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ADMIN: FAQ Appendix 3a *** Nanotechnology

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Bill Keyes

Jun 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM6/13/97

Archive-name: appendix-3a
Last-modified: 1995/11/08

Addendum part 3a

Written on November 8, 1995.

Compiled and written by Remus Shepherd ( Edited by Bill
Keyes (

Dedicated to our fallen warriors. You will be avenged.


Q: What are nanites?
A: Nanites are the end-product of nanotechnology: The science of
creating ultra-tiny machines. Nanotechnology 'purists' insist that true
nanites must be nanometer size or smaller...but in general, nanites can
be anywhere from that size to as large as a bacterium, with moving parts
as thin as the width of a single atom.

Q: Okay. So what can these tiny machines do?
A: Lots of things. Because they are programmed with electro-chemical
stimuli, nanites can affect their environment by acting as chemical
enzymes. They can disassemble and reassemble matter at the atomic
level, transmuting one substance into another. Large structures can be
built by nanites from simple chemicals, with custom 'morphing' designs
that can be altered in real-time.

Nanites can also process information electrically, making them the
equivalent of a liquid computer. With adequate programming, nanites
could even perform complex tasks such as editing a genetic code.

Worst of all, many nanites can reproduce themselves -- using matter
from outside sources as raw material to build more nanites.

Q: This is beginning to sound scary. Aren't these things dangerous?
A: They could be. The worst fear of a nanite researcher is the
'creeping crud' -- a blob of nanites that do nothing but reproduce
themselves by disassembling everything they touch.

Q: So how can you control these tiny machines?
A: Programmable nanite formulas react to electrical or chemical
stimulus. If the nanite isn't programmable -- or you don't know the
proper programming codes -- the best way to stop them is with an anti-
nanite formula: A collection of nanites designed to counteract and
destroy another type of nanite. In addition, nanites that contain
ferrous metals can be temporarily or permanently deactivated in the
presence of strong magnetic fields.

Q: How do you build them?
A: Nanites can be built using larger machines, or through chemical
reactions. Here are some tools used in nanite contruction:

The SQUID -- Superconducting Quantum Interference Device -- is a
human device that can detect tiny electromagnetic fields, allowing
designers to examine and design things of molecular size.

The STM -- Scanning Tunnelling Microscope -- can function as a
standard electron microscope, or can be used to move single atoms.
Researchers are using the STM to build constructs that are only a few
atoms wide.

And lastly, SAMs -- Self-Assembling Materials -- are devices that
construct themselves when the basic chemicals are mixed together. Human
beings are just starting to examine SAMs...but devilbunnies appear to
have known about them for a long time. In fact, the devilbunnies
probably have other, more efficient means of creating nanites that
humans haven't discovered yet.

Q: What are some examples of Human nanotechnology?
A: There aren't many. The only near-nanites in mainstream use today
are Liposomes -- tiny bubbles that encapsulate a single molecule of
medicine, for more efficient and controllable drug delivery. Most of
the nanites built by humans, though, are merely laboratory curiosities
at this point. Humans are capable of following some devilbunny nanite
'recipes', however...they have most of the right tools, they just need
the proper instructions.

For more information on the current state of human nanotechnology,
check out the newsgroup sci.nanotech, or look at 'Nanotechnology on the
WWW' at URL=

Q: What are some examples of Devilbunny nanotechnology?
A: Nanites can be extremely useful, but they can be very expensive to
manufacture. Building a nanite construct from scratch requires a
laboratory with exceptional resources; creating the code for
programmable nanites requires powerful computers. In addition,
BunnyMentat controls most devilbunny nanotechnology with an iron paw,
limiting it to essential uses only.

However, there are a few well-known examples:

The Fluffsville Formula is an experimental nanite formula which is
rumored to have been designed by Daphnie Mentat. Dr. Remus Shepherd is
currently studying a stolen copy of this formula.

Morpharmor is the ultimate expression of Devilbunny technology.
These customized suits can create weaponry and near-perfect disguises in
a matter of minutes. For more information on morpharmor, see the
Morpharmor FAQ (FAQ Appendix 3b).

In addition, although BunnyMentat controls most applications of
nanotechnology, several Mentats are constantly experimenting with new
nanite formulas. They have been known to regrow organs (Snug Fuzz with
the Sibyl), create immense cuton explosions (Lenny Mentat) and even
reanimate the dead! (DarkMentat)

Questions, comments, clarifications should be sent to Remus Shepherd

This document and all information contained within are copyright (c) 1995
by Bill Keyes. All rights reserved. It may not be reproduced or reposted
by any means, electronic or otherwise, in whole or in part, without prior
permission from the authors.


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