Monday, May 16, 2005

Nanobot intruder alert - this is not a drill


Somebody failed to inform two students and one professor at the University of Houston that nanobots can only be found scurrying about in the land of unicorns and leprechauns. Completely ignoring nanobusiness and nanopolitical dogma, this group of rebel students decided to enter the Visual Gaming category of the Imagine Cup, sponsored by that little-known, underground, fringe company that calls itself Microsoft.

Here's what Jonathan Dowdall and Mike Hall, those poor, misguided computer geeks, did to earn a spot in the semifinals:

    As visual gaming participants, Team ContAInment had to write an algorithm to build and control a team of nanobots within the simulated human body of a terminally ill patient. The nanobots are injected into the blood stream to locate and collect infected tissue. While attempting to deliver medicine to these sites, the nanobots are attacked by white blood cells in the patient's immune system."
Why, they don't know what the Freitas they're getting themselves into. Who's responsible for this direct violation of officially sanctioned science? It's Ioannis Pavlidis in the university's Computational Physiology Laboratory. Yeah, figures.

"Pavlidis," the UH press release says, "has gained a reputation for his work in medical imaging, bioinformatics, robotics, computational biomedicine and biometrics that have various medical applications. Being part of this research group has given Dowdall a solid background in applying computer science to medicine."

OK, Pavlidis, (Or is that really your name? Sounds to me like some kind of hacker handle, like "Neo.") be prepared for a government raid on your laboratory, your computer simulations confiscated and you and your students will be marched directly over to Rice University in your own hometown, where you will be issued a lab coat with pockets full of possible catalysts for quantum wire -- something you can actually hold in your hands -- or, rather, watch a real nanoscientist hold in his hands.

Looks like we got to you just in time. You will be assimilated.

Nanobots: Possible only when convenient
'Bots get loose while professor is away
The business of imagination

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