Monday, March 10, 2014

National Wormhole Week

Before we begin the Wormhole-fun, I wanted to thank everybody for their encouraging words. I was pretty down last week, and it was cathartic to just get it all out of my system. I appreciate all of your support, especially when times are tough.

So to help celebrate Stephen Tremp's release of his latest novel, Escalation, it's time for National Wormhole Week! This year, the theme is to write about one thing where science advances mankind and another technology that could doom mankind.

I decided to discuss one kind of technology that is both a blessing and potential curse: Nanotechnology.

One of the most fascinating examples of nanotechnology is the respirocyte. This nanobot is microscopic. 1
micrometer in diameter. To put that in perspective, the diameter of one single strand of human hair is 80 micrometers. So these tiny respirocytes would function like a red blood cell in patients who are in dire circumstances.

The use of respirocytes would especially come in handy for heart attack victims. Getting respirocytes inside someone suffering a heart attack would keep them alive for literally several hours! An infusion of respirocytes would completely replace the need for any kind of blood transfusion. Imagine being able to give life-saving respirocytes to people who need blood, but are afraid of the side effects of rejection or contamination.

Also respirocytes would save the lives of those with deadly respiratory diseases like pneumonia and emphysema. Even asthma. Patients would no longer need to suffer or take any drugs.

Damn respirocytes!
HOWEVER, respirocytes are capable of storing and transporting 236 times more blood than a normal blood red cell. What does this mean? It means you could give someone the ability to hold their breath underwater for HOURS. Someone who got an infusion of respirocytes would be capable of sprinting at top speed for a full 15 minutes without taking a breath! Muscle fatigue would a thing of the past.

The potential abuses of respirocytes would include creating super soldiers. Could you imagine an army of super-charged human beings that have many of their abilities a million times over? You can bet the government is investigating the use of respirocytes right now.

I know Captain America is a good guy, but what if you had a bunch of evil Captain Americas able and willing to do some evil-doers bidding?

Science can be so incredibly useful and good, but the potential for abuse always exists.

22 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good point!
I think that would be so odd not to take a breath for that long.
Thanks for participating in the blogfest!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sounds like it would replace steroids. Yet something else they would need to test for in sports.

Tony Laplume said...

By complete coincidence, I'll be talking about wormholes this week, so I guess it's serendipitous after all...

Robin said...

<<<<----You can bet the government is investigating the use of respirocytes right now.

Undobutedly. Since we know that they are monitoring everyone's communications (via electronic tech), chances are100% that they would love to get their hands on a technology that would make them superior to everyone else. It is much easier to control a rebellion when you become tyrannical if you have Super Soldiers strong-arming the population at large.

I like to think that scientists come up with these ideas to save lives and make the world a better place. They just never take into account the guys in the suits waiting to pounce on their discoveries and turn them into weapons.

Was that cynical-sounding? Sorry.

Jay Noel said...

Alex: It would be weird, but pretty darn awesome.

Diane: These nanobots would make steroids looks like regular 'ol sugar.

Tony: Awesome! Looking forward to your post.

Robin: The military is ALREADY looking at this technology. As of today, the big drawback is the fact that the body tends to break down with too many of these things in our system.

LuAnn Braley said...

Glad to hear you are bouncing back, Jay. This community is indeed fantastic, and you are part of it (so you are fantastic too)!

I would have loved more time with my father (he passed when I was 17), but then respirocyte technologies would probably be used first by people with more green or those military dictators/forces with the firepower to take it. And those are just the kind of people (ok, not necessarily the rich folks) who, IMO, should not have access to such technology.

LuAnn, Wormfester #26
AJ's Hooligans @AtoZChallenge
Back Porchervations

Pat Dilloway said...

Instead of drones you could scatter a bunch of nanobots over an area to kill people or keep tabs on them. It seems every advancement for good brings advancements for evil as well.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Are you watching "Revolution?" The show has gotten really good and the whole nano thing they are doing is something I've never seen in a show.

Ellie Garratt said...

Nanotechnology is pretty scary. There seems to be no end to the ways they could be used for harm. And once they're out there...

Jay Noel said...

LuAnn: Thanks for visiting. And yeah, I'm pretty sure something so miraculous is going to be abused by the powers that be.

Pat: You're right. People would just breathe them in, and the nanobots would kill them from the inside out. That would make a pretty cool sci fi story, actually.

Michael: I gave up on the show pretty early, but I've heard it's gotten better. So I will see if I can catch up on NBC.com for sure. I liked it at first, then it I lost interest and now I'm intrigued again.

Ellie: I know. That's a pretty horrifying thought. How would you find them?

Mark Noce said...

Nanos are a good example. I suppose some older technology holds similar dangers. Take gunpowder for example: good for engineering, bad for war, and fun for the 4th of July!

D.G. Hudson said...

Nanotech is exciting, if we can keep it from going rogue. There are positives and negatives to any tech which we can't see with our unaided eye. Medical problems would definitely benefit.

EvalinaMaria said...

I can't believe it, we are writing about same nanobots!

Julie Dao said...

Nanotechnology is unbelievably fascinating. Devices that can't be seen but that could help save lives = amazing.

Kim Van Sickler said...

And what about athletes?! They'd want those respirocytes to give them an infusion of energy. Being able to hold your breath underwater without all that scuba equipment for a quarter of an hour would be awesome, however. I'd like to swim over a relatively shallow coral reef and watch the fish without having to blow water out of my snorkel tube and inevitably fail to clear the entire thing. Very interesting topic.

Fanny Barnes Thornton said...

Thanks for drawing attention to respirocytes in nanotechnology. This would certainly have an immense impact on human capabilities. It is really scary what governments could do with this technology - 'super soldiers' - my blood runs cold!
Great post and well thought out.

The Desert Rocks & Intangible Hearts said...

Humanity could use more respirocytes in their heart when it comes to love. Imagine channeling 236 times more love to each other, to God to everyone! :)

Stephen Tremp said...

An evil Captain America? How about a reformed red Skull. What kind of battle would that be. I always wanted to see something like this when good turns bad, bad turns, good, then they fight each other.

Maurice Mitchell said...

Respirocytes sound amazing and dangerous. If I had a bunch of Captain Americas I'd probably do a Broadway show or something.

Phats said...

I have seen the term steampunk a lot lately and I know what it is now thanks to you! :) Only thing I know about Wormholes is when I watched Farscape and Crichton gut sucked in one haha

garrisonjames said...

Respirocytes could save a lot of lives lost to pnuemonia and the like, not just heart attacks. That would be good news. Before evil super soldiers got off and running, I think we'd see 'doping' of respirocytes among athletes like at the Olympics. They would also come in handy for mountain climbers, first-responders like firemen and one really odd-ball idea would be to use respirocytes to enable lifeguards to watch for trouble from below the water's surface. Might make it possible to reach drowning victims a whole lot quicker...

But of course, the more nefarious and destructive abuses of this technology will be the ones we read about most...

Toinette Thomas said...

Hopefully I'm better late than never here...
Thank you for sharing this. I would have never been able to figure out the term for those things on my own. You have such valid and daunting points, plus you used super heroes in your example. I'm sold, good or bad.
Great post!

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