How to Kill Nanobots


“Don’t tase me, bro! I’ll have to get all new nanobots!” Electromechanical nanobots, the type that many think of when they hear “nanobot”, would have vulnerabilities. At first it seems it would be difficult to kill such a tiny machine, but wouldn’t a sufficiently strong electromagnetic pulse (EMP) disrupt the operation of the tiny device and possibly “kill” it?

Ridding oneself of a nanobot “infection” could be difficult. If one is carrying helpful nanobots in one’s bloodstream and tissue, and one is “tased”, scanned with a magnetic resonance imaging machine (MRI), or otherwise suffers a strong electrical shock, does one then have to obtain and ingest or inject a whole new batch of the little helpers? Similarly, in a case of nano-warfare where people are afflicted with tiny destructive nanobots, could the little devils be deactivated or purged by a powerful magnetic pulse or electric shock?

Electrical shock might not be effective against nanobots. When living organisms are shocked with electricity, the current of electrons – the part that does the damage – follows the paths of lowest resistance. In most cases these paths are the nervous and circulatory systems, continuously-connected networks of relatively more conductive tissue or fluid. Unless a nanobot was directly in the path such that the current flowed through it, it might not be damaged at all. Also, for current to flow there must be a potential (voltage) difference across it. Are nanobots so small that there would rarely ever be enough potential across their longest dimension as to cause enough current flow to damage them?

The effectiveness of a magnetic method could be limited. A magnetic pulse or field of sufficient strength might have better potential to harm a nanobot, but that would require the nanobot contain a material susceptible to magnetic fields. Unfortunately, a nanobot comprised of carbon or other non-magnetic materials would be untouched by a magnetic field, just as are most life forms.

Biological nanobots might require some different approaches. Of course, nanotechnology experts have been noting for years that the most well developed nanotechnology, living cells and microorganisms, is already in place and doing just fine. Chemical means such as drugs can damage specific microorganisms or encourage the body’s immune system to attack them, so a similar technique might be used to kill nanobots.

What if nanobots could be confused or convinced to go away? I remember a radio news story on NPR a few years ago about fruit orchards in Northwest Ohio where lady bugs (predator insects) were used to keep unwanted pests under control. The fruit farmer had bought millions of lady bugs, huge bags of them, and turned them loose in the orchards only to later in the day watch as his entire investment, clouds of the tiny insects, rose into the air and headed for Indiana. Nanobots are expected to have a lot less movement capability, but that doesn’t mean that a suitable agent couldn’t be introduced or ingested that would make them try to abandon ship, exiting the body through every possible means. It might take days or weeks, but eventually the unwanted devices might leave without harm. Of course, it desirable nanobots were also chased off one would have to obtain more when conditions were such that they would stay to do their beneficial jobs.

In a future when we are using nanobots for many things, getting rid of the little things will be important. There is no question that we will be unable to safely use nanotechnology in medical or military contexts (or any, for that matter) without adequate controls and means for getting rid of them when that is necessary. It will be interesting to see how the technology evolves, and I hope to stay around long enough to gain the benefits of this most interesting direction in science.

As always, I welcome your comments. — Tim

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16 responses to “How to Kill Nanobots

  1. 80%lighter fluid and 30 motor oil is the only thing i have found to help reduce …for if anyone has a good one … please email me @ buzzoff@tds.net

  2. if created, nanobots, like all other specimens of this world, must be programmed to die of old age. since we are now coming closer to being the Creator of life, the process of death in nanobots must not be something rooted in the traditional mechanics of technology as we are use to (chips and semiconductors), but rather those which are biomimetically inspired, killing the nanobot in a process which is out of its control. if molecularly constructed carbon bonds are timed to dissolve and break apart after a period of time, or when there job is accomplished, then perhaps it would be a way that the nanobot processor could not control and reverse the process [in its lifetime].

  3. has any one find out how to get nano bits out of one’s body?

    • Good question. It would depend to some extent on the characteristics of the particular nano-things, such as size or molecular makeup. You’d probably never get rid of _all_ of them, and might not get rid of many in even a best-case outcome. But some of them are “sticky” and can be picked up by compatible molecules that might, in some cases, take them out of the body. In that way you might be able to drink or eat something that would pick up nanoparticles, or have something injected that would collect nanoparticles and be swept out of the system through the kidneys. I’m sure that more nano-products are popping up in our stores every day.
      Thanks for your comment – Tim

      • How would you attempt to rid yourself or a loved one of such nanoparticles?

      • Thanks for the comment, Teresa.
        I’m no expert on molecular biology, but your question will become important in the near future, I suspect. The ability to remove nanoparticles from the body may be challenging, and the method may vary considerably based on the makeup, size, etc. of the nanoparticles in question. I have read that even the titanium dioxide nanoparticles used in sunscreen are capable of entering the nerve cells via the eye and propagating inside the neurons all the way to the brain. Nobody ever tested for this or evaluated potential effects, yet this stuff is in all the best sunscreens I’ve seen. That’s pretty scary, but mirrors the situation with industrial chemicals. More than one source i’ve read has given similar numbers: that over 120,000 chemicals are in use in US industry, but only around 4,000 have been tested for toxicity or other problems. (and conservatives are trying every which way to further reduce the EPA and FDA’s ability to help with any of this. I guess that tells us who conservatives are working for … and it ain’t us … )http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titanium_dioxide

  4. researsh Morgellons, this nano tech bio api is already in the works since its deployment 96

    • Morgellons is interesting but I don’t know how it’s related to defending oneself from nanobots.
      One of the most interesting things about Morgellons syndrome is the behavior of sufferers. Is Morgellons a massive collision of groupthink and neurosis? I think it’s very interesting, the ingenuity its sufferers have developed at trying to convince others that their condition is physiological and not just psychological. I’m wondering what the payback is on their invested effort, and would ask but I don’t know anyone with the condition. BTW, “nano tech bio api” doesn’t make sense – what is “api”? (I read the dozen+ standard definitions.)

  5. Hi Tim, I have witnessed morgellons with my own eyes. My wife suffers from it and has had many strange looking fibers and what looks like small shards of glass come out of her skin. She even had one work its way out in the drs office which also convinced Dr it is not a delusional condition. Dr sent sample to lab and it came back unknown substance. CDC did study and couldn’t identify fibers so sent to FBI who also couldn’t identify fibers. They tested them and said had a very high burning point but of unknown origin. So CDC closed investigation with they don’t know so population is delusional rather than admitting they are incompetent. Many believe morgellons has nano technology involved. Researchers have found agrobacterium in sufferers lesions and I feel that is what is causing all of this since certain strains have ability to change human DNA and it has been proven in hospital cases that it has affected humans. Hospital cases were infected from catheters. It seems a big chemical company and their patented agrobacterium DNA should be under a microscope to me.

    • Well, good luck to you and your wife, Matt. Most of what you say is contradicted by other sources, most of them appearing to be pretty credible, and the descriptions of the condition that I have read all support the understanding that patients and those close to them follow a similar pattern of denial and almost-hysterical obsession with this condition. You are in a tough spot, nevertheless, as nothing is tougher than having one’s spouse or child suffering from a terrible medical condition. Again, I wish you luck and hope things will improve for you and your wife soon.

      • Believe me I know it sounds crazy and I know mainstream healthcare in u.s. is denying the existence. I wouldn’t believe it either if I had not seen so much evidence. http://sciencenordic.com/growing-fatter-gm-diet here is an article about GMO infection simply by eating GMO food. It’s sad that other countries are doing so much research and we do so little.

    • matt go to morgellons cure!

  6. Also I apologize for such a long post. I appreciate your blog and also just read your GMO blog and totally agree with every word of it. I believe GMO and morgellons are closely related. Thanks for your research and helping to educate the dangers of GMO.

  7. Tim, i’m thinking of writing a zombie novel, and was thinking of using nanobots as the plague. However my friend pointed out to me “Wouldn’t an EMP kill them?”. I thought that most likely a Carbon-based nanobot would make sense since it’s lightweight and strong, and resistant. Most likely it would reside in the neural pathways to control the body, so if subjected to an EMP, such as one from a nuclear weapon or other largescale EMP device, would it kill the nanobots, or would the human body provide enough shielding in your opinion/ hypothetical knowledge? -Cam

    • Thanks, Cameron. I’m not sure true nanobots would be hurt by EMP, partly because the amount of energy they would pick up would be quite small – they wouldn’t transect much area in the passing electromagnetic pulse-wave. Microbots, larger than nanobots and potentially containing real computing parts, in other words running on electrical current and containing real conductors, might be considerably more susceptible. In one of my favorite scenarios nanobots might be transported by larger and more mobile microbots, and could receive signals from the microbots to do simple things or turn their actions on and off. In such a case the microbots might be disabled by sufficient EMP energy and the nanobots might not be effective after that. Thanks for asking about this, and good luck with your novel. I like your ideas. — Tim

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