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

"I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

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
RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Loihi Chip Mimics Human Brain's Neurons And Synapses
Brain Connected To Internet - ‘Brainternet'
Koniku Kore, Mouse Brain-Based Chip, Detects Explosives

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

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.

Seasteading Floating Cities
'It was a remarkable island, circular, about half a kilometer in diameter.'

Tesla Semi 'Electrotruck' Unveiled
Elon Musk unveils yet another technological marvel.

Watch What People Are Seeing Via Brain Scanning
'had managed to see through the other man's eyes as the other man, all unaware, washed their Zis limousine sixteen hundred meters away...'

Integrated Circuits Printed Right Onto Fabric!
'...a shirt that displayed email on its sleeve.

Interstellar Asteroid Visits Our Solar System
'This asteroid had whirled in from the cold of the interplanetary space...'

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.