Daily Nanobot Supplements

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  MaxS 7 months ago.

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  • #5933


    In chapter 5, Wild Cards, Bess mentions the hooked dendrimer nanobots that are being developed to fight cancer. These are administered orally via capsule and, once approved, would constitute an incredible form of therapeutic agent. Of course the progression we as readers are now so familiar with is that of therapy to enhancement. It is quite entertaining to imagine a scenario where little pills of nanoparticles, engineered in various ways to improve functioning in healthy individuals, were put on the market. They could serve as immune system boosters, sites of oxygenation that could replenish de-oxygenated blood for more alertness and stamina, they could of course fight cancer preemptively, help clotting in the case of wounds, act against thrombosis to prevent heart attack and stroke etc. What other ways could daily supplements of nanoparticles help enhance us from the inside? Would these kinds of technologies, more preventative then outwardly “enhancing” be meet with the same kids of moral questions than other more outwardly visible enhancements? Should they be?

  • #5943


    4. I think these nanoparticles, regardless of whether or not they are being used preventatively or as outright enhancements, will and should be put through the moral considerations before they are put into regular use. The line between what is preventative and what constitutes enhancements is very grey. It is nearly impossible to separate them completely. Thus even with nanoparticles or drugs of a similar nature that are originally intended to be used preventatively, I believe it is important to consider how they could function as general enhancements and thus examine potential moral implications. The example discussed here is a perfect example of this. If nanoparticles could be used to prevent or treat cancer, undoubtedly there would be little backlash. However, a similar technology could be used for enhancement purposes like the juve procedures mentioned throughout Bess’s book. The preservation of youth and the elongation of not only our life spans but also our health spans have implications are go beyond the individual. Consequently, it is imperative that we examine new technologies to the fullest extend, regardless of their originally purpose. New technologies or methods can influence and spur development of similar technologies with greater moral and societal consequences. That is not to say technological developments that could be used to prevent or treat things like cancer should not be put into use or funded because of potential unintended uses and consequences. Instead researchers and developers should pay close attention to creations and the potential for the extension and reapplication of their technologies.

  • #5958


    I think the points grovell and dobrowss raise about the preventative nature of nano-medicine are really interesting. I wonder if the successful development of nano-technology could actually lead to the simplification of some of the moral dilemmas Bess discusses. If nanobots have the ability to detect and eliminate threats before they become serious, perhaps we may be able to avoid the constant reactive pill popping and injections etc. that Bess imagines in some of his vignettes. Will nanobots be easier to regulate than pill popping, allowing humans to better avoid the ‘experience machine’ issues? Perhaps humans could be outfitted with a sort of health system of nanobots that reacts and regulates itself, both physically and emotionally, preventing humans from making abusive decisions by putting decisions like how many anti-depressants to take in the hands of nanobots with preprogrammed standards. This of course, raises many questions about free will, but if we can prove that technology can make the best decisions for our health, will people still take issue with taking those decisions out of our hands?

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