Tuesday, June 11, 2002

lonely student

man, this sucks! i can't find anyone who wants to listen to me talk about intelligent fibres. i've been reading so much lately on material science, biotech, nanotech and intelligent systems that i think my brain might explode. science and engineering papers are pretty dry but there's no pissing around, and i can dig that. i'm facinated with the development of spider dragline silk. this stuff is way stronger than steel but is really hard to mass produce. spiders can't be farmed like silkworms because they are territorial carnivores. so people have studied the spinning mechanisms and chemical composition of spider silk, identified the DNA sequences for the proteins, genetically engineered goats to secrete these proteins in their milk, and then isolated the proteins and machine spun them into thread strong enough to stop a bullet. what a crazy process. and then there are nanofibres in which all sorts of receptors and nanobots are embedded, and they can be woven directly into our flesh as bioprosthetics. i really hope they get artificial skin right - not because i want a "real" robot, but because i've always thought that severe burns are horrifying and it would be nice to give people back their skin. i may be a fetishist of the mind, but i strongly desire the flesh. also: MIT and the US military are hard at work on superfibres in the field of "soldier nanotechnology." adds a new dimension to arms acceleration.


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