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Scientists turn DNA into graphene transistors

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posted on Sep, 9 2013 @ 04:22 AM
This is crazy stuff, right there! Stanford scientists use a complex process to turn DNA strands into strands of graphene, which can be used as transistors in electronics.

To the right is a honeycomb of graphene atoms. To the left is a double strand of DNA. The white spheres represent copper ions integral to the chemical assembly process. The fire represents the heat that is an essential ingredient in the technique.

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While this might be a very experimental venture, and years or decades from being succesfully implemented (if at all), the moral side of this cannot be avoided. 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.

"Our DNA-based fabrication method is highly scalable, offers high resolution and low manufacturing cost," said co-author Yap. "All these advantages make the method very attractive for industrial adoption."
edit on 9-9-2013 by wildespace because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 9 2013 @ 04:36 AM

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.

Its not as cyber as it seems, it frees carbon molecules to create the graphene in the shape of the DNA, I dont see how this could be used to turn a complex organism into a robot. You could make a carbon shell maybe but it would be an nice conductive ornament

posted on Sep, 9 2013 @ 04:46 AM

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.

I would say DNA is more 'instructions' or a 'plan' , (can't find the right word) than something to be considered alive.

Do you not toss your fingernails in the trash?
Is that not DNA?
How could you! Toss DNA in the trash like that?!

posted on Sep, 9 2013 @ 05:53 AM
reply to post by wildespace

Interesting Stuff OP !

It is truly amazing what they are doing with DNA now a days.

-data storage

Here is more info on some of what they plan to do

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.


posted on Sep, 9 2013 @ 05:42 PM
DNA is the basic building block of life and has infinite possibilities.

Another use being explored is it's use in fibre optics.

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.

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