apparently an emulsion of droplets of substance A in substance B, is suddenly "nano-tech" if the particles are (several (tens of)) nanometres across. No, seriously, that's just too sad to make up.

- some sort of atomizer. (Ditto for droplets of liquid in air.)

- a molecule which happens to interact in some way with a target molecule. FFS, didn't we use to call that "organic chemistry" or "biotech"? I mean, seriously, when renet cleaves some milk proteins to make cheese, that's just that: a molecule interacts with a very specific other molecule. That's stuff we had for thousands of years. When your body processes fructose (e.g., the inverted corn syrup in your favourite soft drink) into glucose (which it can actually use), it's just that: a molecule (enzyme) interacts with another molecule in a well defined way. Etc.

- a molecule forms some kind of a capsid around another molecule. (Ditto. And that's how viruses work.)

- a molecule has a known resonance, and you can break it or activate it or detect it with a wave of that frequency. (Nothing new. Why do you think they feed you barium before taking an x-ray of your stomach or intestines?)

Etc, etc, etc.

And FFS, that's just not what nano-tech was supposed to mean. It's like seeing a bicycle presented as a TIE Fighter, or a laser-LED pointer presented as a lightsaber. It's just not the same fucking thing.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to hear about progresses in bio-chemistry, medicine, bio-tech, whatever you want to call it. I have Folding At Home grinding away happily in another thread as I write this.

But FFS, if it's "just" organic chemistry, just call it organic chemistry. I'm sick and tired of idiots redefining words just because they need a grant. I can even understand language evolving when we actually need a new meaning, or when inventing one word saves us from writing ten thousand other words (i.e., jargon.) But, ffs, shanghaiing a word just for a few bucks feels... lame. _That_ is my problem.

Re:Meh, wake me up for a REAL nanobot (1)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631393)

Quick question. If this does come to pass by 2050 instead of consistently selling vapor ware. Is anyone aware that there's a game that predicts this stuff in a cute / liquid format? I believe you may have heard of it. Deus Ex. Very neat story that ties in all this lovely stuff with another lovely story... that of the so called "NWO", but it doesn't go by that name, in that world, the United Nations Anti Terrorist COalition has declared war on any group that doesn't follow orders. The USA has been split by a civil war, China had conquered Hong Kong and let it be financially and it became the New Mecca for property owners (America was lost by then, as its government almost completely went totalitarian and stopped hiding it.) And lets see, when Deus Ex came out, Hong Kong was still an independent territory, now it belongs to China and China predictably did EXACTLY what was predicted in the game. Left its commerce alone. Hong Kong may not be a FREE market but its the closest thing in the whole world. The USA has continued its drift into fascist socialism, and so has Canada. The midwestern states are starting to get riled up over the abuses of rights and the proposed Trans Texas Corridor (along with the Canada-Mexico Corridor), collectively known as the so called "Nafta Super Highway" (the amazing part is that its being called a hoax on TV, and yet the government has a "working group" on it, and has had it since before 2005 when the documents to make it official were signed at the site of a previous attrocity. Waco, Texas. All very amazing, and all very predictable, I mean damn, it was predicted accurately by a game company based where? TEXAS... Ion Storm put out Deus Ex, and it was probably the only GOOD game Ion Storm ever made (since Daikatana was the biggest failure they ever made and it was their much touted flagship product).

As for Barium [] - I seem to recall that barium is pretty nasty stuff... especially concentrated and absorbed by the body, but as found in the atmosphere and common in nature all over the world it is too little to cause harm (and yes they give you a nice tall glass of it solved in a liquid medium before a CAT scan), and it usually gives you the runs an hour later, or is that rather "the squirts"? The interesting thing to note is that barium is considered a dangerous (the word used is heavy, but it is inappropriate as I'm told) metal by some, and a nasty one like our usual suspects lead, uranium, plutonium, etc. When the issue of gun cartridge primers (those little metal dots on the back of centerfire pistol and rifle cartridges that look different than the rest of the brass or steel cartridge) came up as containing a mixture of lead (supposedly bad), barium (supposedly bad), and several other substances keeping them inert until the pin strikes the primer and the flame ignites, the issue was raised by the FBI (why not the EPA I will never know) as to the dangers of primers emitting 7.9 mg of lead into the atmosphere on average per shot. The feds wanted "low lead" primers and got them from CCI. Of course they're insanely expensive and the tax payer pays for the feds to have cleaner methods of murdering innocents and thugging on the harmless. Nothing new. Police state doing its thing, policed sheep doing their thing. I'm merely stating the obvious, move along!

Markov chain bot? (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#21632975)

Hmm... no offense, but this is almost as hard to read as my spam folder. I can't even tell what your point really is, there, so I'll just address bits and pieces that stand out at a quick eye-scan.

1. Barium. Barium itself is indeed very toxic, and not just by being a heavy metal. Barium carbonate is used as a rat poison.

The stuff they give you before X-rays, though, is Barium Sulphate. It's saving grace is that it's almost completely non-soluble and not absorbed by your body. So it just ends up going out the other end. (Or the same end if it was an enema.)

2. Nanotech in liquid format. Well,

A) almost all imaginable uses need it to be in _some_ kind of solution. (Even if colloidal.) A nanometre sized bot/agent/whatchamacallit isn't very useful dry, because it will just settle between fibers and the like.

B) which is just as well, because all these things hyped as nanotech today _are_ solutions or working in a solution or colloid. As I was saying, almost all of it is along the lines of either "wheee, we can make nanometre sized droplets" or "whee, we created a molecule which binds to another molecule, but we're suddenly calling it nanotech because we get bigger grants that way. And marketers love the buzzword too."

So, well, if liquid nanotech worries you, you can start worrying now :P

Re:Markov chain bot? (1)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 6 years ago | (#21633393)

I hear what you're saying.

Vaporware advertised as the real thing.

I wasn't arguing your point :) I was actually just providing similar sources and other related and unrelated info :)

Nanobots deliver drugs? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21627599)

Does this mean I will no longer have to stuff balloons in my ass?

Re:Nanobots deliver drugs? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21627645)

balloons in the ass are a good high? filled or unfilled? air or helium? thx!

Re:Nanobots deliver drugs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21629335)

Do you really want to know? Well, okay then. Usually they are filled with cocaine and let's just say that the goatse picture illustrates the procedure pretty well.

Re:Nanobots deliver drugs? (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#21635489)

Woah, if you can open your ass as wide as Goatse guy, you must be one seriously rich drug mule.

Re:Nanobots deliver drugs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21635823)

Just make sure you tie off the balloon knot!

No Need for Nanobots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21627601)

They are a neat idea but how about we focus on genetics and DNA reprogramming?

We are made of nano-bots, we just need to learn how to reprogram them.

Re:No Need for Nanobots (1)

seven of five (578993) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627691)

You can only get so far by reprogramming DNA. The use of materials not possible to make with proteins will be thousands or millions of times more effective, for example, at detecting and eliminating viruses in vivo.

I for one welcome our new nanobot overlords (4, Informative)

GravitonMan (1145905) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627613)

But seriously, it is ridiculous for these reporters to make such outlandish claims about nanotechnology. Its been 15 years since nanoparticle drug delivery was tested in cells, and we are just beginning phase 1 clinical trials in germany and US on magnetic nanoparticles. Regardless of the FDA implications of nanobots, the actual impact will be very small in the next 20 years, perhaps it could report of blood pressure or flow rate using RFID, but its not going to have robotic arms that will wield a sword and evicerate a cancer cell.

Re:I for one welcome our new nanobot overlords (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21628237)

I take it you noticed the lack of any actual information in TFA. I don't think they gave any actual answers during the entire article. The graphics were the kind I could do myself without any effort.

It would be nice to think that they could have something ready for trials in 2015, but I would be surprised if it was that soon. I think that you're far more realistic about this than the article.

Of course I could, and would love to, be wrong about this.

Re:I for one welcome our new nanobot overlords (1)

pimpimpim (811140) | more than 6 years ago | (#21629657)

I went through to the abstract [] , but didn't get much wiser. I might be able to read the article at work if they have the iop subscription, but I might as well just skip that, the abstract gave me a buzzword overload already and did not contain any specific information at all. What are they supposed to be made off?

Being "raised" as a scientist myself, I understand why articles like this are written. Most science is done "in the dark", outside of anyone's understanding, and it needs flashy press releases that color everything up a bit to make sure they will get some media attention and, through that, better chances on funding.

But the point is, there is hardly any "big breakthrough" in science. Everything goes in small steps, sometimes a new mechanism is discovered, the effect of which to scientific progress can only be understood later on. And I am not sure about you lot, but I am pretty numbed down by all the "new treatment against AIDS/cancer/obesitas" discovered. They give false hope, First of all, most of these fancy press releases end up being only vaguely connected to some cancer-involved protein. Secondly, if it would actually have an effect in-vitro, there is at least 10 years between discovery and the possible release needed to filter out all chances on side effects etcetera.

So, let's be realistic. Give your amazing color pictures to the press department, make a nice story of why this is new and can lead to something, but stop making claims that are outside of the direct expectation of the research you're doing. It just hurts the credibility of researchers in general.

Re:I for one welcome our new nanobot overlords (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21631517)

Exactly, I got my undergrad in the natural sciences, and I tend to not have much problem reading through science articles, but it does tend to bug me when there isn't anything there. Worse still when I have to pay to read a journal article to figure out what they're talking about.

It can be useful to go public with research in progress, but as you pointed out, it needs to be realistic. Speculating a bit about what it can lead to tends to be a necessity for anybody that wants funding, but setting up these kinds of ridiculous timelines is something that invariably leads to failiure.

This area of study in particular doesn't need it anyways. The amount of progress that they've already made is far greater than what I would have expected, they'll probably eventually create all of the devices the article speculates about, but I would be shocked if it happened in the foreseeable future.

Re:I for one welcome our new nanobot overlords (1)

BigMTBrain (1094379) | more than 6 years ago | (#21628839)

Technology advancement does not proceed at a steady pace... advancement is always accelerating and there is a steady acceleration in cross-polination and convergence among the sciences as well. It's good to be concervative with estimates, but no one on the edge, especially those who are in it to make a buck in an ever quickening environment, would be so quick to discount possibilities. Many surprises ahead.

Correct me if I'm wrong.. (2, Insightful)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627625)

But isn't this how the Borg assimilate people? by injecting nano-robots into the jugular vein of your neck and then the machines attack your Renal glands, central nervous system and brain? How long before treating sickness becomes routine optimization? In general the machines believe they are doing the Humans they assimilate a favor by repairing damage and making enhancements to bodily organs.

Congratulations, friend. (4, Funny)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627677)

This is the geekiest post I've ever seen on slashdot. I have tears of sublime joy in my eyes right now, you made my night.

Re:Congratulations, friend. (1)

jdjbuffalo (318589) | more than 6 years ago | (#21645001)

If you think that's geeky you should read more posts. There are some that come out near incomprehensible, even to people familiar with a certain field (but not experts).

Most of the time, unless we are talking about some esoteric computer topic, a lot of people realize that their area of expertise may not be everyone else's and they try to either keep buzzwords out altogether or they will provide links (usually to Wikipedia) to help explain their posts.

Where do I sign up? (5, Funny)

Plazmid (1132467) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627689)

Man, the borg sure do have a good health care plan, where do I sign up?

Re:Where do I sign up? (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627863)

We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.

The Borg

Re:Where do I sign up? (2, Funny)

fmobus (831767) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627913)

Please turn in your geek id. They don't say "surrender your ships", they say "surrender your vessel(s)".

Yours truly,
The Nazi Geek-Quotes Patrol

ps.: and yeah, like them, I find the word "vessel" much cooler than "ship".

Re:Where do I sign up? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627967)

No, you turn in yours. The quote is directly from Star Trek: First Contact [] .

Re:Where do I sign up? (1)

GwaihirBW (1155487) | more than 6 years ago | (#21628065)

But better still are Chekov's "wessels." Can't compete with that.

Re:Where do I sign up? (1)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630335)

The Nazi Geek-Quotes Patrol
Great, now you're bringing Godwin's law into this!

And yeah, vessel sounds cooler because you can imagine Chekov responding, "Ve vill never surrvender our Wessel."

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong.. (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627753)

Oh, really!? ./me starts injecting nanites into his penis...

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong.. (2, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627823)


The BORG strive for perfection, not assisting other species. They have no need to justify their actions to any inferior species. But you are correct that in Startrek the BORG use nanomachines to assimilate other species into the collective or in the case of species 8472 it was used as a weapon to supress the retalitory invasion of species 8472 after the BORG invaded fluidic space. Which actually is sort of an application of nanotechnology- a weapon against disease. Cancer? dead. viruses? not really alve so dead-er? Bacteria+Fungi dead. are your cells not repairing that genetic damage like they should? nanorobes. need to fix bone? make a nano-scaffold to allow bone tissue to regrow bone correctly. right now as it stands, the best we have to deal with drug delivery without nanorobes would be micelles and similar structures composed of surfactants, cell surface receptors and enclosing a drug of some sort. the cell surface receptor triggers endocytosis in cells which take in the micell and allow the drug inside to be delivered to the inside of the target cell. very specific but also very experimental.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong.. (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 6 years ago | (#21628339)


Re:Correct me if I'm wrong.. (1)

Prod_Deity (686460) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627971)

if this is true, I hope for everyone's sake that these are ran by Linux.

Don't have to worry about drug resistence (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | more than 6 years ago | (#21629115)

We all know that this will actually work. We don't have to worry about drug resistence in disease because resistence is futile!

Slow advances (2, Insightful)

HandsOnFire (1059486) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627637)

Willian Illsey Atkinson wrote a book called nanocosm. I didn't find it that great a read, but he goes on to say that people have misconceptions of what nanobots would be like and how they would work, if we ever make them and get them to work. We have slow progress when it comes to making nanobots to cure illnesses mainly because we have many poeple touting the great potential, but we have very few people willing to learn quantum mechanics and biology. Instead, you have medical doctors who think you can build something equivalent to a car in the nanocosm, and nanotechnology researchers who might think that these robots would only have to perform a simple operation. (But they are limited too, since it is very hard to engineer and build anything at this scale)

Brilliant ! (3, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627653)

The Man will never catch those little guys. It's probably going to take me a year to get a buz though.

I'm still waiting... (2, Funny)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627739)

...for the skank bastards to deliver my four ounces. Look, I don't care how many of 'em it takes.

Nanotechnology (1)

the_kanzure (1100087) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627925)

Yesterday I learned about the existence of the 2007 nanotechnology roadmap [] . Contact me for related ZIP file.

Boner (1)

AndersLarsen (955766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21627969)

This must give Ray kurzweil a huge boner 8===>

Available around 2015! (3, Funny)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 6 years ago | (#21628017)

Cool! Just in time for cold fusion power!

And Duke Nukem Forever, you know. Gotta do something while those little fellas get their work done.

SDK please? (1, Funny)

Zarf (5735) | more than 6 years ago | (#21628111)

Are these nanobots going to have a Posix environment or are we to use something like a Java ME ... Java Nano Edition? Are they going to have an x86 compatible machine code language? The article is so light on details. No processor specs, not even a mention of what version of networking these things support. How am I supposed to build a Beowolf cluster of these?

Dream much bigger about the potential here! (2, Insightful)

gsgriffin (1195771) | more than 6 years ago | (#21629143)

Dude, if these buggers can be hacked and RF to communicate and upload code that can influence organs and glands in the body, I could envision a wireless device that would bring about the right response when you get to the bar and find that amazingly hot babe. Just imagine, the worst pickup line is only used to provide enough time to upload the code and release the chemicals in her body. You can continue this thought and potential...

too bad they don't have a physicist on the team. (1)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 6 years ago | (#21628181)

Too bad they don't have a physicist on the team to inform them of the basic and irreducible problems of scale. In that arena surface tension dwarfs any mechanical device that can be forseen. And nature has built millions of models of nanorobots although their time-to-market has been less than exemplary.

Re:too bad they don't have a physicist on the team (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21629821)

True, but surface tension only occurs at interfaces. As you know, these forces disappear when the device (molecule, etc) is present in a single phase, such as when suspended in liquid. Although I didn't RTFA, I suspect nano-scaled mechanical machines may encounter strong surface tension forces at phase interfaces but of course these forces disappear when, for instance, they are suspended in the blood stream or other biofluids.

As you surely know, adhesion to other surfaces can become nontrivial when VDW becomes important at close distances, but otherwise did I miss your point?


Drug Delivery? (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21628427)

I already have have drugs delivered to my door. That's good enough for me. Can we call these things "narcorobots"?

finally! (1)

SilverBlade2k (1005695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21628531)

When the nanobots can be programmed to only go after cancer cells, they can inject the chemotherapy right into the cancer cells with minimal harm or side effects to the patient.

Oblig. Startrek (1)

Dragonshed (206590) | more than 6 years ago | (#21629181)

Reread the summary and article, replacing "nanorobots" with "nanoprobes"...

nanorobots and virus articles next to each other (1)

Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) | more than 6 years ago | (#21629251)

Makes one think strange things.

Nothing but science fiction (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630591)

You can look at his web page at [] , which I recall seeing on Slashdot before. The paper he is talking about in the interview is the top one on the page. You can get it from IOP (yes, bugmenot has the password). The paper is nothing but pure speculation on methods and has no implementable design ideas. He spends much on fantasy scenarios of what we could do if we had a little robot like that, and they are not too unreasonable except for the fact that he, like all the other nanotechnologists, doesn't know how to build one.

Pervasive monitoring (2, Insightful)

raddan (519638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21632087)

I suspect that pervasive monitoring, not disease treatment, will end up being the big gain with nano-devices. The starting point for diagnosis at the moment is a patient's description of the symptoms. A person with bio-sensors "installed" will allow a doctor to examine a patient's vital signs directly-- I think this will help to greatly improve a doctor's initial diagnosis, because symptoms are often not a good indicator of what is happening. And the best thing about this kind of device is that it will allow testing to happen over a period of time. Were you to give these to healthy people, you could also establish a "baseline" to compare against when they are in ill health in the future.

There are some obvious privacy concerns here, but were bio-sensors to be inserted in a large number of people, this would greatly benefit epidemiology. That's an application of nano-technology that I would like to see happen, and I think it would revolutionize medical knowledge.

Re:Pervasive monitoring (1)

Dr_SimonCPU (1181635) | more than 6 years ago | (#21640195)

Yeah, especially if each nanorobot can be addressable via IPv6. =)

not sure about that (1)

Goldsmith (561202) | more than 6 years ago | (#21635257)

I work on nano-bio technology, and I really don't see how his program is going to help me with any of the real problems associated with making useful medical devices. I don't need another visualization program, or ideas of what nanotechnology can do.

We need access to better lithography equipment, nanostructure growth, optical sensors and other mundane, macro scale equipment. Oh, and we need more funding and time to figure out how nanoelectronics interacts with hundreds (thousands?) of biological processes and compounds before anything is put inside anyone. But... that practical stuff isn't as interesting as some neat fictional videos. I guess if he can convince the politicians that nano is a good thing I'm all for it, but the molecular biologists have better graphics, and frankly, better systems for drug delivery. We may not need nanobots for that by 2015.

Finally... (1)

boggis (907030) | more than 6 years ago | (#21636181)

My Sig is becoming out of date.

nanodizzle (1)

Todamont (1034534) | more than 6 years ago | (#21639197)

Hmmmm no details whatsoever about the actual harware or software architectures. Not even a single picture of a single molecular sized anything. I call BS.

nanite repair (1)

Dr_SimonCPU (1181635) | more than 6 years ago | (#21639687)

I wonder if it's really possible to inject ourselves with nanorobots that would continuously repair our bodies...
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