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PLAYING DARPA WITH A NANOVALENTINE’S DAY CARD

March 2, 2013 By Joseph P. Farrell

You may have missed this one this last Valentine's Day when you were hunting for that special card to send to your special someone, or you may not have seen it.  In fact, you probably couldn't have seen it because it was simply too small to see, but the good folks at phys.org have blown it up for us:

A Cupid made of carbon nanotubules: world's tiniest Valentine

Let's face it, nano-technology was born, in a certain sense, from the advances in integrated circuitry, with more and more tiny circuits being etched into ever smaller amounts of space. The idea of building small machines to insert into humans to repair, or harm, them in a kind of Fantastic Voyage style scenario is no longer the science fiction of the 1960s, it's fast approaching fact. And when Eric Drexler wrote his now classic manifesto of the nanotechnological future, Engines of Creation back in 1986, already IBM had spelled out its name using a few xenon atoms, and AT&T's Bell laboratories had gone them one better, and actually constructed mankind's first artificial atom.

These may, perhaps, be seen as "stunts" but they were necessary steps toward the ability to engineer molecules in a certain way, to perform certain tasks, to create nano-machines. As the article notes about the creator behind this little art work:

"'The funnest part of this project is that what we do, our angle of solving micro-mechanical problems, is so different than what anyone else has done,' Barrett said. 'We're not just making small improvements.'"

While this little Cupid isn't necessary a quantum leap, it does neatly illustrate how far, in a very short period, nanotechnology has come. As the article indicates, filters are one immediate application, and from that, one may think of a multitude of medical applications in dialysis, liver function, so on.
Imagine, too, the delight at DARPA with the growing prospect of nano-engineering those computer-brain interfaces that so delight some transhumanists. One may envision nano-implants to expand the spectrum and magnification abilities of the human eye, and indeed, such experiments have already been performed in rats. Imagine being interfaced with the Internet right inside your skull...
...and, oh yea, don't forget, one guy with such a cyber implant already has had a computer virus casting its shadow over the glorious transhumanist future, and also, don't forget, Senator Joe Lieberman want to have an "internet kill switch."
See you on the flip side.