X-Message-Number: 21075
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 2003 23:38:11 +0100
From: Henri Kluytmans <>
Subject: Biological systems against MNT systems

Thomas Donaldson wrote :

>As for replacing our body parts with nanotech devices, it's 
>appropriate to consider red blood cells as an example. The first
>thing I would ask is that of just what evolutionary pressures
>caused us to make only red blood cells with the lifespans they
>have. I don't claim to be an expert on red blood cells and would
>be interested in what such an expert might say. However I will
>suggest that, given their role, making red blood cells capable 
>not just of self-repair but also of fending off external threats
>from viruses, bacteria, etc etc turns out to require more energy
>and leave the red blood cells less efficient as carriers of O2
>to our other cells. 

Another reason could be that a red cell looses functionality 
over time ?

>Finally, I will point out that if all our red blood cells are
>replaced by nanotech substitutes, it would not take long (say
>no more than 50 years) for bacteria, funguses, and other such
>life forms to start growing on them. 

Very unlikely! Biological organisms do not possess the necessary 
chemical tools to disassemble a protective outer shell made of 
diamond(oid).   (However, artificial attackers could.)

I should also mention that all these discussions about biological 
applications are mostly academic anyway. (Although they do serve 
very well to show that artificial MNT systems will perform 
orders of magnitude better than biological systems.)

But basically all MNT applications for biological enhancements are 
probably only of temporary use. We can expect that not very long 
after MNT devices of this kind are possible, the whole biological 
body will be out-dated ....

(I.e. uploading to an artificial brain (and/or body) seems the way 
to go if you want to keep up with the ...)

>So just where would THAT put us? 

As I explained above, attack by biological organisms is not 

We are talking about a future 50 years after the first advanced 
MNT devices have been produced. It seems very likely that by that 
time there will be a complete artificial ecology with artificial 
sentient beings, artificial virusses etc... 

Biological ecology will be "out-dated" and only of value from 
a historical and nostalgical perspective. (And maybe the 
Earth will be considered a reservation for biological beings.)

(And we're speaking, maybe a hundred years from now.)

>Think of what's happened with all the antibiotics we've made.
>Any good nanotech device of ANY kind would basically have to 
>contend with how everything in our world will change in response to it.

Yes, indeed, there will be virusses that have to be taken into account, 
but not the ones based on organic biology.

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