Robotic Sperm, by Kansas Stanton

When we become seriously ill, we go to western medicine for treatment. The problem, however, with a lot of western medicine is that it relies almost completely on the body to “deliver” the treatment to the desired destination. We wrote the letter and dropped it into the mailbox, but we must hope that it doesn’t get lost or damaged along the way or delivered to the wrong recipient. Hope can be very blind and anticlimactic like that. And sometimes medicine takes a while to get to its destination, with more risks occurring in the meantime.

Furthermore, in some cases, this same western medicine targets all it’s designed to encounter; cancerous and healthy alike, unapologetically. So how do Naturalistic Pagans and others receive more efficient results and with less damaging side effects? Cue the militant fleet of Robo-Sperm to the rescue [da da-la daa]! Don’t worry ladies, these little guys are here to save you- not get you pregnant.
Researchers from Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Dresden, Germany have found ways to 3D-print biodegradable metallic armor for bovine sperm with nanotechnology that carries medicine to cancerous human cells specifically or other such locations that are required of them. They are controlled by scientists on the outside using weak magnetic fields that direct them to where they need to go. When they fuse with a tumor, for example, they release the drug and kill 87 percent of its cancerous target, versus only 55 percent with traditional methods when tested, as well as the healthy cells. And though they are designed to find an egg to be fertilized, the magnetic fields prevent them from going anywhere near there. And then researchers at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom have developed a completely robotic sperm-like machine as small as one millimeter long. They consist of a magnetic head and a flexible flagellum that allows it to swim, just like a real sperm, once activated by the same magnetic field. Being so precisely controlled by scientists using telepresence, this allows the medicine to reach its destination in a fraction of the time without any complications that might occur along the way. Furthermore, these devices could also revolutionize the field of microfluidics, the movement of liquids through extremely narrow channels, by entering an artery (for example) and use their tail motions to pump fluids through. Currently, microfluidics relies very heavily on high-pressure pumps to move liquids through channels when they become extremely viscous. Robo-sperms would allow for more varied consistency of the liquids and do so more innocuously; manipulating liquids at a microscale.
With all these robots swimming around inside of us, delivering medicine, making our fluids flow, and writing “RoboSperm was here” on our organs, how is this natural for the Naturalistic Pagans to accept and embrace? When the Earth and all its beings viewed as sacred under the laws and conditions of Nature, robotics don’t really have a place. And you’re right; robots aren’t natural- they are not of Nature. But neither is the western medicine we’re choosing to take, at least not directly. But, a lot of times, western medicine contains ingredients that are either the actual, or synthetic versions of, chemicals found in plants and animals. It is man-made creations containing what we find foraging around in the wild, or of materials and technology that mimic them. So how do biodegradable sperm-like robots not follow these same principles? They are simply tools based on live organisms in nature to get the job done; something we have always strived for, albeit not always appearing so sci fi. In my opinion, Naturalistic Pagans should embrace this new development in nanotechnology as seen as not just an inspiration from biology, but as a beautiful innovation that respects biology’s design and advances the world of medicine for all of us. Robots get a bad rap but cut them a little slack. After all, they are the artistic renderings that represent our love for the biological systems in Nature.

Kansas Stanton

Kansas Stanton is a Neo-Pagan who resides in Seattle, Washington. He belongs to, and practices with, a local group of Reform Pagans and blogs at https://leavesontheroad.wordpress.com/. He also volunteers every year at the Esoteric Book Conference in Seattle and regularly attends various Pagan festivals and events.

He is a full-time student, earning his degree in Environmental Science and a Certificate in Sustainability, after which time he will move on to grad school (climate science). When Kansas is not in class or working his job in the art industry, he also attends heavy metal concerts both locally and internationally. He is also a vegan outdoorsman who frequents the trails and whitewater rivers of the pacific northwest and loves to spend his time with friends over a cold, dark beer.

See Kansas’ posts

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One Comment on “Robotic Sperm, by Kansas Stanton

  1. The artificial is a subset of the natural, not its antithesis. That’s how I think about the issue, anyhow. The question becomes, how does this artifice contribute to the ecosystem — to Mother Earth — or does it cause harm? Polystyrene, for example, might be considered a perversion because it doesn’t biodegrade. As for robot sperm? I can see the potential value, but there are a lot of details to consider. The bigger problem I see is that society has little moral mechanism for regulating new technology.

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