Microsoft wants to engineer bugs to become disease fighting nanobots

Todd Bishop at TechFlash has discovered that Microsoft is into global health, in a weird way.

As Todd reports, Microsoft has applied for a patent for “Adapting Parasites to Combat Disease.”

The patent application has this goofy stickman drawing (below) that, so far as I can tell, doesn’t really explain exactly what the idea is here.

But the gist of it appears to be that scientists would engineer a parasite to make it into a programmable nanobot that could be used to combat disease in the human body. Todd quotes from the application:

By modifying or making a parasitic organism that can be programmatically controlled by a stimulus external to the altered parasitic organism, the parasitic organism can be a powerful tool in delivering therapeutic compounds. …

Okay then. Hope it works better than Windows movie maker. Here’s the drawing that went with the patent application:

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Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at]humanosphere.org or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.