Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cyborg Cockroaches...Oh, yeah...That's a Good Idea

It has come to my attention that scientists scare the hell out of me.  This latest endeavor looks harmless on the surface (for humans, anyway...not for cockroaches), but anyone with an imagination can think of about 2 million things that could go wrong.
Cockroaches that are surgically transformed into remote-controlled "biobots" could help locate earthquake survivors in hard-to-access areas. This new video from North Carolina State University's iBionics Laboratory shows how the lab's enhanced roaches can be steered with surprising precision.
Okay...looking for earthquake survivors is a valid project.  But, what happens when someone places a disolving capsul filled with botulin toxin on top of a "couple" of these little bastards and sends it into a water supply somewhere?  Not so altruistic anymore, is it?

...it's quite simple. Insects can be anesthetized by putting them in the fridge for a few hours—the cold basically makes them hibernate, so they don't move. Then you just need tweezers and a microscope.
We do a simple surgery to insert the electrodes in the roaches' antennae and cerci [rear sensors]. We also use medical-grade epoxy to glue tiny magnets to their backs, so that we can just snap on the backpack containing the wireless control system.
No one ever seems to take away the proper lesson from "Jurassic Park."  It's not a question as to whether we can, but whether we SHOULD.  Christ...what happens if someone starts putting cyber parts on the bee population?  That'll never happen, right?


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