Iron Man Dreaming of Biological Fabrication of Circuits
Our friends the diatoms may be able to help us make even smaller integrated circuits. Diatoms are unicellular algae; they form a unique shell, called a frustule. They work hard to make human life possible; they produce about a third of the world's oxygen.
(Diatoms are our microscopic friends)
Now, a group of scientists led by Michael Sussman, director of University of Wisconsin, Madison's Biotechnology Center, and oceanography professor Virginia Armbrust of the University of Washington, are seeing if they will help us make even smaller chips.
One feature that sets them apart from typical phytoplankton is their custom-built cell walls which they create from silicon dioxide, or silica. Sussman's interest lies in that diatoms are capable of creating lines of silica much smaller than present chip manufacturing processes can make out of silicon.
The particular diatom Sussman and Armbrust's group have been working with is known as Thalassiosira pseudonana. Armbrust previously led the effort to sequence T. pseudonana's genome in 2004. The group has identified 75 genes that are used in the silica bioprocess for the diatoms and they hope to use genetic manipulation to find out what they can do with the microscopic organism in the guise of a chip builder.
Fans of Iron Man comic may recall that the suit-tiles were created by a process of biological circuit fabrication:
Micro-Scale suit tiles fabricated by genetically engineered metal affinity bacteria which assemble themselves in specific orderly arrays, then expire, leaving behind various metallic deposits which form all the metal shapes and microscopic circuits.
Via Getting Smaller Computers With Our Friend, Algae: A group of scientists look at a natural means to keep up with Moore's Law. Special thanks to a very determined reader who resubmitted this article to make sure I got it - thanks! Great story.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/8/2008)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
3D Printed Graphene Aerogel - So Light!
'... light as cork and stronger than steel...' - Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1929.
Vantablack Now IMMEASURABLY Black
'a black coating now that’s ninety-nine percent absorptive...' - Doc Smith, 1934.
New Paper - Write With Light Erase With Heat
Writing with light, erasing with heat.
Reconfigured Graphene 10X Strong, 5 Percent Dense, As Steel
'...It was made of Alohydrolium, which is the lightest of all metals.' - Hugo Gernsback, 1911.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Make Space Tools On The Spot (Like Moties)
'A moment ago it was squeezing silver toothpaste in a ribbon...'
Will Robots Be Moral If We Raise Them Like Our Children?
'The birth of Machine, my robot child...'
Foldable Galaxy Phones, I Swear They're Coming (Maybe)
How hard can it be?
Bacteria Behave Differently In Space
'The Republic struggled to control its Sours...'
Brain Connected To Internet - ‘Brainternet'
Artificial Spider Silk
You can also use it to make a roof - on an asteroid.
MIT Tunes Ions For Frictionless Surface - Superlubricity!
'My telelubricator here neutralizes the interatomic bonds the surface of any solid...'
Seiko Astron Always Knows Your Time Zone
'Harrington glanced at his wrist watch - a bulky affair - and whistled.'
Robot Buddhist Priest Chants, Drums
'He crossed the waiting room to the Padre booth...'
Koniku Kore, Mouse Brain-Based Chip, Detects Explosives
'As a matter of fact, this mouse is going to keep on thinking forever.'
CNH Industrial Autonomous Tractor Concept Video
'...the tiny red glints of self-guided tractors.'
The Neuroon Open Sleep Tracker For Lucid Dreaming
'Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer on the bedside shelf.'
Siri Now Smoother, Perkier (Thanks, Deep Learning!)
'Good morning, Dr. Chandra. This is Hal.'
China's Drone Fleet Flies In Formation
'Programmed to hang... in a hexagonal grid pattern.'
Neuralink, The Latest Elon Musk Passion
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE [a mainframe computer] what we wanted...'
RFly Drones Rule The Warehouse
'The wasp homed unerringly on the face of the honeycomb...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories