How Bacteria Could Replace the Microchip
Researchers at a British university have turned to Mother Nature to maintain the current rate of progress in the computer industry, specifically a bacterium which contains iron oxide.
What's the Latest Development?
Scientists are investigating special bacteria in hopes of finding an organic way to maintain the current rate of progress in the computer industry. Researchers at the University of Leeds, in Britain, have taken inspiration from Magnetospirillum magneticum, "a bacterium that is sensitive to the Earth’s magnetic field thanks to the presence within its cells of flecks of magnetite, a form of iron oxide." By coating a checkered golden plate with the proteins that produce the bacterium's magnetite, scientists were able to coax to the iron oxide flecks onto the conductor. In principle, the squares on the plate could store the "one" or "zero" of a bit of information.
What's the Big Idea?
Moore's Law famously states that the number of transistors which can be put into a given space doubles every 18 months. Maintaining that rate of progress as computer components shrink in size, however, is getting expensive. Intel, for example, has placed a price tag of $10 billion on its next chip-building factory. So some scientists are turning to Mother Nature, which as been making chips in the form of single-celled organisms for billions of years. The advantage to a natural system would be that growing things is not nearly as expensive as building them.
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What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
- In some fundamental ways, humans haven't changed all that much since the days when we were sitting around communal fires, telling tales.
- Although we don't always recognize them as such, stories, symbols, and rituals still have tremendous, primal power to move us and shape our lives.
- This is no less true in the workplace than it is in our personal lives.
One of Stephen Hawking's predictions seems to have been borne out in a man-made "black hole".
- Stephen Hawking predicted virtual particles splitting in two from the gravitational pull of black holes.
- Black holes, he also said, would eventually evaporate due to the absorption of negatively charged virtual particles.
- A scientist has built a black hole analogue based on sound instead of light.
- The word "creative" is sometimes waved around like a badge of honor. We speak of creativity in hushed tones, as the special province of the "talented". In reality, the creative process is messy, open, and vulnerable.
- For this reason, creativity is often at its best in a group setting like brainstorming. But in order to work, the group creative process needs to be led by someone who understands it.
- This sense of deep trust—that no idea is too silly, that every creative impulse is worth voicing and considering—is essential to producing great work.
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