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nanotech_primer [2011/07/12 13:11] (current)
hagalaz created - new wiki-format page name - H.
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 +====== ​ A Nanotech Primer ======
 +//(Note: This is intended to provide more specific information regarding nanotechnology. ​ It is not intended to replace the [[Nanotechnology]] Guide, but serve as a supplement, particularly for players looking to play characters with a scientific bent. - Hagalaz)//
 +====== Approaches to Assembly ======
 +Two main approaches are used in nanotechnology. ​ In the '​bottom-up'​ approach, materials and devices are built from molecular components which assemble themselves chemically by principals of molecular recognition,​ or material is deposited using an atomic force microscope to gradually build up a larger construct. ​ In the '​top-down'​ approach, nano-objects are constructed from larger entities by removal of material using a atomic force microscope. ​ It is possible to use both techniques in the process of building nanotech constructs, particularly for dry nanotech.
 +  ​
 +====== Wet Nanotech ======
 +Wet nanotech, or bionanotech,​ constructs are assembled using DNA, self-assembling protein molecules, and/or gengineered viruses. ​ It is referred to as '​wet'​ because water is required as the working medium where the building process occurs inside an assembler. ​ These assemblers can produce robots on a nanotech scale, bottom-up, that structurally resemble bacteria. ​ These bionanomachines can be introduced into a patient'​s bloodstream to provide medical treatments and cause '​soft'​ changes, altering skin or blood cell production, production of specific proteins, or editing genetic material in reproductive organs. ​ Bionanomachines are designed to '​die'​ after a set period of time, at which point they are usually removed from the host organism in a manner similar to other dead cellular material.
 +Bionanotech cannot be used to cause '​hard'​ changes, such as reshaping existing organs, muscle or bone.  Medical bionanomachines can only survive in controlled conditions, and must be tailored for a particular subject, or risk being attacked by the host's immune system and being destroyed.
 +It was rumored that at one time, bionanomachines were manufactured that would have been capable of application against a general population, capable of causing massive cellular death, blindness, sterility, or causing the host to succumb '​hereditary'​ diseases. ​ This technology is not currently possible.
 +====== Dry Nanotech ======
 +Dry nanotech is usually carbon-based (but other elements can and have been used) and would be produced in an assembler, using either a '​top-down'​ or '​bottom-up'​ approach. ​  While the resulting nanotech constructs produced by an assembler would be quite robust, for example, starship engines made of a single large sapphire, or the anchor tether for an orbital elevator, the actual production must occur inside a sterile laboratory environment,​ in a specialized vacuum chamber, to minimize risks of contamination (which would prevent nanometer-scale ('​nanoscale'​) machines from functioning due to misshapen parts, and would affect the structural integrity of large constructs). ​ At this time, there is no way to produce new dry nanoscale robots capable of functioning outside of a controlled lab environment.  ​
 +Micrometer-scale nanomachines,​ such as utility foglets, generally have a hollow, vacuum-filled body (often referred to as a '​vacuole'​) containing any nanoscale moving parts and protecting them from the outside environment,​ along with a power supply and any on-board processor capability. ​ They are generally constructed from materials such as aluminum oxide, instead of carbon, to prevent creating a fuel-air explosive from what are essentially finely-divided microscopic carbon particles.
nanotech_primer.txt ยท Last modified: 2011/07/12 13:11 by hagalaz