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Bacteria That... Does Math!

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posted on Jul, 25 2009 @ 08:22 PM
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Biologists have created a living computer from E. coli bacteria that can solve complex mathematical problems


The implications are endless, living computers (since technically bacteria is alive) that are greatly superior to silicon based ones now.


Computers are evolving – literally. While the tech world argues netbooks vs notebooks, synthetic biologists are leaving traditional computers behind altogether. A team of US scientists have engineered bacteria that can solve complex mathematical problems faster than anything made from silicon. The research, published today in the Journal of Biological Engineering, proves that bacteria can be used to solve a puzzle known as the Hamiltonian Path Problem. Imagine you want to tour the 10 biggest cities in the UK, starting in London (number 1) and finishing in Bristol (number 10). The solution to the Hamiltonian Path Problem is the the shortest possible route you can take. This simple problem is surprisingly difficult to solve. There are over 3.5 million possible routes to choose from, and a regular computer must try them out one at a time to find the shortest. Alternatively, a computer made from millions of bacteria can look at every route simultaneously. The biological world also has other advantages. As time goes by, a bacterial computer will actually increase in power as the bacteria reproduce.


The future of this is some what intimidating if you don't fully trust the governments respect for your right to privacy as i, and most others don't.

Imagine bacteria that could gather information... it cant be to many steps away.

Visit Link for full story.





[edit on 7/25/2009 by Alaskan Man]




posted on Jul, 25 2009 @ 08:38 PM
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Sounds really cool, very interesting.

perhaps a silicon / bacteria hybrid?

i mean something has to run Microsoft.



posted on Jul, 25 2009 @ 08:50 PM
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I think maybe something with a nanobot substructure that guides the workings of the bacteria.
all in all pretty sweet



posted on Jul, 25 2009 @ 08:57 PM
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Hi computers fans.

Now they "run" with bacteria.

If, one day, computers also "run" on virus, and we scan with our
anti-virus, will it kill the bad or the good ones ???? B-)))
Nice find !

Blue skies.



posted on Jul, 25 2009 @ 08:58 PM
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well this certainly leaves some pretty big gaps as to how you translate organic bacteria to digital information.



posted on Jul, 25 2009 @ 09:00 PM
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This is absolutely fantastic information, and been looking into it for some time myself (the tech that is)

My only question is.. did they really HAVE to do it with E. coli?

ugh lol



posted on Jul, 25 2009 @ 09:06 PM
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reply to post by Alaskan Man
 


The implications of this development are mind boggling to say the least.

This will eventually change life as we know it.

Imagine combining this with organic displays (OLED's).
The size benefit alone. Ultra small, portable and near weightless.

Could be installed on anything, in anything and anywhere.





posted on Jul, 25 2009 @ 09:15 PM
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What's so interesting about this is it ties in very neatly with research in to fungible computation.

I highly recommend people listen to Neil Gershenfeld's TED presentation where he goes in to details on fab labs and its future applications.



The only downside is it means programmers like myself are going to have a much more difficult life since everything is going to be multi-threaded.



posted on Jul, 25 2009 @ 09:37 PM
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Holy crap that is cool! I am a big math dork and when I saw the thread I just had to read about it. Wow...amazing. I wonder what will come of this in the future...I can see it being a bad thing possibly in the wrong corrupt hands.



posted on Jul, 25 2009 @ 09:47 PM
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Something that I thought about while reading this--this is alien technology, or at least fits what people that channel aliens and people that research UFO's describe. Some of the pieces allegedly found after UFO wrecks have had high levels of silicon in them 99% silicon. Also people that channel aliens have described the alien craft as being totally biological and it responds instantly to commands.

Two thoughts: Either this is alien technology, or we are about to get flooded with new technologies that we had already developed.



posted on Jul, 25 2009 @ 09:53 PM
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reply to post by Xtraeme
 


After being frustrated so much by NDAs relative to writing open code, this stuff is great in my opinion. Getting the big guys out of the picture is really in the process of happening as I have hoped for and had a feeling would come. Nerds have all the power and they need to awaken to that.


And as far as threading, bring it on. I like it. It makes it easier to concentrate on the code.



posted on Jul, 25 2009 @ 10:21 PM
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That's absolutely amazing! I can't even begin to imagine the possibilities! Maybe these super-computing bacteria can assist our heads of state in learning how to balance a budget!



posted on Jul, 25 2009 @ 11:51 PM
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reply to post by Alaskan Man
 


i wonder what is the difference between this mathematical calculation and the algorithm used for calculating network route call OSPF (open shortest path first) ??

anyone maths genius here ?



posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 12:07 AM
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Organic Technology?

Reminds me of the episode "Infection" from Babylon 5.

While it is really incredible, we need to be careful.



posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 01:55 AM
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We've pretty much gone as far as we can with modern processors. All we can do now to advance them is basically to stack them up with more cores. (I'm not complaining as long as my PC can run Crysis at a decent fps.)

So naturally, something new needs to step in and replace the now aging technology. Why not super smart bacteria?

And hasn't this idea been implemented before? I swear I read a story like this a few years ago.


Anyways, star and flag.



Peace,
FK



posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 05:28 AM
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Originally posted by affeyee
reply to post by Alaskan Man
 


i wonder what is the difference between this mathematical calculation and the algorithm used for calculating network route call OSPF (open shortest path first) ??

anyone maths genius here ?


You don't need to be a math genius to know how to compute OSPF. Nor do you have to be a genius to have an understanding of NP-complete problems. You just need to know some discrete math.


OSPF uses Dijkstra's algorithm to solve the shortest-path. Some things to know about Dijkstra:

  1. Dijkstra's algorithm only works for positive weights.
  2. Runtime complexity is O(m log n) where m is the number of edges and n is the number of nodes.
  3. When the graph has the maximum number of edges, complexity is O(n^2). (The maximum number of edges is m = n^2).
  4. To find the shortest path for all nodes, simply run the algorithm once for each node.
  5. Other related algorithms are Floyd's algorithm (all-pairs shortest-paths using an adjacency matrix) and Warshall's algorithm (simply determines if a path exists using an adjacency matrix). These also work with negative weights.


The basic algorithm works like so:


Choose a node to be the source or starting point.
Initialize source to 0 cost and mark as evaluated.
Initialize all nodes to infinite cost from the source.

For each node, y, adjacent to source
Relax the node. That is, set y's cost to the cost of all edges from source to y.
Place y into a priority queue based on its total cost. (Lower is better)
Add source node as predecessor of y.
End For

While there are nodes in the graph that haven't been evaluated
Remove a node, x, from the PQ (lowest total cost)
Mark x as evaluated.
For each neighbor, y, of x
Relax y
If new cost to reach y is less
Update list of nodes (path) to y from source.
Place y in the PQ.
End If
End For
End While


The Hamiltonian Path Problem (AKA the Traveling Salesperson problem) described in the OP is slightly different in that it attempts to find a cycle in a graph. Whereas Djikstra only solves the shortest path, it doesn't locate the shortest cycle for a set number of nodes.

In other words a Hamiltonian cycle visits each vertex / node exactly once out of all the nodes. Which is to say not all graphs have Hamiltonian cycles. Since the Hamiltonian Path Problem is NP-Complete the only way to solve it is to undertake an exhaustive search.

There are a number of ways to approach this problem, but to demonstrate an algorithm for an arbitrary graph requires either high-order math (combinatorics, icosian calculus, etc.) or several hundred lines of code.


What's interesting is in '98 Jensen, Gutin, & Yeo came up with a generic polynomial algorithm (i.e. not NP!) for the Hamiltonian cycle problem that works in semicomplete multipartite digraphs. Which is a pretty big deal.

Obviously they didn't use the Polynomial-time solution for their bacterial transistor test, but it's nice to know there's a more optimal way to approach the problem.

[edit on 26-7-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 06:39 AM
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reply to post by ExPostFacto
 


My guess is it probably is Alien Tech but it's taken us or him all these years to figure out how it works!!!!

Also now because most people in the developed world have now got settled with their computers.... tech sales are down so they are bringing this onto the market so that we will all have to go out and buy this new tech...... personally i don't think it will be that much better than what we have already......



posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 06:51 AM
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reply to post by TruthxIsxInxThexMist
 


Alien tech? Do people these days have such low respect for scientists that it *has* to come from aliens? These people probably put hard work and sweat into this for years and still nobody can appreciate their work...Anyway i think its a 100% human creation and a damn good one at that! i always thought quantum computing would take over silicon but this could be a more viable option.



[edit on 26-7-2009 by Solomons]



posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 06:58 AM
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reply to post by Solomons
 


ok... i suppose i could be wrong and full marks to those scientists for figuring out how it all works!

The next step has got to be qauntum leaping then surely



posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 08:21 AM
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reply to post by Alaskan Man
 


Something worries me about this..... we are already producing AI & Robots.... what will this do? Someone out there is going to create a monster...........



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