Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"People are choosing to allow television and Electronic Arts to do all their imagining for them."
- Peter Watts

Biologics  
  A computer that is made of organic (biological) components, rather than inorganic materials like silicon.  

There are a number of limits that are gradually being approached in fabricating computer chips with silicon and other elements. One is size; we are coming to the point where it is no longer possible to squeeze more transistors into a smaller area. Another is power (and heat); faster processors use a lot more energy, and for that reason have a significant problem with waste heat (leave your laptop on your lap for more than 15 minutes and you'll see what I mean!).

So, why not turn to nature for a better computing model?

Why limit oneself to silicon and protein and biochips a hundreth of a millimeter wide, when in almost every living cell there was already a functioning computer with a huge memory? A mammallian cell had a DNA complement of several million base pairs, each acting as a piece of information. What was reproduction, after all, but a compterized biological process of enormous complexity and reliability? The earliest biologic strings had been inserted into E. coli bacteria as circular plasmids. The E. coli had absorbed the plasmids and incorporated them into their original DNA. The bacteria had then duplicated and released the plasmids, passing on the biologic to other cells... the cells developed their own memory and the ability to process and act upon environmental information.
From Blood Music, by Greg Bear.
Published by Arbor House in 1984
Additional resources -

Work has been done to create computer circuits with organic components; see this news article on the leechulator, a calculator made up of neurons taken from leeches.

Take a look at the entry for intellectual cell from the same book; there is an interesting quote (with a link) from a talk by Seymour Cray, the father of supercomputing, about biological computers.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Blood Music
  More Ideas and Technology by Greg Bear
  Tech news articles related to Blood Music
  Tech news articles related to works by Greg Bear

Biologics-related news articles:
  - The Most Complex Synthetic Biology Circuit

Articles related to Computer
Atomristors - Atomic Memristors - Using Thin Nanomaterials
RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Loihi Chip Mimics Human Brain's Neurons And Synapses
Brain Connected To Internet - ‘Brainternet'

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

More News

A 'Genuine Nanorobotic Production Factory'
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants, smaller than pins, working energetically, purposefully - constructing something...'

Neuromorphic Computer Offers Non-von Neumann Architecture
Fires faster than brain at 1/10K energy.

Evorus Your Crowd-Powered Conversational Assistant
'...the DS [Daily Schedule] was suddenly transformed into a valued confidante.'

Mealworms Food Of The Future
Get your grubs on.

Alibaba's AI May Read Better Than You
'Mike ... could accept other languages and was doing technical translating - and reading endlessly.'

Musk's Boring Flamethrower
'Skeletons in tatters. Burned by a flesh gun'

Humanity Star LEO Advertisement?
'Everyone has noticed those enormous advertisements...'

Atomristors - Atomic Memristors - Using Thin Nanomaterials
'I could almost feel those little tunnel junction neuristors working, forming their own interconnections as I operated it.'

Bigelow Prepares Inflatable Lunar Hotel
'Suddenly, hitherto unheard-of sums of money became available for investment in civilian orbital stations.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.