MindBullets 20 Years

Nano-virus panic at Boston tech-fest

Billions at risk from evolutionary information pandemic

As humans we once lived with and managed dread diseases, but today we are now threatened by our own ingenuity. Evolution and natural selection have always been strange and disputed phenomena, now they seem to be turning against us.

MIT’s annual Technology Day has been cancelled amidst panic and confusion regarding a Human Terminal Virus (HTV) outbreak.

Organizers of the event, an annual gathering for scientists and the public for over four decades, indicated in a statement that they cannot risk exposing millions of visitors to potentially fatal transmissions from their IT facilities.

It seems that the global success of programmable organic in-body nano-chips coupled to wireless Mega Terminal servers has created a fertile ground for new virus attacks. While students are being blamed for initiating the outbreak, several terrorist groups are also suspected.

It is estimated that as many as a billion people could already have been exposed to the virus, which vaporizes the organic security membranes in the atomic structure of nano-implants.

The companies involved in the development of these products include IBM, Sony, Vodafone and Microsoft subsidiary MS Life. Scientists are working around the clock but have not yet been able to determine the origin of the latest pandemic.

Indications are that the virus is evolving, thriving on the world-wide network of in-body nano-chips we have created, and is becoming fatal and perhaps invincible.

ANALYSIS >> SYNTHESIS: How this scenario came to be

Note: In chemistry, a ‘ligand’ is an atom, ion, or molecule that donates one or more of its electrons, or shares its electrons with one or more central atoms. The ligands can enable metals and organic compounds to bond.
2000s: In-body chips and robots emerge>
Development on the prototypes of in-body chips starts in the early 2000s amidst leap-frog advances in genetics and biotechnology. For the first time, humans are able to build ‘robots’ that could conceivably ‘live’ inside human organs and cells.

Scientists are unraveling the human genome and the proteome, tracking genes responsible for proliferation of diseases, and discovering ways to build living nano-machines by using our own proteins as building blocks. A large amount of research is also focused on treatment and prevention of diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Soon there is a real requirement for nano-robots which can actually enter into human cell structures and alter their workings.

2007: Viruses continue their attack
The world continues to be under attack from sophisticated viruses that rapidly mutate and learn from the host environments, developing new ways to increase their malignancy. HIV, Bird Flu and strange new diseases seem immune to anything developed by humans to eradicate them.

2011: Nano Information Implants (NIIs) emerge>
Research leads to the birth of the first Nano Information Implants (NIIs). The test models are manufactured using composites of organic cells and metallic elements, bonded with ligands.

It becomes clear that human cells would sooner attempt to incorporate organic matter than it would metallic compounds, so the new research is focused primarily on organic, living materials.

The programming and functions of these first models is simple, the mission simply to travel through the bloodstream, find the target cells and to ‘invade’ them – this turns out to be very inappropriate terminology. Billions of sub-microscopic particles are injected into test subjects, mainly snails and mice. Their effects are tracked through metallic radio-isotopes (including gold and platinum) incorporated into the structure of the nano-particles.

Later advances make it possible for nano-bots to infiltrate a cell, analyze its status and determine whether it needs alteration. The world of biotechnology explodes with possibility.

2013: A year of setbacks
It is found that the metallic ligands cannot be contained in the structure of the nano-bots for more than a few days, given that the organic tissues start rejecting them.

Research focuses on increasing the speed at which the nano-bots can complete their in-body tasks, or increase their longevity.

This setback leads to a polarization in research programs, with a pro-metals fraternity focusing on increasing speeds (through Nano Repair Robots) and a pro-organic fraternity focusing on increased longevity (Nano Information Implants or NIIs).

2015: Organic NIIs take centre stage
The fact that NIIs are manufactured entirely from organic nano-materials, is enough to ease any discomfort experienced by non-believers – a new information era dawns.

It is claimed that these organic materials can mimic the structure and composition of brain cells, which enables the user to activate ‘dead spots’ in the brain. Such dead spots are the result of human evolution over millions of years – they are those regions of the brain that used to enable ESP, genetic memory transfer and resistance to disease.

NIIs promise a future world where your body can be re-programmed to be more powerful than laptop computers and mobile phones.

Wealthy early adopters flock to European and Indian ‘centers of NII excellence’ to receive their free beta test models, ignoring any potential future threats to their safety or health.

When the NII prototypes were first presented to the world, outcries from religious and existential factions were rapidly silenced. It is now commonplace to associate ‘organic’ with ‘good’. Organic in-body implants are seen to be the latest environmentally hip accessory – and they make you smarter.

Consumer pressure on governments and regulators for these implants ahead of formal approvals takes on mammoth proportions. Indian manufacturers take their cue from consumers and go into commercial mass production of NIIs.

2016: Mega Terminals launched by Sony, IBM and Vodafone>
A joint venture of Sony, IBM and Vodafone (HuManIT) launches the wireless Mega Terminal – these are essentially web-servers that enable information sharing and communications between NII implants. They are able to piggy-back on existing mobile and WiFi networks to get a fast start.

Suddenly everyone with an NII implant is connected in totally new ways – it’s about potential cures for dread diseases, plus the fashion business goes mad – this is ‘The Human iPod’, and your clothing links you to the nearest server. The Mega Terminal networks are estimated to be growing at five times the speed of mobile communication networks in the 1990s.

Vast businesses emerge to cater for software upgrades to NIIs. Human life is changed forever, again!

2018: MS Life updates your body’s software
With the explosion of Mega Terminal networks, Microsoft subsidiary MS Life launches what is essentially an organic operating system – the ability to update the body’s natural state.

Technicians are now able to do mass updates to in-body nano-implants, to accommodate mutating viruses and new discoveries. These ‘software patches’ take care of scientific advancements, making the existing implants more effective, without the need for replacement. We are literally re-wiring our body’s software, in real-time.
To echo HuManIT’s slogan: “No one should be caught with outdated software – it could cost you your life!”

2020: HTV causes panic at Boston tech fest>
A new, intelligent software virus emerges which targets the very human defense mechanism designed to combat viruses and diseases.

At the MIT tech-fest, where delegates are taking advantage of the massive Mega Terminal infrastructure on campus, an insidious bug is causing the nano-implants to self-destruct. It is believed that some MIT students have developed a virus that builds on life’s natural penchant for evolution.

A shocked (and perhaps overjoyed) developer at MS Life, the corporation which first introduced the operating system to make NIIs programmable, spoke solemnly to CNN: “It is evident that some NIIs have adapted to their host bodies in such a profound way that they are now mimicking the host’s desire for evolution.

“The implants are taking on a life of their own, at the cost of the host. The virus is spreading by passing through the Mega Terminals to other users, without any warning. The very technology which is supposed to support and sustain life, health and harmony has turned against us.”

There is still hope. The Delhi-based Future Wiz Institute has indicated that they hope to release a cure in the form of an off-line patch, which can be dissolved under the tongue. It will be manufactured by Nestle, and will not be available on-line. Perhaps we can request strawberry flavor?

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

Despite appearances to the contrary, Futureworld cannot and does not predict the future. Our Mindbullets scenarios are fictitious and designed purely to explore possible futures, challenge and stimulate strategic thinking. Use these at your own risk. Any reference to actual people, entities or events is entirely allegorical. Copyright Futureworld International Limited. Reproduction or distribution permitted only with recognition of Copyright and the inclusion of this disclaimer.