Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic Capabilities

© 1999 Robert A. Freitas Jr. All Rights Reserved.

Robert A. Freitas Jr., Nanomedicine, Volume I: Basic Capabilities, Landes Bioscience, Georgetown, TX, 1999


10.2.5 Dedicated Computational Organs

Nanostructured artificial organs specializing in control, information processing, or data storage could be permanently embedded within the human body. Such organs could provide a user-accessible computational facility, or help coordinate and control (or even subsume) the activities of in vivo medical nanorobots or other dedicated nano-organs, including energy (Section 6.4.4), communications (Section 7.3.4), navigation (Section 8.3.6), or chronometer (Section 10.1.4) systems. Computational organs could also serve as embedded data repositories (library nodules), including personal medical and experiential records,2958,2959 customized calendars and personal data banks, or as communications encryption and security interfaces.

In 1998, microchips glued to honeybees3727 or implanted under the skin of livestock and household pets contained owner/address information that could be retrieved by passing a reading wand over the animal (e.g., Pet Trac, manufactured by A.V.I.D. Identification Systems; Norco, California). Read-only microchips with identification numbers for individual cattle were encased in acid-resistant porcelain and inserted into an animal's stomach ten days after birth. These chips could be read by a handheld computer or a stationary reader; Shearwell Data, which sold the chips for $6 each, planned to adapt them to communicate with global positioning satellites so that farmers could remotely track herd movements.3037 Peter Cochrane2958 notes that a colleague (Kevin Warwick) has had a computer chip embedded under his skin,3324 bearing such personal information as medical records and bank account and passport numbers. There were also unconfirmed rumors of a subdermally-implanted bio-powered (4 milliamp) 16 mm2 transmitter chip called Sky-Eye, sold by Gen-Etics for $7,500 as kidnap deterrence for "the rich and famous," that supposedly emitted a personal tracking signal detectable by satellite.3702


Last updated on 24 February 2003