Update on promise of nanotechnology for radically extended life span

For those Nanodot readers who look beyond near-term medical nanotech and its promise of greatly improved drug delivery and other advances, the January issue of Life Extension Magazine offers a report on the eventual promise of medical nanobots by Nanomedicine author Robert A. Freitas Jr. “Nanotechnology and Radically Extended Life Span“:

A revolution in medical technology looms large on the horizon. The agent of change is microscopically small and is defined in today’s nomenclature as nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology is the engineering of molecularly precise structures and, ultimately, molecular machines. The prefix “nano-” refers to the scale of these constructions. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter, the width of about five carbon atoms nestled side by side. Nanomedicine is the application of nanotechnology to medicine. The ultimate tool of nanomedicine is the medical nanorobot—a robot the size of a bacterium, composed of molecule-size parts somewhat resembling macroscale gears, bearings, and ratchets. Medical nanorobotics holds the greatest promise for curing disease and extending health span. With diligent effort, the first fruits of medical nanorobotics could begin to appear in clinical treatment as early as the 2020s.

Freitas provides a glimpse of a couple medical nanobots that could fight infection or cancer or replaced damaged chromosomes with healthy ones, and an update on his efforts with colleagues to advance the mechanosynthesis pathway to develop the advanced nanotechnology required to build such nanobots.

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