The CCAV-1 (also known as Carbon Consuming Artificial Virus v.1) is the newest addition to the NAEBR family. Being created within the last two months and tested recently, the CCAV-1 has proved to create what nanotechnologists have always feared: grey goo. The CCAV-1 is simply (as the name states) a carbon consuming, artificially manufactured virus created by Biopreparat. The name alone gives its instruction.
Duty and mechanics
The duty of the CCAV-1 is to consume all carbon based life forms present in a specific area. By using massive amounts of replication and self-replication, the CCAV-1 is capable of consuming all carbon based life within an area the size of the former United States within three days. This is also the fear from many scientists that it has been created to be a doomsday device in case its manufacturer (the U.S.S.R.) believes they are losing domination.
The complex CCAV-1 basicly replicates by two distinct paths: replication and self-replication. However, both paths generally intermingle. The following is the step-by-step of both paths.
Path one: Replication
- A CCAV-1 bio-nanite attaches itself to a host carbon based cell.
- The CCAV-1 lowers its tail through the cellular walls and releases its viral DNA.
- The viral DNA begins meiosis within the host cell.
- At this point, the empty shell of the CCAV-1 may be commandeered by another CCAV-1 and begin replication.
- The newly formed CCAV-1's begin consuming the host cell before bursting free and starting the process over.
Path two: Self-replication
- Due to the inability to find a host, CCAV-1 bio-nanites release the neutralizing agent within their bodies.
- Viral DNA within the CCAV-1 begin meiosis within the now parasite control CCAV-1.
- The newly formed CCAV-1's begin consuming the host CCAV-1 before bursting free and starting one of the processes over.
One must note, that the CCAV-1 may commit replication on any carbon based life form. Thus, what has been deemed CCAV-1 chains may occur: a long line of CCAV-1's being replicated by other CCAV-1's; however, this is extremely rare.
Also one must note that the replication/self-replication of CCAV-1's are able to be programmed into DNA based, micro-processors within their bodies in order to insure that rapid replication/self-replication does not occur. If this programming does not occur, a single CCAV-1 could replicate/self-replicate producing what has came to be called grey goo.
A term coined by Robert Freitas, that means, literally, the consuming of an ecosystem. Freitas used the term to describe a frightful scenario involving nanotechnology gone awry. In this situation (called the grey goo scenario) out-of-control self-replicating nanorobots consume entire ecosystems, resulting in global ecophagy. However, the word ecophagy is now applied more generally in reference to any event--nuclear war, the spread of monoculture, massive species extinctions--that might fundamentally alter the planet. Scholars suggest that these events might result in ecocide in that they would undermine the capacity of the earth to repair itself. Others suggest that more mundane and less spectacular events--the unrelenting growth of the human population, the steady tranformation of the natural world by human beings--will eventually result in a planet that is considerably less vibrant, and one that is, apart from humans, essentially lifeless. These people believe that the current human trajectory puts us on a path that will eventually lead to ecophagy. This is currently the largest fear among scientists of the CCAV-1.
The only currently used usage for the CCAV-1 is through weaponry and military purposes. It is unclear whether or not research is being conducted on its usage outside of the military field. Some scientists believe it may be able to be used as a pesticide or waste removal machine that could clean up oil-spills and other ecosystem damaging accidents.
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