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So, I had a concept (a bit large for a single question). One of it's parts is nanomachines rewiring the brain of the subject.

Since we don't know much about the exact workings of the human brain, we substitute the ability of changing memories to being able to read/analyze and manipulate large organic molecules, like the ones that make up the brain.

There is also the question of communication, which here is solved by having one type of robot for every order of magnitude, up to a centimeter. The working machines receive their orders from a higher up machine which receives... Singular information packages break down to more "simple" tasks when pased down to a machine, an order of magnitude smaller.

We're gonna assume the brain is in an artificial coma.

Is there a real world precedent for a "molecular machine" that's capable of relatively quickly and precisely reading and manipulating large organic molecules, like the ones that make up the brain?

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    $\begingroup$ Isn't that what biochemistry is all about? I would say there's billions of years of real world precedent. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Sep 14 '19 at 21:45
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You are describing prions, like those causing the mad cow disease.

Based on our current understanding, prions are proteins (molecular machine) which, by interacting with other proteins in an animal brain alter their spatial conformation, changing therefore their functionality, resulting in a brain no longer working properly.

Slightly more elaborated are viruses, which inject their own genetic code into the one of the infected species, steering it into producing copies of themselves.

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The brain consists out of millions of cells that are connected by neurons, and it is the combination of them along with their connections that make up the brain. Memories aren't stored in a single braincell, but instead a stimulus will activate several brain cells that fire their neurons together, the more they do this the more they get linked for faster firing and thus recollection. Handy for learning math, how to brush your teeth or walking.

So for your nanobots to decipher the brain you would have to know it's exact composition right now. The nanobot needs to be able to scan the braincell and predict what would happen if it was hit by a stimulus of a wide range of magnitudes, and what kind of signal it would send and where that would go. So you would also need to know where the current neuron connections are, what these are connected too and also how these connections grow to create sequences and grouped braincells to store memory and functions.

On top of that short-term memory seems to be stored for a large part in the neurons themselves, and their current active state needs to be taken into account. Neurons can have feedbackloops to hold a signal for a long time, for example when you have a wound so you feel a dull pain and avoid damaging it further, but it can also be used for storing other information for a time like a phone number or adress.

So that's what your nanobots first need to know. The composition of the braincells, the way the braincells would interpret a signal and based on their composition what signal it would send, the grouping of the braincells and the placement, connections, growth and changes of the neurons during use.

Then they need to combine all this information to map out the brain, and see where they want to make changes. Your nano"bots" are most likely a type of virusses that use that swarm intelligence where every individual machine is stupid but together they can solve complex tasks (just like the brain they want to change).

Some reading material into this if you want:

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/611165/does-the-brain-store-information-in-discrete-or-analog-form/

https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Genes-Work-Brain

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    $\begingroup$ I think Group machine learning is termed 'Swarm intelligence.' Sounds like these lil nanobots are gonna have some mad computing power $\endgroup$ – DevourerOfStars Sep 16 '19 at 1:08
  • $\begingroup$ @DevoureeOfStars yes that was the word thank you I edited it. Interestingly these nanobots would basically be able to do everything a braincell and neuron could do to predict what would happen and tell another nanobot. So you would be making a self-learning brain that can take just about any size and shape. $\endgroup$ – Demigan Sep 16 '19 at 9:39
  • $\begingroup$ @DevourerOfStars Not necessarily the machines themselves, but the higher-ups could have it. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Sep 16 '19 at 9:44

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