Dmitri Prieto

Moleculas. Graphic: wikipedia.org

Some chemical-nanotechnology scientists succeeded in producing a molecule that “walks,” according to what I read recently in a BBC news report.

Powered by electricity, the molecule is able to walk along a metallic sheet, with the current provided through an ultra-fine metallic wire whose thickness is a mere atom at its tip.

This constitutes the first molecular-sized electric motor ever created by human intelligence.

In nature, there are plenty of motors of this type: from the flagellum that put microorganisms in motion, to our very own muscles.

The nervous system also possesses several molecular motors that operate within its distinct cellular components.

I was struck then by an astounding idea: Moving large masses, including humans, as being synonymous with moving their molecules. Almost everything we have on this planet is made up of molecules and atoms.

If a society stagnates, we could solve the problem by directly connecting ultra-fine metallic wires to the brains of people (as mentioned, their thickness is only that of an atom).

I imagine that such fine wire wouldn’t interfere too much with the normal functions of the brain or the tissue that surround it.

The wires would then send electrical impulses directly to the brain at this molecular level, putting into movement the cellular components of individuals and all of society.

A group of competent intellectuals would establish the sequence of the impulses, advised by powerful computers and qualified nano-technologists.

In this way, we could finally solve the problem of “changing people’s mentality,” a popular term these days in Cuba.

The country would change. People would begin working and we’d see the disappearance of corruption, ignorance and authoritarianism, even in their most vile forms.

Instead of reggaeton, we would listen to Stravinsky.

Nevertheless, the US blockade would probably prevent us from acquiring this indispensable technology that would allow each of our molecules to take their first steps.


Dimitri Prieto-Samsonov

Dmitri Prieto-Samsonov: I define myself as being either Cuban-Russian or Russian-Cuban, indiscriminately. I was born in Moscow in 1972 of a Russian mother and a Cuban father. I lived in the USSR until I was 13, although I was already familiar with Cuba-- where we would take our vacation almost every year. I currently live on the fifth floor of an apartment building in Santa Cruz del Norte, near the sea. I’ve studied biochemistry and law in Havana and anthropology in London. I’ve written about molecular biology, philosophy and anarchism, although I enjoy reading more than writing. I am currently teaching in the Agrarian University of Havana. I believe in God and in the possibility of a free society. Together with other people, that’s what we’re into: breaking down walls and routines.

2 thoughts on “Cuba and Molecules That Walk

  • Dmitri, all,
    To give you some idea of the developments that occur day by day but about which most of us never hear,
    here are this week’s headlines from the kurzweilai.net newsletter.
    This list is followed each week by a brief explanatory article on each and a link to the original article.

    New hope for repairing diseased or damaged brains
    Rebuilding the brain’s circuitry using embryonic neurons
    Lab-grown implanted neurons fuse with brain circuitry
    A fluorescent test for antioxidant drugs
    Fluorescent spray tags cancer cells
    Spectrum clash builds around bionic implants
    Move over Kinect — Displair from Russia is a gesture interface in thin air
    Stem cells join muscle, spinal cord cells in ‘human-on-a-chip’ simulation
    Malls track shoppers’ cell phones on Black Friday
    A Terminator-style contact-lens display
    Mobile-phone surveillance software maker tries to silence whistleblower
    Next-generation robot operated using Kinect
    Search for alien life should include exotic possibilities
    Carbon nanotube forest camouflages 3-D objects
    Canada converting currency from paper to plastic
    How neurons make sense of our senses
    A first step towards Minority Report ads from Inwindow Outdoor (demo)
    NASA develops game-changing thermal technologies
    Future prostate cancer treatments might be guided by math
    Getting health data from inside your body
    Meet the new world’s fastest micromouse robot
    Walking through doorways causes forgetting, new research shows
    Quantum theorem shakes foundations
    ‘Giant’ piezoelectric material integrated with silicon for ‘hyperactive’ MEMS
    Creating photons from a vacuum
    OnLive targets mobile workers with game technology
    NVIDIA offers exascale vision at SC11
    [email protected]’s biological research now on supercomputers
    Microscope probes living cells at the nanoscale to diagnose cancers
    Sorting out semiconducting and conducting nanotubes
    Liquid Robotics’ Wave Gliders begin historic swim across Pacific
    Smart swarms of bacteria inspire robot design

    Again, this is available at no cost at kurzweilai.net

  • Dmitri,

    There is a free bulletin of AI and technological advances available at kurzweilai.net
    The development you highlighted in your article was featured about a week or two ago.

    Ray Kurzweil is the author of ” The Singularity Is Near” and the father of the Singularity movement which deals with the coming exponential growth of AI and in computer technology in general which will lead to fundamental changes in the human race within 30 years.

    Much of the book and movement is based upon Moore’s Law which has computation power doubling every 18 months.

    Of importance to us on the sociologically advanced left is Kurzweil’s prediction that inexpensive direct brain-computer links will lead to a universal rise in education and a coincidental rise in human sociological evolution as well.

    Here I’m talking about the end of capitalism which on its face is illogical and immoral.

    While there are many who question Kurzweil and the Singularity thinking mostly because they do not think exponential growth will happen, I have read his book and much other information that is put out and I really can’t find any holes in what Kurzweil has been predicting.

    What I believe will happen is, after years of struggling for socialism and a more humane world by use of force against implacable and unreasoning capitalism, the change we want will come from a completely unexpected direction and will be very swift, universal and impossible to stop.

    It would be nearly impossible for me or anyone to summarize what is involved in the Singularity but I would hope that more of us on the left would take a serious look at it.

    I got my introduction to the Singularity concept by reading an article on it in Time Magazine while waiting in the dentist’s office and found it so fascinating that I told the receptionist that I was taking the magazine home to finish it .

    Here’s a link to that article.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2048299,00.html

    I would appreciate comments on Kurzweil, the Singularity from you or anyone else and especially comments that can cast doubt on what Kurzweil says will happen and most especially on what exponential societal evolution through AI enhanced universal education can mean to the human race.

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