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Researchers Developing New Form of Life Made From Metal. Robot Apocalypse One Step Closer Now.

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posted on Sep, 16 2011 @ 11:27 PM
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A research group at the University of Glasgow is working to create functioning, self-replicating (eeek!), and hence "living" cells made entirely out of metal.



To prove that it's at least physically possible, a team from the University of Glasgow has created some cell-like bubbles call iCHELLs out of metallic elements like tungsten bonded with oxygen and phosphorus. These bubbles can self-assemble, and they exhibit many of the same properties that allow biological cells to do what they do, including an internal structure and a selectively porous outer membrane that can let other molecules pass through. It may even be possible to set the metallic cells up to perform photosynthesis.

Source


This is both kind of mundane and absolutely mind-blowing. Mundane because there's no real physical reason why it can't be done. Non-organic compounds are able to bond and interact just like pretty much anything else (sorry, noble gases). Biochemists have also long speculated about the possibility of silicon-based lifeforms being out there somewhere in this wacky universe.

So on that level this would be a damn neat discovery, but not entirely unexpected. Where it gets mind-blowing of course is in the implications that would come from re-creating some "synthetic" form of life.

I mean, with every advancement in computer processing power we are moving closer and closer to building a sentient artificial intelligence (I'm still eagerly awaiting the day the internet finally "wakes up"), and now it seems scientists are attacking the issue from both ends of the spectrum. By mechanically emulating life itself from the most complicated definition right down to the simplest.


What would it mean if they succeed? Do these things have a soul? What would it say about us? Such a can of worms ready to induce a lot of religious freak outs no doubt.


All I know for sure is we won't even matter any more because the ensuing robot army will quickly kill us all.



edit on 16-9-2011 by mc_squared because: the internet is messing around with my grammar - IT begins!




posted on Sep, 16 2011 @ 11:38 PM
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reply to post by mc_squared
 


Great that's all we need, some robotic life form walking around our planet thinking its human...Did these morons not watch Terminator? or even I Robot? even though in I Robot the robot was thought of as human eventually, not in my world it wont. I'm not religious but that's blasphemy if Ive ever seen it.



posted on Sep, 16 2011 @ 11:43 PM
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This sounds like it is going to happen, the Nanobot Apocalypse, here!




Let's destroy the earth with technology. A while ago, I read the novel Postsingular by Rudy Rucker, and in the first chapter the Earth gets destroyed, and then undestroyed, and then the novel unfolds and the Earth's likelihood is threatened again, and it looks like the Earth will be destroyed, but it isn't. How does all of this craziness happen you might ask: nanobots! The story revolves around little self-replicating robots. The story explores what it would be like to live in a world where every surface on Earth was coated in little computers, all of which were networked together. It's certainly a neat idea, but whenever you have self-replicating things, you need to worry a bit about what might happen if they get out of control. So, let's assume we, evil scientists that we are, have managed to create a little self-replicating nanobot. This little guy can scurry around, running off something ubiquitous, probably some combination of solar, and some kind of infrared photovoltaics. This little guy, call him Bob, his only mission in life is to create a friend. He scurries around collecting the various ingredients necessary, and using his little robot arms, he slices and dices up the pieces and welds them together to create another copy of himself, Rob. Not satisfied with his work; Bob found Rob quite the bore, and honestly Rob didn't too much like Bob either, both of them part ways and try to fashion a new friend. How long until Bob and Rob and their cohorts manage to chew through all of the material on Earth?


The article goes on to show you the exponential growth equation and how long it would take to envelope the whole Earth! Good times!

edit on (16/9/11) by SLAPurMAMA because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 16 2011 @ 11:48 PM
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Holy hell

Replicators! !!!! We are screwed. Unless we have asgard technology or a time dilatation device.



posted on Sep, 16 2011 @ 11:51 PM
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reply to post by mc_squared
 


maybe all this type of thing already happened long ago. and we are them. and that's why the human species is so violent. we are ultimate machines but we've convinced ourselves we are more. so we're frustrated.

these documentaries on TV about so many past cultures, things left behind by those long gone, seems to me we've yet to catch up to what others have known long ago.

maybe that's why there are so many great mysteries, questions unanswered. as terrible as mankind is, with violence and greed, destruction and pollution etcetera, perhaps we've been cut-off. to keep us from blowing up the whole universe.



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 12:09 AM
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Its a hybrid crystal, mica compound and isn't sentient. Don't worry yet!

It is an exciting developement. I just saw this about 1/2 an hour ago, in the recent "question for evolutionist"" thread, on pg 5, posted by juveou
youtu.be...


What is life?



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 12:21 AM
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The spin to it is that these cells are metallic, not that they can selfrecreate. As the later is inherent in the goal to create a fully functioning metallic cell.
edit on 17-9-2011 by CriticalCK because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 12:36 AM
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I wonder if they will be able to use these cells in humans themselves?

"He's got the Midas touch, but he touched it too much,
But He touched it too much
Hey Goldmember, hey goldmember
He's got a golden pad, He's super-bad,
Hey Goldmember"

Yeah baby!
edit on 17-9-2011 by AMANNAMEDQUEST because: (no reason given)

edit on 17-9-2011 by AMANNAMEDQUEST because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 12:37 AM
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reply to post by windword
 


But they are already working on Nanobot tech. Link




There are two major problems with creating nanoscale Innerspace-like craft that course through our vascular system: finding a small enough source of power — batteries are large, clunky, inefficient things — and, by association, autonomous control. We have written about nanobots before, but don’t be deceived: they are, for the most part, completely dumb and have to be controlled by magnets outside the body, by an incredibly steady-handed surgeon. What we really need, if we want nanobots that can actually self-assemble into helpful swarms, is a nano-scale motor that can be driven with a tiny amount of power — and that’s exactly what researchers at Tufts University in Massachusetts have done. They have taken a single butyl methyl sulfide molecule — C5H12S, just 18 atoms in total — and turned it into an electric motor that can be discretely controlled by a stream of electrons. The molecule mounts itself on a piece of copper, via adsorption, with the sulfur atom acting as a pivot — and by applying a stream of electrons from a scanning tunneling microscope, the molecule begins to spin at up to 120 revolutions per second. With a total diameter of just one nanometer, not only is this by far the smallest electric motor in the world (and the team has already contacted the Guinness Book of World Records for certification), but because the power source is a microscope — the directional tip of the electron microscope is an electrode in the motor — the entire process can also be visualized and confirmed in real time. Most importantly, though, the electron microscope is so accurate that single-molecule motors can be turned on and off. “People have found before that they can make motors driven by light or by chemical reactions, but the issue there is that you’re driving billions of them at a time — every single motor in your beaker,” says Charles Sykes, one of the chemists behind the discovery. “The exciting thing about [this] electrical [motor] is that we can excite and watch the motion of just one, and we can see how that thing’s behaving in real time.”


How long before they give this stuff some brains?
edit on (17/9/11) by SLAPurMAMA because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 02:39 AM
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reply to post by SLAPurMAMA
 


We need the Asgard or we're doomed! I don't don't known what else too say/do?



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 09:58 AM
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Very interesting to say the least. I hope more funding is appropriated for this type of research in hopes of producing inorganic sentient life. I can only imagine other fellow trans-humanist pushing for more research down the road. We need to progress faster than this though.



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 10:01 AM
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Are they going to make Cylons ?

Yes.... they are.



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 11:01 AM
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Someone already used the Stargate reference so I got nothing...

Except that when these things evolve into fully functional human beings, they are going to have an interesting sex life.



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 12:11 PM
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Humanity won't be around forever.

It would be interesting to create Robotic Life Forms and put them on all the other planets.

So after humanity kills itself off, star travelers would see there was some sort of intelligent life at one time in this solar system.



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 12:16 PM
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I could actually see this used as a means of terraforming a planet like Mars LONG before we get there.



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 12:22 PM
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Sign me up!
I want my consciousness transferred into a robotic body, immune to sickness and tiredness.
I want robots to take over the world and replace humanity.
Hell yeah.



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 02:01 PM
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reply to post by windword
 


Great TED talk. Thanks for posting that




What is life?



That's the can of worms.

I suspect this research will lead to answers some will find very exciting and even comforting, while others will not be able to handle at all.

I think, as Dr. Cronin implies in that video - life is just an explicit byproduct of the laws of physics and chemistry. Given the right conditions and materials, certain compunds will naturally form into semipermeable membranes, inducing the very earliest beginnings of a cell (or "egg" if you will).

Create a membrane that allows the passage of elements conducive to the self-preservation, replication, and/or propagation of that proto-cell - and you set the stage for a sort of chemical "natural selection", and thus hopefully some kind of RNA/DNA-style blueprint mechanism. Add in random mutations that are essentially a natural consequence of quantum physics - and you're ready for Darwinian evolution even.


In other words, life and evolution are both completely natural consequence of the laws of physics - provided you have the right ingredients. To me this is very exciting because it means life is written into the very fabric of our universe, and is likely common considering how many kitchens and potential petri dishes there are out there. *looks up at sky with awe*



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by trollz
Sign me up!
I want my consciousness transferred into a robotic body, immune to sickness and tiredness.


I have one word for you: RUST

Careful what you wish for



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 02:04 PM
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reply to post by mc_squared
 



I hope they taste good and you can still cook them in a microwave? I am in a hurry and hungry.



posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 02:10 PM
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Some extra random thoughts:


1. The idea of metallic life makes me wonder if UFO's could possibly be lifeforms themselves. Remember this thread:

UFO releases intelligent moving spheres!! First ever video footage!

That thing almost looks like it's giving birth.





2. How long until Apple capitalizes on all this and hipsters start buying "iBabies"?



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