Med Nanos, Part 1

History
In the year 8125AS, the medical nanobot goes into wide circulation. Dr. Kipica Aordim makes the greatest contributions to the invention and receives the Medal of Radian Glory, the highest honor in Mikklesia. This invention triggers other history-changing inventions at the Daishon Research Facility (DRF). Ten years later, the DRF develops the first holovisor, which uses med nanos to deliver mental commands to the base of the visor bulb.

Scribes’ Descent takes place in the year 8326AS, 201 years after the med nano’s release. That’s why the oldest people in Mallory’s day are in their 200’s. Mikklesia’s current king, Elert Ryecross IV, has reigned for the past 162 years because he was the first monarch to receive the med nano. And because he surrounds himself with capable bodyguards 🙂

Overall Design
One injection of med nanos contains billions of nano-sized machines. Each has its own onboard processor, but they all network together to form a combined, system-wide processor. Onboard processors run an operating system called NanoCosm OS, but the system-wide processor runs an operating system called Med OS.

Technical Specs (taken from various issues of Rhineholt Technical)
Med nanos share many of the same features as the Sensceptor neural implant:

  • 128-bit system-wide platform with a theoretical memory limit of 274 billion yottabyes.
  • One million yottabypes of system-wide hard disk space distributed across various hard-disk bots.
  • Average size of each nanobot is 1 to 50 nanometers (nm) along its longest axis.
  • Because cerebral bots need to pass through tiny holes in the blood-brain barrier to reach the brain, they must be the smallest: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-75253-9 While it’s possible for larger nanobots to induce dilation of holes in the blood-brain barrier with acoustic pressure created by cavitation, this additional hardware requires installing more specialty bots–ones that consume more power than other bot types.
  • If any nanobot breaks beyond repair, it must be removed from the body. That’s why no nanobots may exceed 50nm in any axis. This lets them pass safely with urine. To get from the bloodstream to the urinary bladder, they must pass through fenestrae capillaries in the glomerulus of nephrons, which are 70 to 100nm in diameter. Such a small design also needs less energy for onboard processors and hardware peripherals.
  • Types of bots:
    • signal modem to send medical data back to the Mikklesian Medical Board (other nations have their own medical boards)
    • signal amplifiers
    • surge suppressors
    • processor cores – the standard, data processing bot. Each of these carries out different functions based on Med OS commands
    • chipsets to move system-wide data into and out of RAM, handle chemical inputs as interrupt requests, and other low-level computing functions.
    • RAM
    • main storage (hard drive) – in the unlikely event that power is lost, data stored here is preserved
    • master assembly bots coordinate placement of bots into their proper locations
    • Demo bots perform disassembly and eradicates hacker bots


Features

  • Metabolic Monitoring and Regulation. As long as this feature is enabled, med nanos will calculate the optimum calorie and nutritional needs of both the human host and the network of med nanos. If the human host consumes more calories or too much of any certain nutrient, digestive bots will capture and store that food for later use. To enjoy a low level of body fat, most users keep this feature on. In Scribes’ Descent, When Mallory sees how obese General Magon is, she guesses he must have disabled this.
  • Constant connection to the MMB (Mikklesian Medical Board). Automated alerts sent for traumas that overwhelm the med nano network’s capacity to heal. This feature comes into play in the early chapters of the book. I realize that’s vague, but I’m trying not to give spoilers 🙂
  • Nano corrections to the cornea for perfect focal length. Repairs to the lens itself keeps it flexible to avoid the need for reading glasses.
  • Automated, microscopic, internal defibrillations of the heart when needed
  • Cancer cell prediction, detection, and eradication without harming healthy cells.
  • Reading electromagnetic signals and chemical emissions from microbes to detect their type and virulence.
  • Ability to produce antigens and tag microbes with those antigens to signal the human immune system to destroy them.
  • Real time diagnostics for the human host via holovisor HUDs and notifications.
  • Ability to set advance care directives. Mallory set her hands as a high priority because of her robotics interests.
  • Prenatal and neonatal injections can avoid most birth defects. These injections can often be given by med nanos already present within the mother.
  • Hair loss prevention, hair color preservation, customizable apparent age selection
  • Microsurgeries, so extensive and invasive human-performed surgeries are not needed
  • Automated and internal plastic surgery for burn victims
  • Hourly scans keep inventory of remaining med nano population and health (system-level diagnostics). If the bot population drops too low, diagnostics warns the host to visit a med nano clinic for a replacement shot.


Engineering Challenges

  • Teaching the human immune system to accept these foreign objects as natural parts of the body
  • Building dense circuitry onto picoscopic IC chips that work using the flow of endradions instead of electrons. Endradions (one of the sub-quark particles I invented for the Scribes Series) don’t exhibit the same quantum uncertainties that electrons do when transistors are built down to the atomic level. Because endradions are so small and stable, they can form massive processors that easily fit inside a 1nm bot.
  • Bots defending themselves against EMP with surge suppressor bots
  • Supplementing the human immune system and microbiomes without compromising them
  • Recognizing and fighting pathogens that constantly mutate
  • Drawing nutrition from human food stores without starving the host in the process
  • When cells self-destruct through apoptosis, bots must swim away before macrophages and other phagocytes come to ingest the released waste products
  • Nanobot self-repairs
  • Drawing iron deposits (and other minerals) from the human diet as building materials for 3D printing new parts and bots in-situ within the host, without leaving the human body at a mineral deficit. This involves constant awareness of mineral levels throughout the body and performing chemical reactions to move minerals around with osmotic pressure or by pushing mineral-rich blood cells around with other bots to the needed sites.
  • Biggest challenge: repairing major trauma rapidly enough to prevent death. Preventing compartment syndrome when a thigh is crushed by a tree trunk, repairing a punctured femoral artery during a gunshot wound, resealing the wall of the pancreas if it becomes perforated by a careless human surgeon and preventing the release of gastric juices into the abdominal cavity, etc. (I hate it when that happens)
  • When med nanos repair the brain, law prohibits them from affecting human behavior by making dramatic changes to the prefrontal cortex.
  • Hacking. Updates are not pushed to med nanos from outside signals. Instead, patients must go to an install clinic to receive an additional injection of bots that either replace existing bots, supplement them, or push software updates internally. Hackers might inject their own update bots into a target, but people generally feel the prick of the needle and immediately go to a clinic to get exterminator bots which find and destroy the malicious bots.


In part 2 of Med Nanos, we’ll go in depth on how these devices are installed, assembled, and disassembled. And how they theoretically prevent aging.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Are these devices real? Where can we get them? Well… you’d have to travel to the Scribeverse and visit Planet Daishon during Mallory’s day. If you figure out how to pull that off, let me know!


Now I want to hear from you. If you had med nanos, what features (beyond the ones listed here) do you wish they had? Maybe I can write those features into a later book in the Scribes Series.

See you next month!
Dylan West

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.