Who will officially be the first transhuman? Will it be you? Why wait decades? This article explains one approach to speeding up the process and also the challenge involved.
Defining the Object of the Goal:
Although the words ‘cyborg’ and ‘transhuman’ are often used interchangeably, and someone can aspire to be a combination of both, there are fundamental differences between the two — as has been articulated by Dr. Natasha Vita-More: The transhuman will be genetically programmed and otherwise equipped towards indefinite life extension and to attain a great many other physical and mental capabilities and other benefits. The transhuman also maintains specific transhumanist values and may actively foster the far-reaching humane goals of the transhumanist movement, including guaranteed social justice for all and highly-advanced space colonization to foster indefinite life, peace, etc. Whereas, a cyborg may not uphold transhuman values or goals, and may or may not seek to live longer or indefinitely, but will be fitted with a device or devices to acquire one or more enhanced capabilities (such as better vision and/or hearing, faster running ability, etc.).(1)
Philosopher Nick Bostrom contemplated the matter this way: “Transhuman refers to an intermediary form between the human and the posthuman,” with the posthuman defined as “a being whose basic capacities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer unambiguously human by our current standards.”(2) Owing to advances in miniaturized electronics, achieving a cyborg status is a much easier pursuit than becoming transhuman, and consequently the first cyborgs have existed for several years.(3)
Present Time-Line Expectations:
Most people generally expect that the transhuman condition will be achievable by 2035 or so – when nanomachines are expected to reach a sufficiently sophisticated state. This assumes progress unabated by widespread economic collapse or other events with ruinous global consequences. Many associate the words ‘singularity’ and ‘transhumanism,’ leading to the assumption that the transformation will occur along with a coming singularity. But the point of this article is that a human (or a larger number of humans) could be ‘officially pronounced and recognized’ as the first transhuman(s) much more immediately – if promising existing technology described in this article is systematically further developed to bring about that very goal.
Overcoming Technological Hurdles:
Despite the exponential rate at which some technologies advance, hurdles prevent rapid technological progress in several disciplines. Despite impressive progress in nanotechnology, bottlenecks have been pushing the attainment of the transhuman state further into the future than need be. The obstacles have arisen for a variety of reasons, including a lack of overall coordination. Over the decades, many teams have worked in competition rather than in strategically organized cooperation. The result is that existing nanodevices and nanofabrication techniques do not necessarily work together as a whole to make nanomachines that can collectively perform enough tasks. Although medical nanobots drive enthusiasm in the nanotech field, many devices were not designed to work within the body. Manipulating atoms and molecules to build atomically precise nanomachines also poses many difficulties that are yet to be overcome, and a lack of sufficient funding has taken its toll.(4) Eric Drexler’s book ‘Radical Abundance’ (2013) illustrates outstanding conceptional and institutional obstacles to pulling together everything needed for realizing a Nanotechology Revolution. As he aptly points out, nanotechnology is too critically important to allow stagnation to hinder strong development.
Sometimes technological congestion in a given field can be cleared with decisive action. For example, the CEO of the gene therapy company BioViva, Liz Parrish, took action to help clear the way for lengthening the human lifespan sooner than would otherwise have occurred. She recognized that the only way to speed up human trials on lengthening telomeres (to enable the potential for longer lifespan and freedom from the diseases of old age) was to undergo gene therapy herself.(5)
So, in September of 2015, Liz Parrish, under the supervision of the noted members of the BioViva Advisory Board, received human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) gene therapy by injection. The telomerase enzyme makes cancers potentially immortal, and mutations in the hTERT gene have been implicated in promoting certain types of cancer.(6) But Liz Parrish will be regularly monitored for her gene therapy results, which will be made public. Mice given telomerase (Tert) therapy by injection did not have an increase in cancer.(7)
As a result of her actions, Liz’ Parrish’s therapy is the first known telomerase lengthening human trial. In 2015, trials were conducted on human cells in culture (8), but Liz Parish’s experiment is the only in vivo progress of note in the field of telomerase research since 2012. In that year, Dr. María Blasco, of the Spanish National Cancer Research Center, injected mice with just one shot of telomerase each and achieved a 13% increase in longevity in elderly mice and a 24% increase in the younger adult mice.(9) Blasco’s experiment represents the only in vivo progress of note since the 2010 Harvard Medical School experiment, led by Dr. Ronald DePinho, that resulted in dramatic signs of age reversal in elderly genetically-engineered mice: The mice were engineered to age prematurely, but were made clinically young when their telomeres were lengthened through drug intervention.(10) It is hard to understand why no trial has since been set up to determine how long the lifespan of normal mice might be extended through the telomere therapy employed. Be that as it may, years before, in 1997 scientists created immortal human skin cells in a petri dish by inducing hTERT (and other cell lines have since been immortalized).(11) So, it took 18 years for the gene therapy used to immortalize human skin in culture to be applied to a human being.
Because Liz Parish’s gene therapy was performed at a clinic in Columbia, her treatment circumvented a quagmire that would have stopped her small company’s progress: It can cost billions of dollars and years of effort for a single drug to clear the FDA approval process in the United States. A recent Forbes analysis showed the cost per new medicine to be as high as $5 billion.(12)
State of the Art Medical Nanobots:
Experts generally predict humans will reach the transhuman state by means of highly-intelligent medical nanobots. The idea of microscopic medical machines was conceived of in 1959 by Albert Hibbs (1924-2003), based on the micro-machines theorized by his now famous Nobel Prize winning professor, physicist Richard Feynman (1918-1988). The idea of further shrinking the size of machines to the nanoscale was soon innovated. The field was further advanced by others, notably Robert A. Freitas, author of Nanomedicine (2003), which was the first detailed technical design study of a medical nanorobot published in a peer-reviewed journal. Some 56 years after Albert Hibbs’ medical micro-machines concept, in 2015, machines capable of performing on-demand body enhancements, from the inside out, are not rolling off the assembly line.
But in 2015, after many years of animal studies and other testing, the first nanobots are set to be used in human clinical trials. One type will be injected into a human to combat late stage leukemia. These nanobots are made from DNA origami (folded DNA strands), which has been used to achieve a few different three-dimensional shapes. The DNA robots are able to recognize 12 different types of cancer tumors.(13)
When they recognize the tumors, the nanobots deliver a drug payload (carried within their DNA strand barrels) to the cell surfaces of tumors. The DNA nanobots are intelligent to the extent of being able to detect the right cellular environment and perform the correct task. In cell culture and animal trials, the DNA nanobots performed with considerable accuracy, and so posed very little threat to healthy cells. These DNA nanobots were created at Harvard’s Wyss Institute in Massachusetts, where the researchers expect it to take one month for the DNA nanobots to interact with and destroy the test patient’s leukemia cells. The hope is that the patient – who is otherwise predicted to have only months to live – will be cured.(14)
The Highly-Intelligent Nanobots that Can Take Humans to the Transhuman State:
Today’s artistic renderings of future transhumans typically portray conspicuous, bulky exterior cyborg-like gadgetry (sometimes creating dread of transhumanism and misconceptions about the beneficent transhuman movement amongst the general public).(15) But advancements in nanotechnology suggest that a conversion to the transhuman state will instead be internal and largely invisible and seamless. The technological results will be outwardly visible, and recognizable by a changed or enhanced appearance and/or performance capabilities. Such biological nanobots must be able to perform the following:
1. Biological nanobots must meet rigorous health and safety standards, including being nontoxic and biocompatible. That is, they must not cause an unwanted immune response the way most foreign objects in the body do. They must not cause unwanted inflammation or produce other negative circumstances, especially if they are not equipped to rapidly correct them.(16) Nanobots should be strong, so they do not fall apart and become debris when they could be continually working. That way, they can remain within the body to carry on desirable work until upgraded.
2. Except for retractable or protected devices used in nanosurgery, nanobots must have very smooth outer surfaces, so that they do not cut, tear or pierce body cells or DNA in an undesirable way.
3. Nanobots must have a means of navigation so they are not swept out of control. They may move along with blood flow, or may be able to move against blood flow when necessary. They require a way to anchor (corkscrew mechanisms, such as used by certain bacteria, have been imagined). Nanobots must be chemically inert and able to withstand conditions within the body. That way, they tolerate the acidic stomach environment, etc., without malfunctioning or corroding.
4. While medical devices may contain nanoscale components, today’s so-called nanobots mostly measure one micron and above. So, when fully equipped they are really micro-machines. Except for correcting emergency situations (where the good they do vastly outweighs the harm), a micron-scale device from 0.1–10 micrometers is inadequate for remaining within the body. They would, however, be very useful when situated at the outer surface of the skin for treating the skin, hair, nails and administering therapy to internal parts of the body. The reason for the size concern is that foreign intracellular particles can mechanically damage cells if they measure more than 200 nanometers (17)
5. Nanobots should be accountable, so that their numbers and whereabouts can always be known. That way, the task force count is known and can be added to or subtracted when necessary. This also eliminates the danger of nanobots performing outside of their designated environment.
6. To keep things simple and safe, the first biological nanobots should not be self-replicating. Delivering the needed number to the body can instead be a simple process, like using micro-injections, skin patches or providing them in capsules or as a drinkable liquid as needed.
7. A system must be in place that determines how nanomachines will be controlled and instructed. The user must determine when nanobots should act independently to prevent or solve a crisis and provide other relief, and when and how they should be instructed by the user to perform optional tasks.
8. Nanobots must be versatile as a team. Unless engineers find a way to work at the femtoscale (an order of magnitude below than the nanoscale) or below, there is not enough room at the bottom for any one nanobot to be a highly-complex machine. The more fixed and moving parts built into a nanobot, the larger it becomes. But a team, made up of nanobots with different capabilities, can make up for this limitation by being highly versatile as a whole. Some could have robotic arms, others could carry and release tools and other supplies, others could flip switches, and others could work on folding proteins, etc. We are the product of our proteins and their structure and activity.
9. High intelligence is paramount. Nanobots must be intelligence enough to work together as a team, and to begin significant human enhancement(s) towards the transhuman state. The initial tasks tested can be simple, like detecting a harmful virus in the bloodstream or transporting a useful substance to body cells. The first transhuman(s) will likely be nominally transhuman, but the transhuman condition is upgradeable as nanobots, science, and biotechnology advance to higher levels of sophistication.
10. As smart nanobots are upgraded, they are expected to perform increasingly extraordinary tasks, including preventing and eradicating diseases, halting or reversing aging as may be desired, providing pain and shock relief as may be required, performing perfect healing for all tissues that might not correctly heal on their own, regrowing new body parts as needed, springing into action to alleviate crises, directing certain nutrients to the brain to enhance its development and performance, actively surveying for hacking activity and reporting and eliminating any that may be found, producing elective redesigns of the body to the satisfaction of the user, providing reports on progress and status, etc. Ideally, a nanosystem will automatically act to keep the transhuman whole and healthy, and the transhuman will be able to instruct their nanonetwork on what to accomplish so it will figure out how to get the jobs done and do them.
Advancing Existing Technologies to Accomplish the Above:
Significant progress has been made in atomically precise fabrication technology. Many nanoproducts have been designed and several are successfully fabricated. They include a switch measuring about 1.5 nanometers across (able to count the specific molecules in a chemical sample).(18) In 2014, researchers at the Cockrell School of Engineering, at The University of Texas, in Austin, TX, announced their nanomoter.(19) Johannes Roßnagel, an experimental physicist at the University of Mainz, in Germany, built a four-stroke engine that runs on a single atom. It’s length is less than a micrometer.(20) Nanobearings, nanorods, nanospheres, nanorings, nanotubes, nanozippers, nanowires, nanocapsules, nanogrids, nanotracks, nano-fluidic devices, nanocages, nanoflasks, ladder-like nanostructrures, a nano bar-code system, a pair of single-molecule photon-fueled nanoscissors (for DNA cleavage), optical nanotweezers small enough to move a virus, nanobatteries measuring from one micron to less then 100 nanometers,(21) and DNA nanocircles, nanoribbons and nanoboxes are part of a longer list of impressive accomplishments.(22)
Nanodiamond film comes in several thicknesses and shapes, and can be made by various methods. Nanodiamond produced by chemical vapor deposition was shown to be tissue compatible during testing, and has also shown several other advantages for internal medical devices.(23)
The performance of nanodiamond in the body depends on its size and how it was made (factors that can affect purity and shape). Nanodiamond outperformed carbon nanotubes in a number of ways during testing.(24)
Given the need for caution and unforeseen events with any foreign material introduced into the body, and because people can develop allergies to just about anything, it will be necessary to make sure internal machines always have the right kind of surface coating to avoid insult to the body. It is not so important that any nanobot be made of or coated with smooth nanodiamond. Instead, the major importance of diamond, as explained below, is that it has ideal properties for producing extraordinarily intelligent brains for solving truly big data problems — such as those involved with human enhancement. In other words, diamond computing can build tremendous intelligence into a network within the body, and diamond is also valuable for producing all sorts of highly-advanced electronic devices. So, we will necessarily focus on the technological sparkle of diamond in this article.
Scientists in Taiwan found a way to get nanodiamonds to deliver a substance to cells within a living organism. They fed nanodiamonds, coated with a special sugar, to a transparent species of round worm. They fed another group of worms uncoated nanodiamonds. The uncoated diamonds remained in their intestinal tracts. The sugar-coated nanodiamonds entered their bloodstreams through their intestinal walls, and were able to attach to specific cells in their bodies.(25) The team reported that the worms achieved normal life spans and showed no sign of distress from their treatment.
Synthetic diamond nanospheres are manufactured so that they are extremely smooth as well as round, and this makes them devoid of cutting surfaces (one to four nanometer synthetic diamond ball bearings are used as a lubricant). This prevents any sharp edges from causing internal bleeding. Nanodiamonds have been used to deliver molecules and small snippets of DNA into living cells, and are otherwise proving to be very versatile for biomedical uses.
In April of 2013, UCLA researchers and their colleagues published their use of nanodiamonds in the peer-reviewed journal Advanced Materials. They used nanodiamonds, four to six nanometers in diameter, to treat mice with the most aggressive type of breast cancer. The nanodiamonds delivered highly toxic chemotherapy drugs that normally cause very serious side effects. But the mice were able to tolerate these drugs when delivered in this way only to cancer cells. Some tumors were arrested and others shrank to the point of being undetectable during the study. Team member and biochemical engineer Dean Ho stated, “The agent we’ve developed reduces the toxic side effects that are associated with treatment and mediates significant reductions in tumor size.”(26) The overall result is so promising that larger animals will be treated in preparation for human trials. This nanodiamond drug delivery approach is applicable to many types of diseases in humans.
Overcoming the Big Data Crisis:
Data has already grown so large that it is difficult and cumbersome to process with existing database and software techniques. The big data problem is overwhelming almost every scientific discipline, including genomics – and technicians are still in the early stages of sequencing and databasing all known genes. The unique optical properties of diamond offer the potential to overcome the current big data crisis, and also the potential to allow highly-intelligent nanobots to capture information in real time and in vivo, and to process it in ways that a human can understand. One method is rapid computer prototyping, allowing people to see simulated results on a computer screen and how these results were achieved based on data input.
Consumer hardware manufacturers, including Intel, already make 28 nanometer chips that work in parallel and perform mathematic and logical functions. But overcoming the big data problem will mean packing much more and much faster computing power into the smallest possible space.
Whether striving for a transhuman body or not, everyone who wants extreme life extension would benefit from such powerful computing. Nature provides a number of examples of immortal creatures. They include bacteria with DNA that has remained living and active (instead of alive but dormant) from a half million to millions of years. Although their DNA codes provide models of immortal genes that can be sequenced with today’s technology, figuring out what makes them immortal (and disease free for so long) requires the kind of computing power optical quantum computing can offer.
To put the computing power in perspective, consider that even a weak quantum computer, composed of 300 qubits, would carry out more computations simultaneously than could be performed by all the atoms in the whole visible universe if they could be converted into a classical computer processor.(27) This is because of the exponential scaling of quantum information (quantum parallelism) within a quantum computer, something not possible with the binary system. Quantum computing only works this way for certain types of computations though. For other types, it works the same as classical computation; and quantum computing can simulate classical computing. But even when working with straightforward optical computing (devoid of quantum effects), the computing works at the speed of light and so can deliver computations millions of times faster than classical computing.(28)
Today’s nanobots are devoid of intelligence, and so cannot get much work done in the body. But all of this can change with light-speed photonic computing in nanodiamond, and enable the Transhuman Revolution. Diamond is increasingly being more well-recognized as a nanocomputer construction material.(29) Several projects have demonstrated approaches to producing photonic (optical) computing at the macroscale,(30) proving the tremendous potential for computing that operates at the speed of light. The use of diamond microcircuitry film (DMF) is a practical way of producing such light-based computing. DMF can be configured as electron computing, optical quantum computing, and straightforward light-based (optical or photonic) computing, or a combination of these computing modes all at once.
Light-based computing can be configured as either straightforward optical computing or as optical quantum computing – because photons are quantum mechanical objects that can be put into superposition (so that they exist in several states at once) and/or entanglement (so as to create an exchange of quantum information between particles at a distance). Researchers have put photons into superposition at room temperature in many straightforward experiments, and diamonds have been put into quantum entanglement at room temperatures.(31) This provides more evidence that a practical quantum computer is within our technological grasp. Although superposition is taken for granted in quantum computing schematics, many researchers (but not all) think entanglement will be an essential component for creating quantum computing.(32)
Diamond overcomes major problems of creating a quantum computer processor. A germane problem with conventional quantum computing is external influence. With conventional quantum computing, based on atoms, the smallest vibration can ruin the coherence of data. This in turn corrupts the calculations the quantum computer makes. Even cosmic rays from outer space that reach the Earth can cause the decoherence. Vibrations from nearby street traffic can cause decoherence. But with photon-based quantum computing the problem does not exist because diamond shields photons from interference. So, the worst problem of creating quantum computation is overcome with diamond.
Diamond has an arrangement of carbon atoms that is perfectly suited for manipulating light in a three-dimensional space. This arrangement is ideal architecture for photonic crystals that manipulate light for optical computing. Using light to create quantum computing is more practical than conventional methods because light is much easier to control than the individual atoms traditionally used for quantum computing. Manipulating light is based on well-known classical physics backed by many decades of research.
Quantum effects have been shown to be at work within biological systems (33), and quantum effects have been shown to be able to persist with buckyballs and optical fibers. But if humans are concerned about introducing quantum computing into the body (34), then diamond computing can be configured as straightforward light-speed photonic computing instead. In that case, the processor uses light-speed computing but does not work on the principle of photons in superposition and/or entanglement.
Pure white (colorless) diamond is the most transparent of all materials. Such diamond reflects visible light, ultra-violet light, and infrared light, and all the wavelengths (colors) of the spectrum in between. Light beams of different wavelengths can criss-cross without interfering with each other, too. Because they are so small, billions of wavelengths can travel through an optical instrument. This translates into tremendous computing power within a very tiny optical diamond computer brain. The key is to get the interior of diamond to yield to computing configurations, and DMF is ideal for that purpose because its interior can be manipulated and designed to do so. DMF is so versatile that the famous double slit experiment (that puts light particles in superposition) could be built right into DMF.
The reason is that DMF is produced by using a proton beam to convert zones within diamond to graphite, an electrically conducting material (the diamond itself acts as an electrical insulator). A proton beam will penetrate below the surface of single crystal diamond film, so that the microcircuitry drawn with proton beam lithography is completely protected within the diamond film. The graphite zones can be drawn in any desired three-dimensional configuration, including whole circuit boards that need no metal connectors or transistors. Not all computer systems require transistors. Polymer-based memory (made with plastic film) is an example. In that system, electrical currents determine which junctions open and close to produce the ones and zeros used by digital computing. But with light-based computing (whether it be optical or optical quantum computing) within DMF, the proton beam must be used to create wave guides for light, and do so in a way that keeps light from leaking into the wrong part of the diamond.
Another major problem that diamond overcomes involves temperature. Other qubit materials, like atoms, must be kept at cryogenic temperatures. But this is not so when using diamond to produce photonic computing.(35) Optical computing will work within DMF at room temperature (and within a wide range of other temperatures).
In addition to a source of power such as nanobatteries, optical computing requires a light source. A laser beam will pass through diamond without losing coherence, and so lasers are ideal for creating an optical computing system (and for producing the double slit experimental configuration within DMF). In 2003, physicist Mark Stockman, of Georgia State University, devised the first nanolaser to foster nano-optics applications.(36) In 2012, Northwestern University physicists described a working nanolaser operating at room-temperatures.(37)
Diamond Offers Many More Advantages For Ushering in the Diamond Age:
Like optical fibers used in conventional computers and communications, diamond has the valuable property of total internal reflection. This property allows conventional fiber optics cables to transmit light signals the way electrical cables transmit electrical signals (and Harvard researchers have created diamond nanowires). Fiber optics can bend light around corners without light escaping from the fibers. Owing to the optical properties of diamond, highly reliable diffractive, reflective, refractive, electro-optical, and other hybrid optical macroscale systems have been manufactured. On the macroscale, too, different grades of synthetic diamond provide for data storage, optical beam induced current, telecommunications, and many other industrial applications. Artificial vision and optics are important for robotics and automation systems. Diamond also provides better magnifying power than a glass lens, allowing for individual molecules to be viewed.(38)
Diamond has also been used to produce semiconductor devices, integrated circuits, very compact light-emitting diodes, electrodes, transistors, sensors, signalling devices, and other miniaturized electrical devices. All of these devices have been made on the macroscale with diamond. DMF is ideal for producing miniaturized versions, and can be made into resistors, capacitors, inductors, diodes, electrodes, and switches, which are the main building blocks of most electronics.(39)
Non-diamond electronic systems are plagued by noise because of current leakage. Diamond is more devoid of current leakage than any other known material. Current leakage is negligible in diamond. Virtually noise-free DMF circuitry can take electronics evolution to a higher state in general and in terms of electronically programmable minicircuitry. This makes DMF ideal for DNA sequencing, tissue imaging, and protein imaging, and can also translate into an unprecedented level of accuracy during imaging.
Diamond also acts as a heat spreader that will keep working devices from becoming too cold or hot (the latter normally becomes a problem when continually-running machines are crammed into a small space). When smooth at the nanoscale, diamond can be used to produce friction-free devices that virtually never wear out. Diamond is also chemically inert and corrosion resistant.
All of this shows the versatility and superiority of diamond for electronics and computing. The cost of synthetic single crystal diamond film has greatly reduced in price over the past couple of decades, too, so that it is no longer an expensive material. Nanodiamonds can be manufactured so that they are very uniform, making them suitable structures for automated, computer-driven nanofabrication.
The DMF Nanobot Concept:
Although the DMF prototype was created on the micron scale (with graphite channels of one micron and above), it could theoretically be made at the nanoscale. Nano proton-beam writing is increasingly becoming more common for a number of applications. Producing DMF optical brains in nanodiamonds or in nanodiamond films will require using the smallest possible aperture (the opening that controls the quantity of protons entering and leaving it). Protons measure in the femtometer range, below the nanoscale. So, in the words of Richard Feynman, “there’s plenty of room at the bottom.” Although light behaves differently at the nanoscale, adjustments in computer processor design can be made to compensate when creating either optical or optical-quantum computing at the nanoscale. In the worst case scenario, if some unforeseen factor makes DMF nanocircuitry impossible to create, highly-sophisticated DMF microdevices could still be made to operate at the surface of the skin to administer many kinds of tests and deliver therapies to the body to enhance health span and life extension, and oversee and direct internal nanobots made of other materials.
Overcoming Nanotech Manufacturing Hurdles with the Diamond to Graphite Approach:
A major advantage to the diamond to graphite approach is that there is no need to grind or cut into hard, crystalline diamond when manufacturing devices. Not only can proton beam lithography be used to convert internal areas of diamond to graphite configurations, but hot lasers will convert the outer surfaces of diamond to graphite. Graphite is the softest material known, and can be very easily removed.
Lasers have already been used to create a variety of specialized shapes uncommon for macroscale diamonds, including horse heads, stars, butterflies, and letters. This demonstrates that standard machine part shapes can also be made. Lasers are being used for some applications in nanofabrication, too.(40)
In short, many shapes and essential machine structures – such as friction-free gears, shafts, robotic arms, etc. – can be added to the toolbox for creating tiny robotics with this approach. This approach to building electronics, computing, optical and mechanical devices eliminates the need for engineers to have to plan where and how to manipulate atoms and molecules into desired positions (and so that they will stay put), to build devices at the nanoscale. Instead, engineers plan how to treat nanodiamonds with a laser and proton beam to produce parts and machines of all sorts. We are looking at the potential for a vast increase in capabilities without going through the trouble of building machines from atoms and molecules, and this diamond to graphite approach can boost the field of nanotechnology to a much more robust stage. More simple than maneuvering atoms and molecules, the diamond to graphite approach is as straightforward as building conventional machines.
The diamond to graphite approach can do much more than build tremendous intelligence into tiny devices for human enhancement. It can also lead to new nanofabrication tools that will build better tools, and this can be expected to lead to building nanotechnology factories. The advent of nanotechnology is so important to the world for so many reasons that it is imperative that hurdles are overcome. Versatile, effective smart medical nanobots can save trillions of dollars in health care costs, and this is critical for ailing national budgets – especially when people are living longer. Our oceans are becoming acidic and laden with nuclear and many other toxic wastes, and are increasingly developing enormous dead zones. Thousands of different kinds of pollutants in our air, water. and soil will probably not be cleaned up without massive armies of nanobots and microbots that can get the job done. One reason is that filters do not exist for capturing many of the pollutants, and so dealing with them will probably require robotically collecting and safely containing them. Some may be robotically transformed into useful products. Nanotechnology is widely recognized as capable of bringing on a new, highly-advanced Industrial Revolution that can greatly improve everyone’s lives in many ways.
In sum, the DMF approach to building nanomachines offers major advantages: It presents the potential for super-smart nanobots (and/or microbots) with optical or optical-quantum computing brains. It presents a more practical approach to creating highly-versatile teams of nanobots than building with atoms and molecules. It is also a powerful technology for building micromachines and tools for the nanofabrication industry.
Who Has the Right Stuff to Accept this Challenge?
We have considered a way forward for achieving the transhuman physical state much sooner than is predicted by noted experts, and how it comes with an organizational challenge or systems engineering line of development. Assuming the first transhuman takes advantage of the highly-intelligent diamond nanobot approach described herein, that individual must have the right stuff: That is, he, she or they will require either the private resources and/or community support to pull together the practical skills and needed nanothreads. Will it be Ray Kurzweil? It would be tremendous fun to watch him grow younger and more agile with every talk, and to present a vivid model of what others can achieve. Will it be the 2015 U.S. presidential candidate of the Transhumanist Party, Zoltan Istvan? Will it be Max and the beautiful Natasha? Must it require a billionaire who is attempting to achieve eternal life, like 92-year-old David H. Murdock, philanthropist and chairman / CEO of Dole Food Co.? Will it be a crowdfunding wizard whose name we have never heard of – yet?(41) Or might it happen though a group effort by immortalists and transhumanists marshaling full community support? Whoever accepts and meets this challenge will pave the way for transhumans to become the norm, and for smart nanotechnology and micromachining to be used to solve some of the most serious global problems.
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For more on DMF, contact Margaret Morris
Margaret Morris is the author of ‘Moon Base and Beyond,’
which explains the use of the GEO-DMF System to enlarge the
space economy sufficiently to bring global financial relief and
revolutionize space colonization within a few generations.
‘Moon Base and Beyond’
Other posts by Margaret Morris:
Photo Credit (depicting the theme of entangled diamonds):
(1) For more detail on the difference between the cyborg and transhuman, see a discussion with Natasha Vita-More here: http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/olson20130105
(2) See the Nick Bostrom quote at his home page: www.nickbostrom.com/views/transhumanist.pdf
(4) Some of the hurdles of achieving medical nanobots are discussed here: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/08/nanobot-treatment-doctors-cancer/400613/
(5) See Liz Parrish’s company BioViva at: http://bioviva-science.com/
(7) Bruno Bernardes de Jesus, Elsa Vera, Kerstin Schneeberger, Agueda M Tejera, Eduard Ayuso, Fatima Bosch, and Maria A Blasco, “Telomerase gene therapy in adult and old mice delays aging and increases longevity without increasing cancer,” EMBO Mol Med. 2012 Aug; 4(8), pp. 691–704.
(11) For a summary of skin treated with the telomerase gene, see: http://defytime.science/
For more, see: Bodnar, et al. Extension of life-span by introduction of telomerase into normal human cells. Science, 1998, Vol. 279 no. 5349 pp. 349-352; and:
(12) For a Forbes analysis showing up to $5 billion per new FDA approved drug, see http://www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2013/08/11/how-the-staggering-cost-of-inventing-new-drugs-is-shaping-the-future-of-medicine/
(16) Olga A. Shenderova, Dieter M. Gruen (editors), Ultrananocrystalline Diamond: Synthesis, Properties, and Applications, William Andrew publishing, NY (2006). p. 547.
(17) Olga A. Shenderova, Dieter M. Gruen (editors), Ultrananocrystalline Diamond: Synthesis, Properties, and Applications, William Andrew publishing, NY (2006). p. 548.
(18) Sarhan M. Musa (ed.), Computational Finite Element Methods in Nanotechnology, CRC Press, Boca Ratan (2012), p. 88.
(23) Olga A. Shenderova, Dieter M. Gruen (editors), Ultrananocrystalline Diamond: Synthesis, Properties, and Applications, William Andrew publishing, NY (2006). p. 547, write: “Additional evidence of diamond biocompatibility came from Zheng et al. (2005) who fabricated nanocrystalline diamond films (NDFs) on optical glass using microwave plasma assisted CVD and used osteoblast cell cultures and platelet adhesion tests for in vitro evaluation of biocompatiblility of NDFs. Their results indicated that the diamond films exhibit good tissue compatibility and hemocompatibility, which makes them very suitable for biomedical applications. The excellent chemical inertness and smoothness of NDFs made them a promising material for medical implants, cardiovascular surgery, and coating of artificial heart valves (Mitura et al., 1996; 1999). In 2004 Specht et al. were able to demonstrate the ordered growth of mammalian neurons on diamond….The high biocompatibility, corrosion resistance, chemical inertness, low friction coefficient, electrical insulation, and excellent mechanical characteristics of CVD diamond suggested that diamond-coated materials may find numerous applications in medicine (Tang et al., 1995).”
(24) Ying Zhu, Jing Li, Wenxin Li, Yu Zhang, Xiafeng Yang, Nan Chen, Yanhong Sun, Yun Zhao, Chunhai Fan, Qing Huang. “The Biocompatibility of Nanodiamonds and Their Application in Drug Delivery Systems,” Theranostics (2012), 2(3), pp. 302-312.
(27) For a table showing the math, see http://www.ict.griffith.edu.au/joan/qucomp/intro.php
(32) The need for entanglement is disputed by some, see Richard Jozsa; Noah Linden. “On the role of entanglement in quantum computational speed-up,” Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 459, Issue 2036 (2002), pp. 2011–2032.
(33) For a talk by MIT’s Seth Lloyd on quantum biology, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcXSpXyZVuY.
(34) Concern could arise due to possible implications of physicist Hugh Everett’s (1930-1982) multiverse theory of quantum physics. For a discussion with physicist Max Tegmark
of the implications relative to quantum computing, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8y5sDxsCUg.
(37) Suh, Jae Yong; et al., “Plasmonic Bowtie Nanolaser Arrays,” Nano Letters (September 2012), 12 (11), pp. 5769–5774.
(39) Ricardo S. Sussmann, CVD Diamond for Electronic Devices and Sensors, John Wiley & Sons, West Sussex (2009), 596 pp.
(41) For crowdfunding dedicated to life extension see: http://www.lifespan.io/.
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