Re: Cyborg cells

Jeff Davis (
Tue, 01 Jun 1999 15:03:31 -0700


Anders wrote:

>The nanochondria could be powered by modified ATPases.

This is the reason I'm into this list. Every once in a while something pops up that sets off a little explosion in my head.

Now, mitochondria are the "power plants" of the cells. They generate atp more than they use it, (though clearly "power plants" need power themselves in order to function). So I saw the term "nanochondria" as something of a misnomer, but, it was nevertheless delightfully inspiring.

Some time ago I attempted to give envision a nanite neural enhancement. Something to make individual neurons do more of what they do, and do it faster. I wanted this to be an add-on to the existing structure, so as to preserve the identity of the individual during the (longer term) process of transitioning from a consciousness based in biological structures to one based on higher-performance (part of which would be greater durability) non-biological structures. So the idea is a mini high-performance nano-neuron inserted into the biological neuron's cellular interior (or piggybacked on its exterior). With nano-threads (based on buckytubes, perhaps?) reaching from dendrite to axon.

Now clearly, this device would have to have a power source. Not looking to reinvent the wheel, I appropriated an idea created by Bob Frietas of Nasa Summer Study fame and soon-to-be-author of Nanomedicine. A nano artificial red blood cell. A bucky ball with valves and control system for in vivo O2 storage and delivery. I just generalized the concept a bit (Clearly the concept can be thoroughly generalized for the delivery of ANYTHING.) by packing the buckyball not with O2, but with atp. (An alternate fuel could be used, but I settled on this one from lack of originality, and because it could have the alternate application of serving to "feed" cells, should that become useful.) Now I have my fuel and oxidizer coursing through the bloodstream, destined for the nano neurons where they would no doubt port up to purpose-built docking sites.

When along comes anders and his nanochondria.

Of course.

If you've ever looked at electron micrographs of cells, you see that mitochondria take up significant space inside the cell. A "nanochondria" would seek to do the same job (converting a variety of food particles to atp) while taking up less space, thus leaving more room for the nano neuron.

Since mitochondria are common to all cell types, nanochondria can be applied throughout the body. So, from nanochondria as the starting point, the idea snowballs to replacing the whole range of subcellular structures, and organelles, until you end up with the complete nanonic posthuman specifically designed (purposefully evolved) for a seamless upload, while simultaneously retaining remote material agency and sensory capability.

Best, Jeff Davis

	   "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
					Ray Charles