Fiction Becomes Reality

It’s a (semi) Geekout as Phil and Stephen discuss scenarios from fiction (and from non-fictional speculation) that are coming true or that we hope to see come true soon. We begin with this story:

Nanobots kill off cancerous tumours as fiction becomes reality

A new prospect for cancer treatment opened up last month, when researchers for the first time successfully used tiny, nanometre-sized robots to treat cancerous tumours in mice.

Researchers from Arizona State University and the National Center for Nanoscience and Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences injected nanobots made from a folded sheet of DNA into the bloodstream of mice. These targeted the blood vessels around cancerous tumours, injecting them with bloodclotting drugs to cut off their blood supply. According to the study, published in Nature Biotechnology, in February, the treatment was successful in shrinking the tumours and inhibiting their spread.

The idea of armies of minuscule robots patrolling our bodies, cleaning and maintaining them has been a theme in science fiction for decades. The plot of a 1966 film Fantastic Voyage in which a submarine of scientists is shrunk to microscopic size and injected into the blood stream of a colleague in order to help save his life, is now coming closer to reality.

Great story, but the headline isn’t completely accurate. Nanobots definitely are the stuff of science fiction, but more to the point they are the stuff of serious speculation (Speculist-style speculation.)

What are the fictional/speculative realities we most want to see become actual headlines? This is a big one. What ranks with it? A few possibilities:

  • Creating a library of all life on earth
  • Curing aging / disease
  • General purpose robots

Can you think of others? Share in the Youtube comments.

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About Phil 523 Articles
Phil Bowermaster is a nationally recognized author and speaker. He has more than 25 years experience writing about emerging technologies and the future. As co-host of the popular Internet radio series, The World Transformed, Phil has talked with leading scientists and technologists, best-selling authors, philosophers, filmmakers, artists, entrepreneurs and others who are shaping our understanding of the amazing era of transformation in which we live. Phil helps leaders and their organizations develop strategies for managing accelerating change. He shows how imagination, optimism, empathy, and humor can make all the difference in both understanding and making the most of the powerful currents of change we face.