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TECH: Nanotech could make humans immortal by 2040
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Nanotech could make humans immortal by 2040
Nanobots will soon wipe out cancer, back up memories and slow aging
By Stella Law

BT 201910 TECH 05In 30 or 40 years, we'll have microscopic machines traveling through our bodies, repairing damaged cells and organs, effectively wiping out diseases. The nanotechnology will also be used to back up our memories and personalities.


Anyone alive come 2040 or 2050 could be close to immortal. The quickening advance of nanotechnology means that the human condition will shift into more of a collaboration of man and machine, as nanobots flow through human blood streams and eventually even replace biological blood.


BT 201910 TECH 06That may sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, but research well underway today is leading to a time when a combination of nanotechnology and biotechnology will wipe out cancer, Alzheimer's disease, obesity and diabetes.


It'll also be a time when humans will augment their natural cognitive powers and add years to their lives.


BT 201910 TECH 03It's radical life extension. The full realization of nanobots will basically eliminate biological disease and aging. I think we'll see widespread use in 20 years of [nanotech] devices that perform certain functions for us. In 30 or 40 years, we will overcome disease and aging. The nanobots will scout out organs and cells that need repairs and simply fix them. It will lead to profound extensions of our health and longevity.

Of course, people will still be struck by lightning or hit by a bus, but much more trauma will be repairable. If nanobots swim in, or even replace biological blood, then wounds could be healed almost instantly. Limbs could be regrown. Backed up memories and personalities could be accessed after a head trauma.

Today, researchers at MIT are already using nanoparticles to deliver killer genes that battle late-stage cancer. The university reported just last month the nano-based treatment killed ovarian cancer, which is considered to be one of the deadliest cancers, in mice.

BT 201910 TECH 04近年来,由于医疗技术的发展,科学家们不断探索出治疗癌症的新途径。近日,麻省理工学院的研究人员开发出了纳米粒子,可以携带抗癌药物血脑屏障进入大脑,或许可以治疗成胶质细胞瘤。

And earlier this year, scientists at the University of London reported using nanotechnology to blast cancer cells in mice with "tumour busting" genes, giving new hope to patients with inoperable tumours. So far, tests have shown that the new technique leaves healthy cells undamaged.

英国科学家如今研究出一种纳米靶向疗法,有望将好坏细胞区别对待。 英国伦敦大学医学院一个科研小组通过对动物活体实验发现,如果利用纳米技术能够将一组基因送到患者的病灶处,在不破坏正常细胞的前提下杀死癌细胞,将是癌症治疗手段的重大突破。

BT 201910 TECH 07With this kind of work going on now, by 2024 we'll be adding a year to our life expectancy with every year that passes. "The sense of time will be running in and not running out," he added. "Within 15 years, we will reverse this loss of remaining life expectancy. We will be adding more time than is going by."

And in 35 to 40 years, we will basically be immortal. Adding microscopic machines to our bodies won't make us any less human than we are today or were 500 years ago.

"The definition of human is that we are the species that go beyond our limitations and change who we are," he said. "If that wasn't the case, you and I wouldn't be around because at one point of life expectancy was 23. We've extended ourselves in many ways. This is an extension of who we are. Ever since we picked up a stick to reach a higher branch, we've extended who we are through tools. It's the nature of human beings to change who we are."

BT 201910 TECH 08But that doesn't mean there aren't parts of this future that don't worry him. With nanotechnology so advanced that it can travel through our bodies and affect great change on them, come dangers, as well as benefits.

The nanobots, he explained, will be self-replicating and engineers will have to harness and contain that replication.

"You could have some self-replicating nanobot that could create copies of itself... and ultimately, within 90 replications, it could devour the body it's in or all humans if it becomes a non-biological plague". "Technology is not a utopia. It's a double-edged sword and always has been since we first had fire.


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