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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

James Hoover: on 6/5/14 at 15:42pm UTC, wrote Frank and Angelika, Your message and your means of communicating it are...

KoGuan Leo: on 6/5/14 at 6:45am UTC, wrote Dear Frank and Angelika, Wonderful world scenario now and forever that I...

Margriet O'Regan: on 6/3/14 at 23:52pm UTC, wrote Hello Frank & Angelika “It would seem that the unfathomable wellsprings...

Anonymous: on 6/3/14 at 16:07pm UTC, wrote Dear Tee: Thank you very much for taking the time to read our essay, and...

Tommaso Bolognesi: on 6/3/14 at 14:25pm UTC, wrote Dear Frank and Angelika, I appreciated the rich narrative of your essay,...

Georgina Woodward: on 6/3/14 at 8:34am UTC, wrote Hi Frank and Angelika, I enjoyed reading your essay. It is thought...

Peter Gluck: on 6/3/14 at 8:06am UTC, wrote Dear Angelika and Frank, Congrats! Excellent essay about the great...

Don Limuti: on 6/2/14 at 21:28pm UTC, wrote Dear Frank and Angelika, A well done essay, and I give it a high mark. At...


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FQXi FORUM
October 18, 2019

CATEGORY: How Should Humanity Steer the Future? Essay Contest (2014) [back]
TOPIC: Quandary - Are Molecularly Manufactured Burgers Imbued with the Life Force? by Frank Josef Boehm and Angelika Domschke [refresh]
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Author Frank Josef Boehm wrote on Apr. 23, 2014 @ 11:58 GMT
Essay Abstract

We currently find ourselves in the midst of a complex multifaceted convergence of momentous challenges, which culminate to an overarching question; how will humanity continue to survive and flourish in the face of the many seemingly intractable forces that threaten to severely hobble, or perhaps even extinguish us as a species? The still nascent discipline of nanotechnology comprises a rapidly evolving and fundamentally disruptive and enabling set of capabilities that have extremely strong prospects for imparting extensive and primarily positive impacts on virtually every sector and aspect of human societal life on a global scale. We propose that the advent of molecular manufacturing (MM), coupled with advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI), which would utilize molecular and atomic feedstocks to fabricate practically any consumer product imaginable via "factory-at-home" systems (including foods) has the capacity to initiate dramatic paradigm shifts across human society. In essence, for the human species and all of its current constructs, nanotechnology may attain the status of a “grand equalizer”. Concomitantly, nanomedicine holds great potential for the development of advanced medical procedures that may, in the not too distant future, negate the requirement of invasive surgeries, eradicate practically every disease state and condition brought on by pathogens, toxins or microorganisms, and finally conquer the disease of aging. Though it may sound somewhat naïve or utopianist, the authors envisage that advanced nanomedicine might serve as a beneficial and benevolent facilitator toward the eventual attainment of health care homeostasis/equilibrium globally; enabling access to beneficial advanced medical technologies for those in remote regions and the developing world, while significantly reducing medical expenditures in the developed world. With the proviso that these sophisticated technologies will indeed come to fruition, a central question pertains to their acceptance by humanity in the interests of our cumulative survival and robust prosperity.

Author Bio

Frank Boehm has been involved with nanotechnology and especially nanomedicine since 1996. He has recently generated a new book entitled: Nanomedical Device and Systems Design: Challenges, Possibilities, Visions, for CRC Press(Taylor & Francis) Angelika Domschke is a visionary and scientist with 20 years of experience, at the forefront of innovation in biomedical devices for large medical device companies and start-ups. She holds a Ph.D. degree in polymer chemistry and has extensive expertise in program management, from concept to product launch. She has been awarded 26 patents, which generated significant revenue encompassing medical devices, nanosensors, implants, and materials testing methods.

Download Essay PDF File

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Joe Fisher wrote on Apr. 29, 2014 @ 15:54 GMT
Boehm and Demische,

In two days time, I will be 79 years old. How dare you state that aging is a disease? Your silly essay contained this gem: “A critical question to explore in regard to MM will relate to how we can failsafe MM units to prevent their malicious use.” Close to 20,000 Americans were shot to death last year, and about 125,000 were wounded. How come you are not actively working to failsafe firearms?

As you will find out if you read my essay, REALITY, ONCE, everything real and imagined is unique. Your hideous nanomedicine is not unique. It is Brave New World technology explained by Orwellian “newspeak”.

Joe Fisher

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Author Frank Josef Boehm replied on Apr. 29, 2014 @ 20:29 GMT
Hi Joe:

Thank you very much for your response, and we appreciate your comments and opinions. I have read your essay and found it very interesting. I concur that all events in the Universe are indeed distinct and occur only once.

I respectfully disagree with your assumptions as per nanomedicine, and I am certainly not the only one who has come to regard aging as a disease state. This is by no means intended as a personal affront to you. I am getting older as well... and hopefully wiser.

We hope that you have a most excellent Birthday, and many happy returns!!!

Many Thanks and All the Best,

Frank

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Joe Fisher replied on Apr. 30, 2014 @ 13:54 GMT
Dear Mr. Bohm and Dr. Domschke,

How on earth do you expect me to have an excellent birthday in my decrepit state? I need a couple of gallons of nanomedication to rejuvenate me for goodness sakes. I am glad you did not take offense at my inconsiderate remarks. I am sorry I made them.

Joe Fisher

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Tihamer T. Toth-Fejel replied on May. 29, 2014 @ 01:52 GMT
Dear Joe,

I'll be 60 years old this year, and while I can still beat every high school wrestler I go against, it won't be for much longer. If being decrepit is not a disease, then what is? I'd love to have my 29 year-old body back, but it's not going to happen if the medical efforts to understand aging aren't funded--because of unimaginative nay-sayers like you. How do you think that makes me feel?

Granted, developing anti-aging therapies is not going to be easy, and quite probably neither you nor I will benefit from them. There are seven mechanisms of aging, and while there are hints about how advanced nanotechnology (in the form of molecular machines) can ameliorate or reverse them, it's not just an engineering problem (like the construction of the molecular machines themselves), but a scientific one problem requires the acquisition of new knowledge--something much more difficult to solve. So the difficult part is knowing what the molecular machines need to do, exactly. It won't take gallons of them, at any rate. A mere 10% replacement of your red blood cells with respirocytes (one of the simplest types of molecular machine) will enable you to hold your breath for four hours-- a useful feature if you ever have a stroke or heart attack.

You mentioned a 20,000 gunshot statistic. Did you know that 38,364 people killed themselves in the USA last year? That's almost twice as much, and if anything, should be easier to prevent.

-Tee

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Author Frank Josef Boehm wrote on Apr. 30, 2014 @ 21:49 GMT
Hi Joe:

Thank you for getting back, and no worries. We hope that you get to do all of those things that you most enjoy on your Birthday!

All the Best,

Frank

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Colin Walker wrote on May. 2, 2014 @ 18:42 GMT
Hi Frank and Angelika,

For some reason, your essay disturbs me. Aside from the title, I think it is because of the great changes nanotechnology and molecular manufacturing could bring about. Any speculation about the long-range future in these areas might as well be science fiction, e.g., the movie Blade Runner where human-like beings were manufactured.

I share Joe's unease with the direction the technology could go, but the idea of rejuvenation looks pretty good to us older people, in spite of its likely detrimental effect on the future of humanity.

Perhaps a synthetic burger with rejuvenation technology would make them more appetizing.

Colin

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Anonymous wrote on May. 29, 2014 @ 02:57 GMT
Dear Frank Josef Boehm and Angelika Domschke,

What an awesome essay!!! Your big dreams are worth having! You expressed a much more beautiful and visionary view of two out of the the Three Crucial Technologies that I talk about in my essay.

And such a cool title! Even if I end up disagreeing with your answer to it, it's a provocative and attention-getting title.

I don't...

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Anonymous replied on Jun. 3, 2014 @ 16:07 GMT
Dear Tee:

Thank you very much for taking the time to read our essay, and we certainly appreciate your kind and generous words! I concur that while our essay is indeed speculative, it appears more and more likely, via the accelerating pace and widening scope of advancements in nanotechnology and nanomedicine that humanity might potentially/eventually (~20-30 years henceforth) follow, or at least have the capacity to follow, something akin to the trajectory that is envisaged. Its manifestation will be determined by the cumulative decisions that we as a species, make and the actions that we take, insofar as allocation of resources, research prioritization, popular support for particular technologies, etc. I very much look forward to reading your essay!

Many Thanks and all the Best

Frank

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Peter Jackson wrote on May. 29, 2014 @ 18:08 GMT
Hi Guys,

Great essay. I knew little of nano technology so was very interested. I have to say I may never now look at a burger in the same way. I struggle with the concept of nano-burgers, but then taking a herd of cows into deep space is also a bit tricky to conceive.

Nicely written. Thanks. I hope my own finding may also help produce better tasting fare.

Best wishes

Peter

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Don Limuti wrote on Jun. 2, 2014 @ 21:28 GMT
Dear Frank and Angelika,

A well done essay, and I give it a high mark. At first thought nanotechnology, may seem too small a concept to meet the future problems we face (global disaster). I am doing a complete turnaround thanks to you. There is plenty of steering room at the bottom.

Appreciate your essay,

Don Limuti

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Peter Gluck wrote on Jun. 3, 2014 @ 08:06 GMT
Dear Angelika and Frank,

Congrats!

Excellent essay about the great possibilities of nanotechnologies. My technology oriented essay also emphasizes this and it seems...nanoplasmonics is a central science of the near future.

Peter

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Georgina Woodward wrote on Jun. 3, 2014 @ 08:34 GMT
Hi Frank and Angelika,

I enjoyed reading your essay. It is thought provoking.

I would eat the 'nano burger' if it was good quality, containing the same fatty acids and amino acids and vitamins as the meat it imitates. There is the danger though that they will be deficient in nutrients, and natural structures and contaminated with cheep ingredients like soy that should not be in the food chain, to make it 'affordable'. The consumer's health will be at the mercy of the company that supplies the ingredient "ink". Perhaps rather than equalizing there will be different grades of "inks" to suit different levels of wealth. Sorry for my pessimism. Its already hard to buy processed meat in the supermarket that is not contaminated with a TVP or soy or gum filler of some kind.

Inkjet printer ink is really expensive, I am reluctant to buy it as it is tempting to use it when it is available but we never used to be able to print things out. It has created a want that didn't used to exist.It may be the same for 3D printers.

I suppose it could make food distribution easier, and cut down on waste if the food is processed into non perishable ink. Revitalized at home by the printer.

Good luck, Georgina

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Member Tommaso Bolognesi wrote on Jun. 3, 2014 @ 14:25 GMT
Dear Frank and Angelika,

I appreciated the rich narrative of your essay, and the competence. I was not aware of many aspects related to the future technology of Molecular Manufacturing, such as the idea to disassemble materials on the spot for re-fueling the `ink cartridges` (no more need for garage sales!). Given the page limit, it is clear that you could not go too deep into the details, and still you manage to provide a number of facts and figures to support your claims.

However, although you discuss the crucial problem of energy supply for humanity (fossil fuels vs. solar, etc.), you did not mention at all the energy requirements associated with these MM machines. Intuitively, the smaller we go, the higher the energies involved - at least with particle accelerators. Should we expect energy consumption to be a crucial factor also for these futuristic machines? Another potential bottleneck that comes to mind is production time: how much would it take to assemble a cell phone, molecule by molecule?

This is important also in light of the advocated, attractive potential role of MM technology as the `grand equalizer` - something that directly relates to the steering topic of the contest. The idea is that the ability to manipulate directly atoms and molecules might yield cheap health care and consumer goods for everyone. But if all this requires huge amounts of energy, then one would have to equalise at the level of the energy owners/producers - one of the hard problems we are already facing.

Your section `Integration of the 10 Billion Synapse World Mind`, while not directly connected with the rest of your essay (as far as I could grasp), certainly relates to mine, and resonates with the idea of an emergent super-organism / consciousness from the interactions of human beings, as anticipated by several visionaries (e.g. Theilhard de Chardin).

Best regards

Tommaso

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Margriet Anne O'Regan wrote on Jun. 3, 2014 @ 23:52 GMT
Hello Frank & Angelika

“It would seem that the unfathomable wellsprings of cumulative human

imagination, ingenuity, passion, and effort are not subject to any tether or constraint that cannot, over time, be unbound or circumvented.

Since its inception, humanity has been driven by an insatiable curiosity and quest for knowledge, while constantly striving to attain cherished...

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KoGuan Leo wrote on Jun. 5, 2014 @ 06:45 GMT
Dear Frank and Angelika,

Wonderful world scenario now and forever that I share. As a realist and pragmatist with an rational optimist outlook, I also worry about the bad side effect of wonderful life scenario. For example, we must guard ourselves against our own final creation that can lead to real present danger extinction risks. We need to guard against the possible nano-Frankenstein beings that have their own existence directive that might be against ours in their paths. I proposed in my Xuan Yuan's Da Tong is to lay down the Scientific Outlook Rule of Law and Principle derived from Cuan Yuan's Dao to set firm conduct-rules that all of us must live by for our own good.

I share this optimistic outlook on life:

"Though it may sound somewhat naïve or utopianist, the authors envisage that advanced nanomedicine might serve as a beneficial and benevolent facilitator toward the eventual

attainment of health care homeostasis/equilibrium globally; enabling access to beneficial advanced medical technologies for those in remote regions and the developing world, while significantly reducing medical expenditures in the developed world. "

I hope we can work together to improve the state of beings everywhere. Perfect score deserved. I rated this essay a ten.

Thanks for sharing your thought with all of us,

Leo KoGuan

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James Lee Hoover wrote on Jun. 5, 2014 @ 15:42 GMT
Frank and Angelika,

Your message and your means of communicating it are both bedazzle readers compared to the mundane "burger" in the title -- from the mundane to the esoteric.

Your ultimate solutions perhaps look far into the future -- requiring maybe a type II civilization rather than a type 0 -- "to the edges of our galaxy, or indeed the periphery of the universe," but that is the type of long-term vision we need to counter the "short-term profit" fixation.

MM and AI, even solar-based energy, are more in the short-term future if we use them more judiciously than the market-based culture does now.

You have impressive, complementary backgrounds for "steering."

Your essay is packed full and worthy of high marks.

I would like to see your thoughts on mine: http://www.fqxi.org/community/forum/topic/2008

Jim

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