Tag Archives: Iron Man

Nanotechnology and fitness

Nanotechnology is an exciting new field of science and technology that will likely lead to all sorts of major advances in medicine, and technology in general. It is still in its infancy, but is already being used for drug delivery and in medical diagnostics. That said, it is not without risks. New nano-materials need to be carefully examined to limit toxicity and harm.

Nanotube. Source: Public domain

Carbon nanotube. Source: Public domain

Nanotechnology involves building and manipulating things at the atomic and molecular level, which would allow all sorts of unprecedented advantages over older technology(nanotubes and nanomaterials built from carbon at the atomic level are ultra-strong while being very light), especially in the field of medicine. It could revolutionize medicine as we know it.
According to: Nanotechnology and nanomedicine: going small means aiming big


Nanotechnology is an emerging branch of science for designing tools and devices of size 1 to 100 nm with specific function at the cellular, atomic and molecular levels. The concept of employing nanotechnology in biomedical research and clinical practice is best known as nanomedicine. Nanomedicine is an upcoming field that could potentially make a major impact to human health. Nanomaterials are increasingly used in diagnostics, imaging and targeted drug delivery. Nanotechnology will assist the integration of diagnostics/imaging with therapeutics and facilitates the development of personalized medicine, i.e. prescription of specific medications best suited for an individual. This review provides an integrated overview of application of nanotechnology based molecular diagnostics and drug delivery in the development of nanomedicine and ultimately personalized medicine. Finally, we identify critical gaps in our knowledge of nanoparticle toxicity and how these gaps need to be evaluated to enable nanotechnology to transit safely from bench to bedside.

It sounds very promising when it comes to medicine, for treating and preventing heart disease and cancer. However, could nanotechnology help make those of us who are already fit and healthy even fitter? Could nano-engineering or nano-machines going through our bloodstream, or in our muscles help make us stronger, faster, more coordinated or even smarter? There’s also the possibility of nanotechnology leading to the creation of Iron Man suits. Just imagine armies of “Super Soldiers”!

This also leads to all sorts of ethical questions, especially in light of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, but also when it comes to athletic competition in general. What kind of restrictions will there be on nanotechnology in athletic competition? Will they ban as-of-now inconceivable nano-devices that could strengthen the heart muscle and make it beat faster? What would be considered “cheating”? I realize this is all speculative and sounds like science fiction, but technology is moving so fast it is never too early to ask such questions.

Just think of a future in which athletes can have spare body parts if they badly damage a leg or arm, or use nanotechnology combined with biotechnology and stem cells to regrow bad knees. Or why stop there, maybe create hybrid cheetah/human legs for sprinters to help them run faster. Aging itself could even be haulted or reversed through repairing DNA and aged, cross-linked protein structures throughout the body. In a way, it will be like eugenics through technology.

Sounds impossible now, right? Just remember that so much of the technology we have today would have been unimaginable to people living 40 years ago, never mind 200 years ago. People 50 years from now will look upon and laugh at our most “advanced” tablet computers the same way we look at computers from the 1950s.

In some ways the future looks promising, in other ways it looks bleak. Let us hope that along with the billions of dollars being invested in nanotechnology, a lot of wisdom is also being invested in it.

Which superhero would make the best joggler?

I often ask myself: Which superhero would make the best joggler? It is difficult to answer, since no superhero has ever been known to joggle. I will try my best to answer based on what is currently known about 4 of the most famous superheroes:

1) Superman – The most powerful and god-like of superheroes. Can fly and also run very fast. Loves wearing tights. Has great coordination and is incredibly strong. Has X-ray vision and is bullet-proof and largely fire proof. Has an on/off relationship with Lois Lane. Is an alien from another planet. Can be greatly weakened if exposed to a metal called kryptonite. I believe he could easily joggle 3 balls for possibly thousands of miles without dropping any balls so long as he is not exposed to kryptonite along the way. Come to think of it, could likely joggle 5, 7, or even 9 balls for many miles without dropping. And the balls could weigh 1,000 lbs each. His alter ego, newspaper reporter Clark Kent wouldn’t want to joggle to avoid attracting attention.
2) Spiderman – Can climb almost anything fast and is extremely agile and flexible. Can shoot spiderwebs to help him climb, swing or to trap his enemies. Also loves wearing tights. Is super-strong, but not as strong as Superman and can’t fly either. Got his superpowers by getting bitten by a radioactive spider. Could likely joggle almost as well as
Superman, but for a much shorter length of time. Doesn’t seem to have Superman’s endurance or strength, but joggling 5 or 7 balls could come easy with some practice, though not with heavy balls. Secret identity is Peter Parker.
3) Iron Man – Has no innate superpowers. He is a mere mortal named Tony Stark, a billionaire playboy, and genius technologist. He only has super powers when he wears his bullet-proof metal-suit he built that makes him almost as powerful as Superman, allowing him to fly great distances and to have super-strength. The suit is also equipped with a super-computer(probably runs on Linux), and various weapons. Iron Man could likely joggle well in his suit, with the assistance of his artificial intelligence super-computer helping him do the calculations(his main limitation would be the suit running out of power or becoming damaged or an attractive woman distracting him). Tony Stark without the Iron Man suit could probably joggle 3 balls for a few miles, so long as he remains sober and that the balls aren’t heavy.
4) Batman – Secret identity is Bruce Wayne and is similar to Iron Man in that he has no innate superpowers. He is also a billionaire, who has access to all sorts of advanced weapons and toys. His bat-suit is bullet-resistant, and he has limited flying ability in it. Highly intelligent and very skilled in martial arts. Could very likely joggle, since he is very athletic and well-coordinated due to his martial arts training. Could possibly joggle 3 balls through an entire marathon with enough practice. Like a lot of superheroes, loves to wear tights and is sometimes assisted by a younger man called Robin who also wears tights which arouses suspicion.

To me, it is obvious that Superman would make the best joggler. If you disagree, please explain why.

Picture sources: Wikicommons and public domain