[NetBehaviour] Chemical brain controls nanobots

marc garrett marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Wed Mar 12 12:09:51 CET 2008

Chemical brain controls nanobots

By Jonathan Fildes
Science and technology reporter, BBC News

A tiny chemical "brain" which could one day act as a remote control for 
swarms of nano-machines has been invented.

The molecular device - just two billionths of a metre across - was able 
to control eight of the microscopic machines simultaneously in a test.

Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists 
say it could also be used to boost the processing power of future computers.

Many experts have high hopes for nano-machines in treating disease.

"If [in the future] you want to remotely operate on a tumour you might 
want to send some molecular machines there," explained Dr Anirban 
Bandyopadhyay of the International Center for Young Scientists, Tsukuba, 

"But you cannot just put them into the blood and [expect them] to go to 
the right place."

Dr Bandyopadhyay believes his device may offer a solution. One day they 
may be able to guide the nanobots through the body and control their 
functions, he said.

"That kind of device simply did not exist; this is the first time we 
have created a nano-brain," he told BBC News.


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