Discussions on Nanotechnology
Once again, this is a set of letters from Arcana, and from a DeM discussion that took place a few weeks ago. It was sparked by...... well, something obviously game-related...... But Hobbes and Nathan are both majoring in related fields (medical and biology respectively, I think), and as you can see by looking through my page, Arcana knows quite a bit about technical sciences - or so it seems to me. I'm a dunce when it comes to these subjects, personally. ^^ He's going to be an engineer though, so...... here you have it, from people who should know what they're talking about. ^_~
Beware - this is a long page, and it might get longer! But I think you'll all find it interesting...... ^_^
I think of Nanomachines being run with.. (grabs Chem textbook) ...adenosine triphosphate. When light energy is trapped, it is converted to chemical energy in the form of ATP... ATP can be further broken into ADP, Phosphorus, and energy... nanomachines would run on this energy.
(Close enough. Through carbon bonding, etc. ADP has a phosphate added to get ATP. Then, when the cell wants to use it, the ATP is reduced to ADP+P+energy. All living cells run off of this, and it is VERY efficient,compared to human-built machines. -- Lord Bob)
Unfortunately, doing this would mean that Nanomachines are biological devices, as this is the reaction that plants undergo when they experience photosynthesis, and nanomachines are MACHINES, not plants....to create glucose (a sugar, also a source of energy), you would require CO2 and H2O. I suppose it could work for SOME nanomachines... they're require sunlight, air, and water to run, though. Another explanation may be that with humans, nanomachines are powered the same way that the human body is.... by taking sugars from the blood.
Elly, in the game, had her arm reconstructed by nanomachines. They can operate similarly to the way a regular animal cell would work... with exchange of materials and energy. This could also be applied to Emeralda. As for gears, I'd personally like to keep gears away from nanomachines as much as possible because it's not physically viable. Basically, ifwe can't bull our way through it, we shouldn't have it done ^_^. Gears have a fuel source, but nanomachines, built to resemble an animal (or plant) cell, wouldn't be able to run on fuel. There is no bloodstream to run on either. (you DO realise that a fusion gear like Seibzehn would require air and water so that the Brain inside would be able to continue functioning). I would say that the last resort would be to say that gear-nanomachines are plant-based. To "charge them", you would require sunlight and water(or direct injection of sugars).
NOTE: this would make most gear Nanomachines appear green. See, Emeralda's hair isn't green for no reason ^_^ Anyway, once the energy runs out, in a biological organism, the organism would start to "eject" useless cells.... i.e., kill them off. In the case of nanomachines, we can say that they will simply shut themselves down. Only the most advanced of nanomachines can replicate on their own....even in the game, nanomachines didn't just "re-create" themselves on the fly... for instance, Taurus Melchoir could only create nanomachines using a huge tube.... and Crescens' nanomachines would only support Emeralda from dying, and they wouldn't keep the gear itself alive. With someone like Irina, the genetic code would allow her nanomachines to maintain her current cell count if some happen to die out, but she wouldnot be able to create any more. It would be safe to say that nanomachines are not JUST machines, but they are combination of biological material and mechanical/electrical parts. Irina has a genetic code... that cannot be replicated by a computer.
1) If nanomachines are on a human being, they are powered by that person's boodstream. That means if you don't eat, your nanomachines are going to stop working.
2) If nanomachines are on a gear, they are powered either by photosynthesis... the nanomachines on a gear act as plant cells that "feed themselves" in sunlight, water, and air. If they cannot feed themselves (i.e., power runs out), then they will shut down.
3) Nanomachine colonys are fed similar to a human being... for therewould be "nanomachine blood", et cetera. The genetic code does not allow the nanomachines to reproduce. In fact, in a nanomachine colony, the machines are a combination of biological and metallic parts: the genetic code, for example, is biological, and not replicated by a computer or electrical pulses.
There's one suggestion.... someone who knows more about biology might want to say something here. I took a low-level biology course, so you shouldn't trust all I say on this topic.
I agree with Arcana's statement about nanomachines being a
of biological and mechanical materials. I tend to view nanomachines as
"supercell" that is comprised of both biological materials, as well as
computer chips or a living computer within a cell. I don't know if
watches DragonBall Z, but in the movie where Gokou and everyone fights
metallic Kooler, Kooler was made from a chip that would just reproduce
Kooler's leftover biological body parts and metallic substances.
just how I see it.
In the case of Elly and Fei, they had nanomachines injected into
However, the nanomachine DNA, its genetic material, has to be different
Elly and Fei's DNA, unless Taurus was able to manipulate and
alter the nanomachines so that it would match the receipients.
the nanomachines was unclear, and I don't think was ever explained in
game. But let's just say that nanomachines can genetically be altered
a specifically sequenced DNA strand that would match the recipients
That way, the normal human cells and the nanomachines can interact
any problems. So it was easy for the injected nanomachines to
themselves and reconstruct a body part because they were human to begin
with, and they had their own cells and genetic code, but it could only
controlled through a nanomachine reactor tube. Without the reactor,
reproduction would be uncontrollable, as the human brain would not be
able to direct a nanomachine. That's all good for humans with
surgically planted in them, but what about complete organisms made out
just nanomachines, like Ariath, or Emeralda/Irina?
Now all biological cells, in order to live, require a fuel source,
glucose. But since nanomachines are also half machines, they need more
just glucose. I would think they need metallic ions, probably an
source, to sustain growth and repair. The glucose would only allow the
production of ATP so that the biological half of a the nanomachine
can survive. But I think a nanomachine colony would require things
iron, calcium, and other metallic ions in order for their metallic
live. This being true, nanomachine colonies must be able to reproduce
themselves, or the entire organism would die. And being nanomachines,
of like controlled cancer cells if you will...they can reproduce
abundantly at will, because everything is controlled by a central
it being the nanomachine "brain". That would explain Emeralda's
morph her body, in a controlled fashion. It would also require
instantaneous degradation of the nanomachines, to return the body to
All this, of course, can only be done and controlled in a complete
nanomachine organism, for a human would lack the central brain to
it. And the nanomachines would still require the same type of fuel
(glucose) as a human would, but their diet would be quite different, as
would eat only half as much as a human, and intake minerals in a
manner. (My idea is, that nanomachines are so advanced, that their
membranes are selectively permeable at will, that is they can just
the materials they need through the skin.)
The biggest problem would be the gears. I don't know, but I
gears were able to take on the abilities of their pilots. Like Gears
magnify the ether abilities of the pilots, and the gear mobility (well
guess just the techniques) are performed because of the pilot's
Not anyone was able to pilot Weltall, but Fei seemed to be the perfect
So a gear that was piloted by a nanomachine organism, strange as it
be, would be able to magnify the "morphing" abilities of the pilots. I
guess this would require some sort of fusion between pilot and gear.
Gear itself would not be made of nanomachines, but when a pilot like
Emeralda or Ariath gets on, their bodies would merge with the Gear, the
nanomachines would begin their erratic reproduction and take over the
Well I might as well throw in my two cents here. I have studied
biochemistry as a hobby, so I feel I can add some thought here.
First I will have to go on the agreement that nanomachines are both
mechanical and biological, in a sense. To tell all of you the truth
science to day has the ability to make nanomachines, our only problem
that we can not make them small enough. Nanomachines in real life are
just that machines, little robots. They are no more than that, sense
they are used only for repair work. Just as we program a robot to act,
nanomachine is programed to function the same way. But for sake of
argument we can saw they contain DNA in them, you will see later why
just a plain machine is better.
But now we come to the reproduction problem. I see no reason that they
could not reproduce, but not as humans or animals. Nanomachines create
other nanomachines period. Each nanomachine is given a specific task
perform and for some it would be to make new ones and to copy the
DNA/program so that the new one will know its function. They would use
materials within the body, so special nano-colony people would have
necessary materials available. Thus making normal people have to find a
way of getting the correct materials. I could see some arguments to
this but it is much more sound then what I have seen so far and is
close to the real way it is done. The nanomachines would have a central
area, or brain, that lets the machines know when to do their thing.
This would be run by the nervous system or the person. The chemical
reactions would trigger certain parts of the "brain" to have the
machines perform their function.
Ok, now I come to the part were we have no real life example to work
of, the gears. Hobbes, your idea that the pilot bonds with/is
into the gear reminds me of an anime, Neon Genesis Evangelion. The
idea of sync ratio is what I see here. But that does not allow for the
gear to perform the functions of the pilot. Lets say Shinji could use
chi, Unit One would not be able to, because even though there is a
with, physical & mental, pilot it is still a separate entity. So how do
we solve this? Well if nanomachines are just machines, then they
could run through the circuitry of the gear, just like the bloodstream
of a human, thus enabling the gear to perform the functions, or close
to, the abilities of the pilot. Now you are probably wondering, but you
said that nanos were both DNA and machines, so how would that work?
Simple really - the "brain" device would still function as in the human,
the only difference is keeping the DNA alive. Well cells have a little
organelle called a mitochondria in them that supplies all energy for
the cell. The energy comes from food for humans. But gears do not eat.
No they don't, but they have a power supply. See what I am saying here?
The mitochondria feeds off the power supply of the gear to keep the
cell alive. That is that. Now the gears have a somewhat similar
abilities to the pilot and the nanos can function and reproduce just
like in the human.
Well this was my ramble on the whole subject. I base all my ideas off
current biochem. and biotech. research. I know some is still a little
foggy, but maybe we can find a middle ground between reality and
fantasy. Lets hope for the best here.