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Biotech Technology

MIT Researcher Enlists Bacteria To Assemble Nanotech Materials 36

The Register reports on an approach to nanotech that combines biological computing with micro-mechanics, embodied in the work of MIT associate professor Timothy Lu. Lu's research has resulted in the creation of tiny structures assembled using modified E. coli. "Specifically," says the article, "the MIT researchers were able to put bacteria to work producing conducting biofilms, some of which were studded with quantum dots, and arranging gold nanowires. This paves the way for the development of mass manufactured cell-based material factories, and even 'living materials' that have some of the desirable properties of bones or trees, Lu confirmed." His most radical idea, says Lu, is furniture that shapes itself to cushion the user's most-stressed areas.
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MIT Researcher Enlists Bacteria To Assemble Nanotech Materials

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  • by Anna Merikin ( 529843 ) on Monday March 24, 2014 @03:05AM (#46561839) Journal

    I am thunderstruck by the irony of the mind-blowing promise of this technique and the "most radical" use that the lead author can dream up (according to the Register, anyway, which has a reputation to me of overhyping a story and burying leads): A comfy chair made of high-tech volatile-memory foam which needs to eat.

    Another irony: the original TFA appears to be paywalled so we mortals get to read the Register's digest of it. Maybe some advanced-degree reader of Nature can come up with some more original (and profitable, to boot) use for this technique. I mean, quantum dots, gold nanowires and such can conceivably lead to computational devices, can't they? Can this be used to extend Moore's Law further into the future?

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson