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The idea of "Blue goo" was apparently invented in [ link ]; since then a lot more work has been done on how to stop gray goo, especially in this paper by Robert A. Freitas Jr. Vast legions of destructive nanites. Supposedly created by accident, they are nano-scale or "atomic-precision" robots capable of precise, molecular control over chemical reactions, programmed to make unlimited copies of themselves, and capable of surviving and gathering supplies in a wide range of environmental conditions. Left unchecked, they would basically convert everything they touch into more of themselves, or consume and digest it for energy [ ecophagy ].

Either way, a gray goo would be bad news. Green Goo : Nanomachines or bio-engineered organisms used for population control of humans, either by governments or eco-terrorist groups.

The Various Pastes

Would most probably work by sterilizing people through otherwise harmless infections. The idea is to use nanomachines to filter gold from seawater. If this process got out of control we would get piles of golden goo the "Wizard's Apprentice Problem". This scenario demonstrates the need of keeping populations of self-replicating machines under control; it is much more likely than grey goo, but also more manageable.

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Pink Goo refers to Old Testament apes who see their purpose as being fruitful and multiplying, filling up of the cosmos with lots more such apes, unmodified. See also LOR Paste below. Nanites that both clean up and harvest the oceans, rivers, and lakes--gathering raw materials, such as precious metal atoms, and cleaning up spills, old waste, wrecks, and other dangerous sites. Cleaning the bad stuff also allows for creation of good stuff, such as more LOR goo. However, it would be hard to recover the goo after it has gathered the desired harvest, and a simple programming error could turn LOR Goo into Gray Goo.


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Harvests the greenhouse gases for Carbon, to be used for diamondoid fabrication. Larger than most pastebots, because it has to be collectible afterwards. A well-designed paste could harvest X or more its empty weight. ACE Paste may not be necessary, because large fixed installations might be more efficient. CP] Garden Paste : Utility fog that is used in place of, or in combination with, your garden soil, and is able to be "dialed in" to match the optimal soil composition requirements for each and every plant you have. It will change according to each plant's needs for water, nutrients, and soil density.

It will also form shade when and where needed, automatically, or upon request.

Prince asks scientists to look into 'grey goo'

Further, it will keep out moles and gophers by forming instant temporary barriers; store sunlight via solar cells, for use on overcast days; detect and drive off harmful insects, perhaps via insect-specific pheromones; retain water and minimize evaporation sophisticated networks of Garden Paste could include an irrigation system , and even identify and remove plants started via airborne propagation [sometimes referred to as "weeds"].

See also LOR Goo above.

Nanites that cleanup and harvest the oceans, rivers, and lakes--gathering some materials, such as heavy metal molecules, and cleaning up spills, old waste, wrecks, and other dangerous sites. LOR Paste would have limited or nonexistent fabrication ability, making it smaller, more efficient, and easier to design than LOR Goo--and much safer. Heavy metals would have to be stored onboard, a form of encapsulation, but undesired organic compounds could be broken down into harmless molecules and released.

CP] Medic Paste : Applied directly to external wounds, and internally via ingestion or shot, for rapid diagnosis and treatment. Capable of changing shape, and perhaps color, in response to external commands. Occasionally necessary for contextual purposes. In other words, we coined it. Nanotechnology Now. Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors. Nanomedicine Terms.


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The latest news from around the world, FREE. Nanotechnology Now Featured Books. All Rights Reserved. Lord May, former Government chief scientist and then president of the Royal Society, insisted that the nightmarish was unlikely.

Scientist rejects own 'grey goo' scenario - The Globe and Mail

Now, US scientists have succeeded in creating simple cell-like robots that join together in large groups, move in a coordinated fashion and transport objects. The particle robots are still far too big to be goo-like, measuring between But their behaviour has distinct echoes of the swarming nanobots that so scared the prince.

The disc-shaped robots, loosely connected by magnets, can do nothing individually except expand and contract. Computer simulations showed that , of the machines could navigate around obstacles towards a light source, and even transport objects placed in their midst. They were also resilient to individual failure.

Grey Goo Review