Synano Sample
Image from Keith Wigdor

Synano only became possible when both wet (bio-) and dry (mechanical) nano had been mastered. While a number of early forms were developed during the late interplanetary period, it was not until the First Federation era that synano and syntech really came into its own. Using the same chemical and metabolic pathways as organic life and bionano, but with the efficiency of dry nanotech, synanotech became very popular, although it was some time before it was able to match the inexpensive and reliable bioassemblers. With the emergence of second singularity beings during the late First Federation period, new more robust forms of synano were developed as well, and there was a great deal of cross-breeding and mutation between synano and bionano, as well as between synano and organic biota. On its own, synano also, like bionano, readily developed into complex, beautiful, and sometimes dangerous nanecologies. Synano replicators also proved a potent goo, although dry nano still make more efficient disassemblers in a vacuum environment. Even so, most "wild" nano out on the periphery is synano rather than dry nano or bionano.

Despite its popularity, versatility, and economical nature, the unpredictable quality of synano has caused many clades to favour dry nanotech. In fact, the built-in redundancy of good quality mechanical nanites serves these clades' purposes very well.

  • Autoevolution - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Evolution directed by intelligent beings instead of natural selection.
    Autoevolutionist: Someone who regards autoevolution as desirable; the opposite of a biological fundamentalist.
  • Autofab  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; modified and expanded by Stephen Inniss
    Also known as a fab, nanofab, autofac, nanoforge, or nanofac. A nanotech fabrication unit for creating finished products from raw materials. This type of device is ubiquitous in the Terragen Sphere.
  • Bioxox  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Biological copy of an original bioid, often created using engenerator technology
  • Cerebral Siren  - Text by John B
    This device samples some 10,000 well-distributed neurons throughout the player's brainpan. It responds with a specific tone and texture when each neuron fires, producing a pseudo-rhythmic tonal surf effect. With significant biofeedback training and lucky placement of the neural sensors, a being can control anywhere from approximately 20% to the record 72.94% of the various textural tonal effects. This soundscape is usually quite calming and peaceful, unless there are unlucky placement of the filaments.
  • Computronium  - Text by Xaonon (original term by Eugene Leitl) with additions by Steve Bowers
    Matter supporting computation, especially artificial substances suitable for high efficiency computation.
  • Crest - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Symbiotic nanotech device that serves as a sign of one's station or rank within an organization or collective as well as conferring upon the owner privileges relating to that organization, such as file access, special protocols, restricted templates, hyperturing advice.
  • Distributed Intelligence  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    An intelligent entity that is distributed over a large volume (or inside another system, like a virtual network) with no distinct center. This is the opposite to the strategy of Concentrated intelligences.
  • DNI - Text by Stephen Inniss
    An acronym for Direct Neural Interface.
  • Engenerator Technology  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Technology which allows uploaded personalities to be transferred into physical bodies, sometimes at interstellar distances.
  • Envirosuit  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Advanced 'living', form-fitting synanotech suits that allow the wearer to move freely and interact as if in er home environment in surroundings that might otherwise be uncomfortable or even fatal.
  • Exoself  - Text by Anders Sandberg; modified by Steve Bowers
    Systems linked to the self in a cooperative way, extending the mind and the body. Especially used about the systems supporting an uploaded personality, providing information, virtual reality and monitoring.
  • Extended Color Convention  - Text by Omeganian
    Colour vision outside the conventional visible spectrum
  • Forge Integrated Technology (FIT)  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Systems that incorporate one or more nanoforges into their structure for the purpose of producing new or replacement components as circumstances may require.
  • GELF  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    [Genetically Engineered Life Form] An old First Federation term, which every so often comes back into favour, for sophont custom-made lifeforms created through significant or total genetic engineering.
  • Goo, Blue  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Nanites used as protection against grey goo and other destructive nanomachines, possibly even used for law-enforcement (nanarchy). It is sometimes used to denote any form of benign nanotechnology in the environment.
  • Krek, Steaming Krek  - Text by Stephen Inniss and Steve Bowers
    A synano infestation which has become a common expletive in many parts of the Terragen Sphere.
  • Mechanosynthesis  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Forcing combinations of atoms in order to create nanoscale devices from a coarser density scale.
  • Mechmoss and Nanoalgae  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Simple sessile photosynthetic nanotech or synano neumann-capable devices/organisms.
  • Nanite  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; amended by Stephen Inniss and Ryan B
    Generic term for a molecular or nanoscale device, whether bionano or hylonano; a cluster of reactive nanoparticles.
  • Nanofab - Text by Stephen Inniss
    An alternative name for an autofab.
  • Nanofac - Text by Stephen Inniss
    An alternative name for an autofab.
  • Nanoforge - Text by Stephen Inniss
    An alternative name for an autofab.
  • Nanomachine  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Pran Mukherjee
    Generic term for a microscopic or molecular mechanical (non-biotic) device, for example a hylonanite or nanobot. It is important to note that nanomachines (and indeed nanites in general) do not have to be nanoscale; they may simply be microscale machines that can manipulate nanoscale objects.
  • Nanomedical System - Capabilities   - Text by Ryan B
    Artificial nanomedical systems have a number of standard capabilities.
  • Nanomedical Systems (Nanosystems)   - Text by Ryan B
    Artificial nanomedical systems within the body of a biont.
  • Nanomedicine First Aid Kit (N-FAK)   - Text by Ryan B
    Automated nanomedicine kit.
  • Nanorot  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Synano disassembly swarm, often feral with high nuisance value.
  • Nanosome - Text by Anders Sandberg, in Transhuman Terminology
    Generic term for any nanodevices (whether hylo or bio) existing symbiotically inside biological cells, doing mechanosynthesis and disassembly for it and replicating with the cell.
  • Omnimed   - Text by Ryan B
    small white pill containing totipotent medibots
  • Pantropy  - Text by Steve Bowers
    The practice of adapting humans (and other bionts) to live comfortably in a planetary environment rather than attempting to change that environment to resemble the home world.
  • Plantbots  - Text by Stephen Inniss and Steve Bowers
    Dry nano or synano robots powered by light and capable of autonomous growth and reproduction; generally sessile or with limited movement. So named because they are equivalent in role to biological plants.
  • Security Bush  - Text by ROM 65536
    Antipersonnel guard-plant and defence weapon.
  • Sentient Cancer  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Software/nanotech perversion of nanocytes or nanochondria of beings or objects with symbiotic nanosystems. While large-scale perversions gain the most publicity, small outbreaks of opportunistic or expansionist alife are far more common. One form of minor perversion that has recently emerged as a serious threat is sentient cancer.
  • Skill Module  - Text by Ryan B
    A class of software augment that operates by interfacing with a sophont’s central nervous system to provide and/or teach a specific set of skills.
  • Synano - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Nanotechnology that integrates hylonano ("dry", or inorganic nanotech) with bionano ("wet", or organic nanotech).
  • Technotelepathy  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Steve Bowers
    Use of commlinked technoetics to enable two (or more) entities to experience the same sensorium and stream of consciousness, sometimes without the knowledge of one (or more) parties.
  • Vasculoid Circulatory Replacement System  - Text by Steve Bowers and Ryan B
    Artificial Blood
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 01 May 2003.