Computer Graphics Peers Into the Next Revolution in Medicine - Nanobiology Synthetic lifeforms, cloned and manufactured organisms, biobots . . . these are no longer fiction, but real.

What appears to be the future for many is already the past for some, who are now unfolding it into the present

by Charles Ostman

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"Strategic Synergist" - Research, trend analysis and forecasting, advanced technology development, author, lecturer

Nanobiology - Where Nanotechnology and Biology Come Together

The first examples of quasi-viral component molecular "devices" (synthetically engineered viral "entities") utilized for delivery of molecular protein components to specifically targeted cells are already in development. Synthetic organisms and biobots, quasi-viral components and engineered microbes as molecular scale medical "devices"; these are just a few of the technologies residing at the beginning edge of a new domain of development which redefines the very essense of what is traditionally referred to as "medicine".

Welcome to the new frontier of nanobiology.

Quasi-viral components, engineered molecular protein delivery "devices", etc . . .

Molecular protein delivery to targeted, specific cell types is currently being investigated as a potential method for instigating physiological "adjustment" or modifications within living cells. In this context, protein can be viewed as being the functional equvilant of "software" which instructs the activities of biomolecular mechanisms within the cell, somewhat in the same way that machine code instructs computer processor chips to perform various functions. Among many such examples of this process being currently studied, is the utilization of the P53 protein, which can act like a "switch" to literally shut down the metabolism of a living cell. This has extraordinary potential, for instance, as a possible cure for various forms of cancer, in that the cancer cells have a genetic identity different than the original cell types from which they were "hosted", and therefore can be "targeted" for delivery of this P53 protein.
A quasi-viral componenteither composed from an engineered "viral entity", or from a completely synthetic nanoscale molecular construction , composed of pseudo-proteins such as dendrimers can be potentially used as molecular "delivery vessels", for targeting and entering specific cells to dispense the appropriate "instructional" protein. This is a 3D procedural rendering of a quasi-viral component. The geometries of this synthetically engineered "viral entity" were constructed algorithmically, as well as the topographical and surface features of the cell which the virus is about to enter via enzymic process. Engineered viral entities of this type are an example of the type of synthetically contrived molecular constructions eminating from the field of "nanobiology". This technology has spectacular potential biomedical applications, not the least of which is the delivery of key protein strands to the ribosomes and mitochondria of "ailing" cells, which they then could utilize for self repair and modification via intracellular corrective chemistry.
The development trajectory being pursued by a plethora of academic and even commercial participants in a newly emmerging arena of nanobiology, in which the molecular components of living organisms can be "dissasembled" and reconstructed to cerate viral-like entities capable of delivering bits of protein, as a form of molecular software, to living cells for the purpose of allowing the targeted cells to "repair" themselves.

The topic of nanobiology is, in fact, not a singular "science" or technical discipline at all, but rather a concept, as fundamental as life itself, and will eventually affect what can even be described as life, as it is currently defined. And yet, it is the very nature of such a complex and diverse arena of development which is precisely what the latest genre' of computer visualization graphics techniques, incorporating the combination of complex molecular modelling, volumetric topographical scanning of biomolecular and subcellular objects, and 3D rendering and visuallization techniques that enables such a rapidly developing technology domain.

The paradigm of the near future (and even today, in some arenas of development) will be biomedical "systems" which are reconstructed or "assembled" from biomolecular components, and mimic the physiology of living organisms in their operational and behavioral characteristics. As a solution to a highly diverse range of medical conditions, to which the only treatment has been the delivery of drugs or physiologically altering treatments of chemicals or radiation, this is the beginning edge of a radical new design concept.

The world, as we currently know it to be, what it will become . . . . and beyond . . .Strategic Synergist - At the forefront of evolving technologies.

There is a state of change at hand, the rate and complexity of which is an acceleration vector never before experienced in human history. The relationships between rapidly evolving technologies, ever exapnding volumes and complexities of of information resources, and socio-economic system substrates are going to reshape almost every aspect of life as it is currently understood to be. To study the nuances and implications of this synergistic codependancy is to become an adaptable entity, capable of evolving and utilizing the tools embedded in this interactive, bi-directional experiential knowledge conveyance system which will be referred to here as the "media matrix".

Examine the details of this conceptual paradigm as a learning experience at the Multimedia Sudies Program, San Francisco State University, and as an ongoing media research and development program manifest in a variety of broadcast and published formats, and also via theInstitute for Global Futures (see below).

The Institute for Global Futures

The Institute for Global Futures is a strategic technologies research group which engages in trend analysis, technology development stream topology identification, and complex forecasting which examines synergistic thread linkages between various technologies and socio-economic systems. The activities of the institute include consulting services, strategic planning, reports, analysis, media programs, conferences, and strategic alliance building for a variety of global clients.

Complex new technologies are rapidly transforming markets, economies, and industries. The Institute for Global Futures was founded to promote the productive, sustainable, and strategic use of advanced leading edge technologies.

The included imgages are computer generated 3D renderings of theoretical and applied nanocomponents, created by the author as a visualization of various implementations of such molecular substructures and interactive symbiotic components. These are a few examples from a much larger collection of rendered, theoretical and applied nanosubcomponent systems, consisting of various "species" types with specific interactive and symbiotic properties.

The "Brain of Charles" . . .

The "Brain of Charles" - this "virtual brain" was created by the author by raytracing the volumetric data of a 3D scanned brain, which was subsequently surface mapped with a custom developed procedural texturing routine. The topology in the background is actually the result of a chunk of calcite which was also scanned in with the Cyberware 3D scanning system, and then also surface mapped with a procedural texturing routine. This entire scene, complete with the metallic probe entering the lower right corner of the "brain entity", was rendered as part of the scene art featured in the article written by the author for Mondo 2000 magazine, on the topic of current and near future mind-machine interface technology. For further exploration into this, and other such realms, and beyond, please visit the Get your own Mondo 2000 website (see below)

Enter the Entity . . . from the virtual beyond . . . I surrender my belief barrier, enraptured

Charles Ostman

Evolved Art - Portals into the Virtual Terraform . . . Charles flourishing with his recent "spawnings" at the Anon Salon

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Nanotech Science Advisory Board

Visit the far frontier . . . Get your own Mondo 2000

Resources And Insight . . . . . . for the Entrpreneurial Engineer Midnight Engineering

Where Art and Technology Come Together Fine art on various media, virtual and real "entities", environments, custom applications and technology development for the "discovery" of asthetic content . . . Berkeley Designs

Artificial Life flourishing on the Virtual Terraform . . . Enter online, see it "live" at SigGraph 97! Digital Biota Project

Contact . . . at the Contact Consortium Enter the portal to myriad virtual terraforms, worlds, universes, and the technologies and people who make them possible Contact Consortium

Special thanks to Bruce Damer and DigitalSpace Corp. Helping to pioneer the exploration and development of life on the virtual terraform . . . DigitalSpace