Browse Definitions :
Definition

self-replication

In nanotechnology , self-replication is a process in which devices whose diameters are of atomic scale, on the order of nanometers, create copies of themselves. A nanometer is 10 -9 meter or a millionth of a millimeter. In order for self-replication to take place in a constructive manner, three conditions must be met.

The first requirement is that each unit be a specialized machine called a nanorobot, one of whose functions is to construct at least one copy of itself during its operational life. (Each unit should also have some other function, unless the intended purpose of the aggregate is to cause havoc by generating the mechanical equivalent of a cancerous tumor.) A hypothetical example of a constructively self-replicating nanorobot is an artificial antibody. In addition to reproducing itself, it seeks and destroys disease-causing organisms.

The second requirement is the existence of all the energy and ingredients necessary to build a certain minimum number of complete copies of the nanorobot in question. Ideally, the quantities of each ingredient should be such that they are consumed in the correct proportion. If the process is intended to be finite, then when the desired number of nanorobots has been constructed, there should be no unused quantities of any ingredient remaining.

The third requirement is that the environment be controlled so that the replication process can proceed efficiently and without malfunctions. Excessive turbulence, temperature extremes, intense radiation, or other adverse circumstances might prevent the proper functioning of the nanorobots and cause the process to falter or fail. Science-fiction writers have suggested that mutations might occur in a sophisticated self-replicating nanorobotic community, giving rise to the machine equivalent of natural selection. Such a process might be used to create a self-sustaining, evolving colony of robots on an extraterrestrial planet.

Also see exponential assembly , nanotechnology , positional assembly , and self-assembly .

This was last updated in September 2005

Continue Reading About self-replication

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance as a service (CaaS)

    Compliance as a Service (CaaS) is a cloud service service level agreement (SLA) that specified how a managed service provider (...

  • data protection impact assessment (DPIA)

    A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is a process designed to help organizations determine how data processing systems, ...

SearchSecurity

  • quantum key distribution (QKD)

    Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a secure communication method for exchanging encryption keys only known between shared parties.

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

  • cybercrime

    Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a documented, structured approach that describes how an organization can quickly resume work ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

SearchStorage

  • logical unit number (LUN)

    A logical unit number (LUN) is a unique identifier for designating an individual or collection of physical or virtual storage ...

  • NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF)

    NVMe over Fabrics, also known as NVMe-oF and non-volatile memory express over fabrics, is a protocol specification designed to ...

  • CIFS (Common Internet File System)

    CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a protocol that gained popularity around the year 2000, as vendors worked to establish an ...

Close