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StagtheStalker
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25 Apr 2015, 9:21 pm

I have this idea of a world where somewhere in the timeline Nanotechnology was so able to alter our evolution that it resulted in a large number of different human sub-species. With each one being able to sexually reproduce themselves. Each sub-species would essentially be Homo Sapien but each would also possess it's own unique genetic and physical traits.

I have no idea if nanotechnology could be used in that way and if it would ever be possible for us to understand the process of evolution well enough to use nanotechnology in such a way.

I was hoping someone could give me a reality check on this.

One of the great things about Scifi is that as fantastical as it gets with certain writers, books, genres,etc is that a lot of things contained there in can give you an oh so sweet taste of what science could possibly bring us one day, distant or, not so distant.

Could my idea give such a sweet taste to readers ?



starkid
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25 Apr 2015, 9:29 pm

StagtheStalker wrote:
I have no idea if nanotechnology could be used in that way and if it would ever be possible for us to understand the process of evolution well enough to use nanotechnology in such a way.

I was hoping someone could give me a reality check on this.

I don't see how anyone can give you an answer because you haven't really given us anything concrete to check. As the author, you have to decide how nanotechnology is going to affect evolution. The "how" is what would need to be reality-checked.



Sigbold
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26 Apr 2015, 12:27 am

StagtheStalker wrote:
I have this idea of a world where somewhere in the timeline Nanotechnology was so able to alter our evolution that it resulted in a large number of different human sub-species. With each one being able to sexually reproduce themselves. Each sub-species would essentially be Homo Sapien but each would also possess it's own unique genetic and physical traits.


Sub-species are already able to sexually reproduce themselves. And depending on what criteria you use there are already large numbers of different human sub-species (races*).

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I have no idea if nanotechnology could be used in that way and if it would ever be possible for us to understand the process of evolution well enough to use nanotechnology in such a way.


I think the term genetic manipulation/modification would be better then evolution since it seems that is what you are proposing as of one the central elements of your setting. So the question would be if would be possible the working of genetics would get to such a point where such large scale and intensive changing of a subjects genetic make up is possible. Unfortunately I do not know enough to make an educated guess about it.

So I agree with starkid that you need to decide how it would affect DNA and what the consequences of such technology and underlying theories would be.

*Or if you prefer the more pc-term of population groups.



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27 Apr 2015, 2:21 pm

If it's a book, you can write it whatever way you want.



naturalplastic
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29 Apr 2015, 3:05 pm

I think that 'nanotechnology' would be a bit of an nonsequitar.

You're talking about taking DNA in a lab and manipulating it in ways that dont have to involve nanotechnology. Maybe doing something like Jurassic Park, except instead of reviving 100 million year extinct dinosaurs-applying it living species- including man himself- and for some reason creating new kinds of genetically engineered humans.

Nanotechnology is about microscopic machines/robots- for example sending legions of little robots into your blood stream to fight cancer cells-say. Wouldnt need that to manipulate DNA in test tubes (but you could postulate that I suppose).

The first chapter of Jurassic Park talks about rampant manipulation of DNA in living organisms in a near future it envisions even before the main characters are introduced, and the main plot kicks in. The author talks how this dinosaur thing happens folks doing stuff like genetically engineering trees to come out of the ground square instead of round (so the lumber industry can get more boards out of them). But nanotechnology isnt mentioned.


Nanotechnology, or not, are you talking about a future in which they purposely create new human "breeds" ( like breeds of work dogs)? That would be the interesting part.



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29 Apr 2015, 3:23 pm

Go for it, the science doesn't have to be solid to make a good scifi story.
Most of the great scifi doesn't have solid science, like Asimov's positronic man.


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izzeme
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30 Apr 2015, 7:22 am

The base idea is possible, but since tech isn't heriditary, your 'nanotech' should perform some genetic engineering, either in embryos or in reproductive cells.
If you do that, then sure; it's possible for non-fiction SF to have such a premise.
The tech itself being transmitted biologically... unlikely.



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30 Apr 2015, 7:59 am

StagtheStalker wrote:
I have this idea of a world where somewhere in the timeline Nanotechnology was so able to alter our evolution that it resulted in a large number of different human sub-species. With each one being able to sexually reproduce themselves. Each sub-species would essentially be Homo Sapien but each would also possess it's own unique genetic and physical traits.

I have no idea if nanotechnology could be used in that way and if it would ever be possible for us to understand the process of evolution well enough to use nanotechnology in such a way.


REPLICATORS 8)
That's what comes to mind if you mention self-replicating machines to me :mrgreen:
Quote:
In the military science fiction series Stargate SG-1, the Replicators are antagonistic self-replicating machines that are driven to replicate by consuming both alloys and technologies of the most nearby most advanced civilization and constructing themselves and their progeny accordingly. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Replicator_(Stargate)

Maybe the nano-technology could imprint itself into our RNA and that way affect the DNA of future generations and if your story was set far enough into the future you might be able to spin a story around it :wink:

Think I got that right :?



cecilfienkelstien
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30 Apr 2015, 1:24 pm

I think this sounds like an interesting story with a lot of potential.


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ellyabean
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30 Apr 2015, 11:31 pm

I think genetic engineering/manipulation could eventually be used to create "sub-species" in the sense that they would possess their own unique traits (perhaps specializations for different jobs and lifestyles) while still remaining homo sapiens.They might be as different from each other as poodles and german shepherds but would still be able to interbreed. :D It is definitely a fascinating idea to consider as it will probably one day become reality! I myself write sci fi that includes genetic engineering themes so I can relate to the fascination... I'm certainly not an expert on genetic engineering or nanotech though, for me that stuff's mostly background for the human story.

I can also imagine genetic engineering/manipulation making humans so different that they would no longer be the same species. Perhaps if the purposes they are being designed for were so drastically different. Like if some of them are being sent out to colonize other planets where the environment is very un-earthlike...

Here's a link to a nice article on human genetic engineering that was published in MIT technology review last month, in case you are interested.
http://www.technologyreview.com/feature ... fect-baby/



naturalplastic
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01 May 2015, 7:11 pm

ellyabean wrote:
I think genetic engineering/manipulation could eventually be used to create "sub-species" in the sense that they would possess their own unique traits (perhaps specializations for different jobs and lifestyles) while still remaining homo sapiens.They might be as different from each other as poodles and german shepherds but would still be able to interbreed. :D It is definitely a fascinating idea to consider as it will probably one day become reality! I myself write sci fi that includes genetic engineering themes so I can relate to the fascination... I'm certainly not an expert on genetic engineering or nanotech though, for me that stuff's mostly background for the human story.

I can also imagine genetic engineering/manipulation making humans so different that they would no longer be the same species. Perhaps if the purposes they are being designed for were so drastically different. Like if some of them are being sent out to colonize other planets where the environment is very un-earthlike...

Here's a link to a nice article on human genetic engineering that was published in MIT technology review last month, in case you are interested.
http://www.technologyreview.com/feature ... fect-baby/


That's a possibility. That we start to colonize interplanetary, and even interstellar space. But "we" don't actually do the colonizing. It will be genetically modified versions of ourselves who do the actual migrating to other planets. Specialized to live in generational star ships,or to live in underground caves on planetary surfaces.



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01 May 2015, 7:45 pm

Why does it need to be reality-checked? It IS fiction after all. Now, I know the "hard" scifi advocates will say otherwise, but to me, sci-fi is just fantasy, but with technology instead of magic. Do whatever you feel is appropriate.

Now, if you want some encouragement, maybe the nanobots could act like viruses, latching onto cells and inserting the desired genes. Maybe a rogue organization could get ahold of this technology through corporate espionage, and use it to create self-replicating nanobots that leach their raw materials from the human body, slowly killing the host while spreading to other hosts much like conventional biological viruses. Maybe this organization is funded by an extremist religious sect that wishes to establish a new world order, using this nanobot-based virus as their main weapon. Maybe this religious sect is dead-set against people modifying and enhancing their bodies.

I wonder if someone's going to steal these ideas... :P



naturalplastic
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02 May 2015, 9:26 am

I dont get the impression that nanotechnology is what the OP is interested in as a story.

Its the idea of the human race splitting in subspecies (kinda like what H.G.Wells envisioned in 'the Time Machine' story).

The OP is just throwing NT out as a possible cause of that happening. I dont think that nanotechnology would be needed for genetic engineering of humans. It could be done without NT. Nor is it obvious how NT would be used for that purpose.



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02 May 2015, 9:13 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
I dont get the impression that nanotechnology is what the OP is interested in as a story.

Its the idea of the human race splitting in subspecies (kinda like what H.G.Wells envisioned in 'the Time Machine' story).

The OP is just throwing NT out as a possible cause of that happening. I dont think that nanotechnology would be needed for genetic engineering of humans. It could be done without NT. Nor is it obvious how NT would be used for that purpose.


I see, I was just proposing how nanotechnology could work for genetic engineering. I don't think it would be needed either, but my idea of a nanobot virus would make for a pretty cool story.



StagtheStalker
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04 May 2015, 10:19 pm

Sorry I haven't replied to this thread in a while.

I was stoned out of my gourd when I posted this.

Damn even sober me thinks that would be a cool Scifi story.

But now an even more interesting question ?

How da f**k did type so well when I was so high I couldn't feel my teeth.
(This makes sense if you've smoked seriously good ganja)

Seriously though, I really shouldn't post under the influence.



mr_bigmouth_502
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04 May 2015, 10:36 pm

StagtheStalker wrote:
Sorry I haven't replied to this thread in a while.

I was stoned out of my gourd when I posted this.

Damn even sober me thinks that would be a cool Scifi story.

But now an even more interesting question ?

How da f**k did type so well when I was so high I couldn't feel my teeth.
(This makes sense if you've smoked seriously good ganja)

Seriously though, I really shouldn't post under the influence.


I can type legibly when I'm drunk, it just takes a LOT of concentration. I also happen to be half-decent at touch typing, so that probably explains it.