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The researchers started with a tiny platter of silicon to provide a support (substrate) for their experimental transistor. They dipped the silicon platter into a solution of DNA derived from bacteria and used a known technique to comb the DNA strands into relatively straight lines. Next, the DNA on the platter was exposed to a copper salt solution. The chemical properties of the solution allowed the copper ions to be absorbed into the DNA. Next the platter was heated and bathed in methane gas, which contains carbon atoms. Once again chemical forces came into play to aid in the assembly process. The heat sparked a chemical reaction that freed some of the carbon atoms in the DNA and methane. These free carbon atoms quickly joined together to form stable honeycombs of graphene.
Originally posted by wildespace
This is turning a living structure - DNA - into non-living electronics or machines. Imagine a scenario where animals or humans are gradually turned into cyborgs by converting their DNA and living tissues into electronics and mechanical parts.
Researchers at Stanford University announced this week that they’ve created genetic receptors that can act as a sort of “biological computer,” potentially revolutionizing how diseases are treated.In a paper published in the journal “Science” on Friday, the team described their system of genetic transistors, which can be inserted into living cells and turned on and off if certain conditions are met.
Traditional computers use millions of tiny transistors, which control the flow of electrons in the form of the zeros and ones that make up binary code. Multiple transistors working together can form something called a “logic gate,” which serves as the basic building block of all computations performed by computers the world over.
You need more than just…[logic] gates to make a computer, though. You also need somewhere to store data (memory, RAM), and some way to connect all of the transcriptors and memory together (a bus). Fortunately, as we’ve covered a few times before, numerous research groups have successfully stored data in DNA–and Stanford has already developed an ingenious method of using the M13 virus to transmit strands of DNA between cells…In short, all of the building blocks of a biological computer are now in place.
Thanks to a new technique, DNA strands can be easily converted into tiny fibre optic cables that guide light along their length. Optical fibres made this way could be important in optical computers, which use light rather than electricity to perform calculations, or in artificial photosynthesis systems that may replace today's solar panels.
Both kinds of device need small-scale light-carrying "wires" that pipe photons to where they are needed. Now Bo Albinsson and his colleagues at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, have worked out how to make them. The wires build themselves from a mixture of DNA and molecules called chromophores that can absorb and pass on light.
The result is similar to natural photonic wires found inside organisms like algae, where they are used to transport photons to parts of a cell where their energy can be tapped. In these wires, chromophores are lined up in chains to channel photons.