DNA MICROBOTS TARGET CANCER

And a microspider "roto-rooter" cleans my arteries

Who’s old enough to remember “Fantastic Voyage”, the 1966 film in which a team of scientists were shrunk to microsize and injected into the bloodstream of a sick diplomat? The idea of a nano ‘roto-rooter’ mechanical device that would work its way through your body to keep you healthy seemed to be wildest fantasy then.

Well, today science fiction has become reality – and the reality has turned out to be twice the promise! In addition to a manufactured nano ‘microspider’, the science of biotechnology has also come to the party. Nanotechnology has delivered a gold and silica microspider that constantly patrols the blood vessels of your body, repairing damage and removing buildups.

The biotech contribution is an ‘origami microbot’, built into a hinged case by folding strands of DNA, that is designed to deliver and release targeted payloads of superdrugs to individual infected cells, including those attacked by cancer.

These are just two of the amazing medical breakthroughs which are helping us live longer and healthier than ever before – at least in the developed communities.

But that too is changing. The good news is that the cost of these new technologies has been dramatically reduced by Moore’s Law – the ever-increasing power of computing.

This, coupled with the global communications network, means sophisticated applications can be used at low cost by nursing aides even in remote areas, supervised from afar, rather than having expensive doctors on hand.

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

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