Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Synthetic Biology

Rudy Rucker has a humorous look at the ludicrous extremes of nanotechnology, at Newsweek. Man, I wish I was that imaginative. Although, now that I think about it, considering some of what he's describing, I really hope his gift is only imagination, and not prophecy. I just can't get enthusiastic about some of the potential places he sees humanity's nano-roads enabling us to go:

But, feckless creatures that we are, we may cast caution to the winds. Why would starlets settle for breast implants when they can grow supplementary mammaries? Hipsters will install living tattoo colonies of algae under their skin. Punk rockers can get a shocking dog-collar effect by grafting on a spiky necklace of extra fingers with colored nails. Or what about giving one of your fingers a treelike architecture? Work 10 two-way branchings into each tapering fingerlet of this special finger, and you’ll have a thousand or so fingertips, and the fine touch of a sea anemone.

Can you imagine your teenager coming home with a spiky collar of living fingers around his neck? Eeeww. And you thought his haircut was bad...

Hat tip: Futurismic