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The world took one significant step closer to inventing a real-life cybernetic organism as US scientists, inspired by the Terminator movie, combined organic matter with semiconductors in a process that replicates plants’ transformation of light into fuel.
their bionic approach is a true step forward, as it combines two of the most important features of its components – the strength of inorganic materials – which convert light into electronic energy – with biological molecules, whose chemical attributes bring those mechanical processes to life.
The components are, respectably, cadmium telluride and cytochrome C. The semiconductor drinks in the sunlight and turns it into an electron, while the cytochrome C transports that electron in a process of photosynthesis.
The nanoparticles and molecules function together by exchanging electrons. And since the closer the two are, the better, the research team decided to combine the two into a single organism with the ability to act on its own and create particles that turn themselves into super-particles with own functions.
"We merged biological and inorganic in a way that leverages the attributes of both to get something better than either alone," said U-M's Sharon Glotzer, the Stuart W. Churchill Professor of Chemical Engineering, who led the simulations.
During an experiment, the scientists turned the pollutant nitrate into nitrite and oxygen, proving that bionic particles could harness sunlight to drive chemical reactions.
They believe that the particle, which took a beating from handling the energy, may be able to renew itself – like the plants do.
"These design principles can be used to guide future designs for other bionic systems, starting from the primary building blocks of biological organisms and inorganic machines," Kotov said. "It is very possible that Terminator of the future would need to be constructed starting from such building blocks."
originally posted by: NowanKenubi
And on the page you linked, there is another article about self healing plastics... lol
The indestructible Terminator is even closer now...
Mad scientists are like anything else mad... and that is mad.