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Sperm Could Power Nanobots 259

Lucas123 writes "According to MSNBC, scientists are experimenting with using a sperm's flagellum to overcome the problem of supplying energy to nanobots that could be implanted in the body as smart probes that would release disease-fighting drugs, monitor enzymes and perform other medical roles within a patient's body. Powered by a compound called adenosine triphosphate or ATP, a sperm's flagellum can propel it at about 7 inches an hour. Energy from ATP could also power the pumps charged with dispensing the medication at a certain rate from the nanobots."
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Sperm Could Power Nanobots

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  • Re:Sperm life? (Score:5, Informative)

    by pembo13 ( 770295 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @03:31PM (#21885792) Homepage
    I could be wrong, but the vagina is a hostile environment to sperm -- it produces natural spermicides.
  • Re:Sperm life? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bryansix ( 761547 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @03:42PM (#21885964) Homepage
    No, they are all hostile. That is why sperm gels up in the seminal fluid shortly after release and then springs into black-ops when the coast is clear to enter the cervix.
  • by jonnythan ( 79727 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @03:55PM (#21886152)
    This isn't about powering nanobots with sperm. It's about looking at sperm's locomotive method and adapting it to nanobots.

    I'm not really sure why the article talks about sperm, specifically, but ATP is used all over the human body to do virtually everything, including move muscles.
  • by Goldsmith ( 561202 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @07:36PM (#21888636)
    Makes one (1) Tenured Professor:

    1. Find proteins.
    2. Attach to a surface (his tags work well).
    3. Make link to nanotechnology (half-baked links are easier).
    4. Put out a press release claiming to be the first person to put proteins on a surface.

    Congratulations, you're tenured!
  • by calcapt ( 975466 ) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @10:15PM (#21890130)
    This is incorrect; using ATP to power nanobots is analagous to using ATP to power sperm. If you think about it, sperm are really just small biological machines, utilizing ATP to power the movement of their flagella. And, ATP isn't JUST for powering muscles; it's required to power numerous cellular functions not limited to DNA/RNA/protein synthesis. Hydrolysis of the third phosphate from ATP producing ADP releases energy required to power biomolecular machinery that make our bodies work. To say that ATP is fuel only for muscles is saying that electricity can only power light bulbs. Not true.

    In addendum, one could possibly consider the protein machinery within our cells as the first true, all natural nanobots.

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