Re: A thread that has nothing to do with memes or the Singularity

Anders Sandberg (
Wed, 4 Dec 1996 11:10:31 +0100 (MET)

On Wed, 4 Dec 1996, Lyle Burkhead wrote:

> What I want to do is imbed drexlerian nanotech within biological
> nanotech. Machines within cells. To do that, first one must create a
> region in the cell cold enough for machines to exist.

I think you overestimate the need for cold to get machine-phase systems
to work, most likely they will work *better* at low temperatures, but
they would work even at 300 K. The main problem I see is avoiding having
water molecules jamming the devices, Drexler want's a vacuum around his

> To imbed machines in cells, we are going to have to recapitulate the
> steps our ancestors took when they embedded machinery in the natural
> (macroscopic) world.

Interesting, and IMHO correct, point. This is the reason I think biotech
will be essential for the development of nanotech.

> We are going to have to do similar things on the nano level. We are
> given a cell full of proteins, membranes, microtubules, and so forth;
> this corresponds to the rocks and trees our ancestors used when they
> first started making tools. What corresponds to the first sharpened
> rock? What corresponds to the first ruler?

What about the microtubuli? They are sturdy, good at self-organization
and if we could figure out how to use the dyneines and kinesines, we
could move molecules along them as we want. If we also could fixate the
tubuli, they might make a good scaffolding.

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