Rajkamal Mohanram's Blog

Potpourri of Stuff!

Grey goo – Ever heard of it?

So, Grey goo huh? Sounds weird, right? The content is going to be even weirder than it sounds. Grey goo is a hypothetical end of the world scenario resulting from the cons of molecular nanotechnology.

Suppose our scientists create nanobots that can clear oil spills in the oceans. So, in layman’s terms, the oil contains carbon and these nanobots “eat” the carbon and clear it off. If something goes wrong in the programming or some technical fault has crept in, the nanobots will start eating up all the carbon in the environment and won’t halt until there is no more carbon on planet earth. In the process, they replicate and “reproduce” more of themselves. And within a few days, Alas! Welcome to planet Earth – Population ZERO.  This “eating of the environment” is known as ecophagy. Check out this video to get an idea of what grey goo is.

Nanotechnology is a boon to the human race but every good thing has a “dark passenger” that comes along with it. Nanotechnology’s dark passenger is this grey goo outcome. Scientists like Eric Drexler think that building anything that even simulates or resembles a potential would-be rouge replicator can be dangerous enough as building a real one. He thinks building those types of machines are completely unnecessary.

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3 comments on “Grey goo – Ever heard of it?

  1. akchutha
    October 23, 2012

    i didn’t quite understand the video though

  2. akchutha
    October 23, 2012

    Grey goo has a dark passenger .???? that’s really hilarious … Mr.Dexter fan.

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