Re: Picking horses

Anders Sandberg (
Thu, 12 Jun 1997 23:52:53 +0200 (MET DST)

On Thu, 12 Jun 1997, Eric Watt Forste wrote:

> I completely agree with your first statement I quoted above. Part
> of the reason for my current enthusiasm about nanotech is its
> potential in creating new scientific instruments.
> What would be the best possible data-collection instruments for
> deciphering the mechanisms of gene expression and ontogenesis? What
> would be the best possible data-collection instruments for exploring
> the fine structure of (and the patterns of decay and degradation
> in) the brain? In either case, I think that if molecular nanotech
> is possible, then molecular nanotech will probably produce the most
> valuable scientific instruments for this research.

I agree completely as semi-involved in this field. Right now we are
making antibodies and pouring them on cells, creating knockout mice
and measuring cells using glass electrodes. Stone age! I heard about
a team who has been working for months to build a model of a *single*
neuron using electron microscope images of different slices. Much
mroe detail than images from a confocal microscope, including the
synapses which most likely are the places where the real fun is going
on. Now imagine using a nanoscanner to do this. Or being able to
inject nanomachines that seek out synapses and mark them. Or analyze
them. Or do in vivo statistics on chemical gradients. Or can modify
the membrane on command. Or... or... nanotech would be a wonderful
boon to neuroscience.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y