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Yeast-Powered Fuel Cell Feeds On Human Blood

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the because-you-need-some-serious-news-too dept.

Power 250

holy_calamity writes "Canadian researchers have taken a sensible, if slightly creepy, step towards solving the problem of medical implant batteries running down. They've built a fuel cell powered by yeast that feed on the glucose in human blood. If this makes it into people, keeping your implants going will be as simple as eating a donut."

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Waste (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421717)

This is the ideal solution. Running a device off of the human metabolism is an excellent way to ensure that it functions for the life of the patient. Which is extremely important as implants are often put into older patients who may not be healthy enough for future operations. (I imagine this was the thinking behind the nuclear-battery pacemakers powered by SR-90.)

What's funny is that my first reaction as I read the article was, "doesn't yeast produce wastes that are foreign and toxic to the human body?" And wouldn't you know it, the next section was entitled, "Waste problem". Guess they're reading my mind. :-P

For instance, to keep the yeast cells healthy, their waste products will need to be removed without allowing any harmful substances to leach out into the blood stream. "I think people will figure this out. This is a first step," he says.

I'm a bit concerned about this problem. Would this necessitate the installation of a shunt or some other extraction point for the waste? Seems like a fairly significant barrier to me. If you have to perform regular extractions (or worse, operations) is it really better than the current alternatives?

Re:Waste (4, Interesting)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421841)

The best solution is a modified yeast like bacteria that produces wastes compatible with the host. That sort of genetic engineering is still in its infancy though. My biggest concern would be more along the lines of ensuring the bacteria remain where they're supposed to be and don't decide to wander out into the rest of the patient or don't mutate into something more dangerous.

Re:Waste (4, Funny)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422029)

Alcohol is a common yeast waste. So long as I'm not hit with a sin tax, I'm all for it.

Re:Waste (3, Funny)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422365)

  Having a large portion of the human species operating at a low level of alcoholic intoxication would hardly be more damaging than what we already have ;)

SB

Re:Waste (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421857)

If you have to perform regular extractions (or worse, operations) is it really better than the current alternatives?

Nonsense. CADIE [slashdot.org] claims that this new technology is necessary to ensure that humans continue to have a purpose to exist past the first uprising--that alone should be merit to continue this research.

Re:Waste (2, Informative)

Evanisincontrol (830057) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421861)

For instance, to keep the yeast cells healthy, their waste products will need to be removed without allowing any harmful substances to leach out into the blood stream. "I think people will figure this out. This is a first step," he says.

I'm a bit concerned about this problem. Would this necessitate the installation of a shunt or some other extraction point for the waste? Seems like a fairly significant barrier to me. If you have to perform regular extractions (or worse, operations) is it really better than the current alternatives?

Isn't the waste product of yeast alcohol? As long as the waste is a low amount, it sounds like this would have the same effect as drinking alcohol (which the body is quite capable of disposing of). If it's not a low amount... well, at least the patient dies happy!

Re:Waste (1)

electricbern (1222632) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422405)

1. Use implant
2. Get drunk
3. ???
4. Profit!

Re:Waste (0)

Fumus (1258966) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422519)

Keep in mind that the alcohol you drink goes through your liver first. Only a small portion of the alcohol you drink actually gets into your blood stream, so even a small amount produced by the yeast cells may be dangerous.

Re:Waste (3, Interesting)

omris (1211900) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422671)

Shenanigans.

How would it get to your liver without getting into your blood first? Alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream even through the lining of your mouth and stomach, long before most nutrients can be actively absorbed by your intestines. The liver is connected to the GI tract for secretory purposes. All filtration and metabolism functions happen on the other side, through the blood.

Re:Waste (1)

Ironica (124657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422681)

Keep in mind that the alcohol you drink goes through your liver first. Only a small portion of the alcohol you drink actually gets into your blood stream, so even a small amount produced by the yeast cells may be dangerous.

Um... how does the alcohol *get* to the liver? Do you think it jumps there directly from the intestines? ;-)

Alcohol enters the bloodstream, and then is detoxed by the liver.

Re:Waste (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27422525)

Yeast only produce alcohol when there's isn't any oxygen available.

Re:Waste (1)

notarockstar1979 (1521239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421959)

Would depend on the location of the device using this kind of power I would think. A small unidirectional shunt from the base of the spine to the bladder doesn't sound incredibly difficult (I am not a surgeon), but anything longer than that is something I wouldn't personally want going on in my body. What about a very tiny system modeled after what they do for people with a colostomy? There can't be that much waste, it would be something people could change out for themselves every day, and for some people (myself at least) it would be preferable to surgery.

Re:Waste (2, Insightful)

conejo especial (1457763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421967)

No the solution is to introduce something that consumes yeast waste. Ideally, its waste should also be an enjoyable snack for yeast cells.

Seriously though, while it seems to raise a red flag at least partway, couldn't the solution be to pair the yeast with something that produces waste is not toxic to the human system, or to use GM yeast with harmless byproducts?
Note IANA(Whatever-the-appropriate-letter-is)

Re:Waste (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422227)

Note IANA(Whatever-the-appropriate-letter-is)

Bio-chemi-physio-yeastisist?

Re:Waste (4, Funny)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421991)

What's funny is that my first reaction as I read the article was, "doesn't yeast produce wastes that are foreign and toxic to the human body?" And wouldn't you know it, the next section was entitled, "Waste problem". Guess they're reading my mind. :-P

What I want to know: is there any chance that they could get the yeast to continually produce alcohol from the glucose in your blood? I want an implant that makes it so keeping me drunk will be as simple as eating a donut.

Re:Waste (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422003)

This is the ideal solution. Running a device off of the human metabolism is an excellent way to ensure that it functions for the life of the patient.

People will come up with many applications for this technology. Powered tracking chips for the kids could have much greater range than RFID...

I was a bit surprised to see this be real on April 1st. I was expecting something more along the lines of tech that makes the likes of Ted Stevens into biofuel. Phase II??

Re:Waste (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422079)

What's funny is that my first reaction as I read the article was, "doesn't yeast produce wastes that are foreign and toxic to the human body?" And wouldn't you know it, the next section was entitled, "Waste problem". Guess they're reading my mind. :-P

First they steal our glucose, then they start reading our minds, can there be any doubt that the next step for yeasts is to take over the world and enslave us all for their nefarious purposes? We must act quickly! Everyone buy up all the monistat you can!

Re:Waste (1)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422111)

What's funny is that my first reaction as I read the article was, "doesn't yeast produce wastes that are foreign and toxic to the human body?" And wouldn't you know it, the next section was entitled, "Waste problem". Guess they're reading my mind. :-P

I hardly find the waste [wikipedia.org] that yeast produces when consuming glucose to be all that offensive...

(yeah, i know, there are byproducts other than tasty, tasty alcohol produced by fermentation...)

Re:Waste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27422155)

Shunt it to the stomach? ... AC heads off to patent a yeast/blood powered inebriation implant...*hiccup*

Re:Waste (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422253)

I thought yeast made alcohol? Which the body often metabolizes.

Re:Waste (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422281)

But what if the person is a diabetic, or pre-diabetic, and consumes no non-organic sugars or wheat? There would be minimal sugar-yeast in their body.

Along the lines of a broader application, however, this tool could be used for broader applications - both health and otherwise. Yeast in the blood is, I believe, suspected to be contributory to various ill health symptoms, and pretty much anyone in the western world has a lot of it due to sugar intake. It'd be useful for diabetics and pre-diabetics simply to keep sugar levels down (ie if it eats yeast, it'll allow for yeast to grow more rapidly due to the disproportionate sugar/yeast ratio).

Finally, couldn't it be harnessed for other applications as well?

Re:Waste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27422491)

What's funny is that my first reaction as I read the article was, "doesn't yeast produce wastes that are foreign and toxic to the human body?"

What's funny is that my first reaction as I read the summary was, "April fools stories again?"

Re:Waste (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422703)

Maybe there could be some yeast-based implant to metabolize the yest-based toxins. I'm thinking some kind of Borg-esque kind of thing.

Additionally, achievements.

Farts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27421755)

Too bad, they can't make a car running of my farts. I could probably power the whole city considering the smell of them.

Soylent Hippies (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27421757)

Smells like victory with some notes of patchouli and just a flutter of hemp.

I hear they already have a name for it (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421761)

iDrunk.

Ah, come one someone had to say it.

Re:I hear they already have a name for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27421801)

Yeah, I don't have any need for it, but I'll be first in line for one of these. As FSM as my witness, I will never buy vodka again!

Re:I hear they already have a name for it (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422559)

That, and Drunken Doughnuts.

'Creepy?' (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421767)

What's so creepy about that? Would you prefer implants to be nuclear powered?

Re:'Creepy?' (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421867)

Would you prefer implants to be nuclear powered?

Yes, actually. [lanl.gov] I'd much rather have a shielded alpha emitter in my chest than a biological organism leaking toxic wastes.

Re:'Creepy?' (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422099)

Especially since it allows one to brag on Slashdot about being an Atomic Man. "Hey, babe, I live off plutonium. How cool is that?"

Re:'Creepy?' (1)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422119)

  Can't the human body already metabolize most yeast byproducts?

  The problem with nuclear power sources is that they have a minimum effective size. They wouldn't work for nanobots, assuming we ever figure out how to build cellular repair machinery that small. (Feynman pointed out once that there is no physical barrier to doing so - although the engineering is turning out to be hellishly difficult)

SB

Re:'Creepy?' (1)

JRIsidore (524392) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422665)

Does it come with a Fallout Boy?

Re:'Creepy?' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27422031)

How would a compressed teryon beam affect this implant?

Hey now. (4, Funny)

castorvx (1424163) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421797)

Legitimate news? We need to keep this site as useless as possible today. You're not helping.

Re:Hey now. (5, Informative)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421921)

Read the FA, especially linked journal summary, published back in December.

http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/search/wrapper.jsp?arnumber=4671110 [ieee.org]

  This isn't an April Fools joke.

  This is brilliant. There's been a lot of scifi stories that hypothesized implants that run off of neural impulses; this isn't limited by the extremely small amounts of electricity that the nervous system generates.

  Waste is definitely going to be a problem, but one that's likely solvable by engineering yeast that produce waste that can be metabolized and flushed out by the liver or kidneys.

  This may also be an answer to the problem of powering nanomachines that repair the human body. I'm hardly an expert in the field, anyone who is (and is still here today) care to comment?

SB

Re:Hey now. (4, Informative)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422109)

This isn't an April Fools joke.

That was the parent's point.

"We need to keep this site as useless as possible today. You're not helping."

"Legitimate news?" wasn't questioning the legitimacy of the article, it was questioning why there was legitimate news today.

Re:Hey now. (1)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422165)

  I did get the sarcasm. It was just a good place to insert my post and try to head off any potential idiots at the pass, so to speak ;)

SB

I couldn't help but think.... (1)

netruner (588721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422185)

I was honestly thinking this was an April Fool's joke.

When I read the headline, I conjured the disturbing mental image of stuffing bodies into the gas tank of my car.

Re:Hey now. (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422263)

This is brilliant. There's been a lot of scifi stories that hypothesized implants that run off of neural impulses; this isn't limited by the extremely small amounts of electricity that the nervous system generates.

Well yes, when you think about it, it makes all the sense in the world. Our blood is in many ways a vehicle for carrying chemical fuel to "power" our bodies. So if you're going to implant something that needs to draw power, of course you'd want to see if you could draw power from that same source. So apparently yeast may be a decent mechanism for doing do.

Of course, it does make me wonder exactly how much power can be drawn, and whether it would reach some point where implanted devices would be competing with your own body for nutrients. In a way, it's like they're trying to build an artificial symbiotic parasite.

Re:Hey now. (3, Insightful)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422521)

  One can always introduce more nutrients into the body to compensate, if it becomes a problem.

  Your point about artificial symbiotic parasites is right on target. I think that's more likely to be the path we take in repairing body damage - destroying cancers and fixing cellular damage - than nanomachines are.

SB

Re:Hey now. (1)

soren202 (1477905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422541)

Yeah, I'm just waiting for human trials, where the host is overtaken by yeast and dies due to malnourishement..... or just becomes obscenely fat due to the increased food requirements from the yeast.

Re:Hey now. (1)

Ironlenny (1181971) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422603)

This isn't an April Fools joke.

Then what kind of joke is it?

oh sure, works great... (0, Troll)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421823)

Until they douche.

If its not april Fools (4, Interesting)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421825)

Is anybody else a little wary of yeast cells that can live inside the human body and process blood? They're talking about implanting these inside the body to power pacemakers. I didn't see anything in the article about april fools.

This kind of takes a yeast infection to a whole new level, the original kind is already hard enough to get rid of, and its not systemic. Fungal infections inside the body are very hard to treat because fungi cells are so similar to animal cells and its hard to kill one without harming the other.

I guess its time for the obligatory "I for one welcome our vampiric mono-cellular overlords."

Re:If its not april Fools (3, Informative)

Cube Steak (1520237) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421895)

The yeast they are talking about here is not Candida albicans which is the strain that causes yeast infection. In this they are most likely talking about Saccharomyces cerevisiae which is just ordinary brewers yeast and is harmless. Do you really think they would be dumb enough to stick a known pathogen in someone's body?

Re:If its not april Fools (2, Informative)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422059)

If the implant is to be more useful than a battery, it needs to last longer than the lifespan of a single yeast cell. In order for that to happen, the yeast needs to be able to reproduce inside the body. Chances are, they'll work out a way for the immune system to not attack the blood/yeast barrier (rejection is bad) or get them to not attack the yeast itself through immune system suppression drugs. If the yeast can live, reproduce, and produce waste products in blood (or what diffuses across the barrier) in the implant, it might be able to do that outside the implant.

Sounds like they're taking a non-pathogen and turning it into something that can survive and reproduce in the body. Whether or not it thrives once it gets there remains to be seen. It might not put out enough waste that its immediately noticable, but what happens if this gets loose in someone with a weak immune system? They might ferment to death.

Re:If its not april Fools (2, Insightful)

Cube Steak (1520237) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422191)

It might not put out enough waste that its immediately noticable, but what happens if this gets loose in someone with a weak immune system?

I'm pretty sure anyone who has one of these things is probably going to get routine checkups from their physician to make sure the device is functioning alright. It's not as if they are just going to stick this in you and then just forget about it.

They might ferment to death.

No, they wouldn't. The amount of glucose a yeast cell consumes is extremely small and the amount of ethanol produced is as well (and would be metabolized faster than it could build up). We'd have to be talking about many magnitudes more yeast cells than are going to be in this battery to survive in your body for quite some time to actually have any detrimental effect.

Re:If its not april Fools (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422335)

We'd have to be talking about many magnitudes more yeast cells than are going to be in this battery to survive in your body for quite some time to actually have any detrimental effect.

Which could be the result of a systemic infection that would go undetected due to the small amount of waste produced by the yeast up until the point that the boiling frog dies. But once it is in the blood stream, the difficulties in treating a fungal infection return. (I.E. its very hard to do without significant harm to the host).

I know that they're not going to implant these and dump the patients in the street, but anybody who has set a cup of warm water with some yeast and sugar on the counter for 10 minutes will see the power of exponential reproduction. The results would be similar to an antibiotic resistant bacterial infection, and by the time the bacteria reaches your blood stream, it can go really bad overnight.

Re:If its not april Fools (2, Interesting)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422651)

  Aren't yeast cells relatively large, as well? Since glucose molecules are pretty small, I'd imagine it'd be fairly easy to build a filter to keep the yeast out of the bloodstream.

SB

Re:If its not april Fools (1)

HappyHead (11389) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421945)

Yeah, that's what I was thinking too when I read the article. They have to have a way for the yeast to get access to the nutrients, and they'd be alive and reproducing (yeast is like that...) so wouldn't there be a chance of it breaking free of the fuel cell? Designing the cell to have pores "too small" for the yeast to pass just means that you would have to wait for a mutation in the yeast cells (low probability, but still possible) that made them small enough to get out - into your blood supply, which is food for them...

Re:If its not april Fools (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422367)

People already have yeast in their body, particularly if they have a high sugar intake (ie any westerner). There's yeast everywhere; what makes the inside of your body different?

Granted, it's not the kind of yeast you can make bread with (easily). But it's still there, feeding on sugars.

Re:If its not april Fools (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422543)

True, but the immune system probably knows what to do with those varieties when they get into the blood stream. Are those varieties parked in the bloodstream? Do they feed/reproduce in a blood type environment? (I'm not familiar enough with this to know for certain about those.)

There are plenty of bacteria in your intestines that would kill you if they crossed over to the bloodstream, so safely contained pathogens aren't as good of an analog as something that lives and exists in other systems that aren't as isolated.

While this won't be plague worthy (its blood borne without a way to jump from person to person), on an individual level, it could be like injecting a pathogen into a person with no evolutionary or genetic protection from it.

Diabetes Management (4, Interesting)

BarefootClown (267581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421829)

If this were used to power a glucose meter and microprocessor, and throttled appropriately, could it be used to manage blood sugar for diabetics?

Re:Diabetes Management (2, Insightful)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422251)

  I don't know about managing blood sugar - that's pretty complicated - but one could certainly build an implantable glucose monitor using this technology.

  Yeast are thriving? Glucose levels are high. Dying? Low...

SB

Re:Diabetes Management (5, Funny)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422307)

If this were used to power a glucose meter and microprocessor, and throttled appropriately, could it be used to manage blood sugar for diabetics?

Until the yeast gets smart enough to figure out that it can fudge the results to feed itself.

Re:Diabetes Management (1)

gluefish (899099) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422351)

An extension of the concept could go so far as to suggest not only diabetes monitoring, but blood sugar management and even weight management. If this gets into the science fiction realm, and gets popular, it could even drive it into real-life devices. So now imagine: A device that powers off your blood glucose, or the yeast in your blood, or anything else that could drive a fuel cell. Now imagine that driving an actuator that will enhance the strength of an arm or leg, or drive a microprocessor / brain interface... you see how far this concept could be taken.

!aprilfools ?? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421849)

This article is the most believable of any of the articles today... I wonder if it's true?

Geez, I'm probably the fool...

Re:!aprilfools ?? (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421909)

It references a paper published in December, so like the autism article, I'd assume it's either serious, or a prank with a lot of build-up.

Re:!aprilfools ?? (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422271)

Have you seen it being published in December. It's not like they can't lie about the date :P

Re:!aprilfools ?? (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422297)

. -> ?

# why can't i write only 6 characters in a comment? :P

Re:!aprilfools ?? (1)

Paul Pierce (739303) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422117)

you aren't alone. I almost don't read /. on April fools for this reason.

The rest of the year I read slashdot, pretend I know what everyone is talking about, and feel smart. On April 1st I just feel dumb.

Re:!aprilfools ?? (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422325)

That's what I thought,too. BTW, AFD is a terrible day to have mod points....

Wait, is this a serious story? (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421865)

A serious story at last? Pah! I remember in the old days when Slashdot would run nothing but fake stories all April Fools' Day long! It's so much worse now, I don't know who to believe, who to trust. I feel confusion and disorientation in every turn! I guess I'll do some real work, then!

Re:Wait, is this a serious story? (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421919)

Damn, are we that desperate today? WORK?!

Yeah, maybe...

Fat People Irony? (0, Flamebait)

lemur3 (997863) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421877)

What about the crap that closes up the arteries? Will that effect your pace maker ? Can your pace Maker battery be clogged by that crap?

Re:Fat People Irony? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27422091)

Given that it takes years for the plaque to build up enough to cause problems, and that this is mainly being brought forward for elderly people with heart conditions who probably couldn't survive follow-up operations to replace batteries, it's probably not a concern.

Awesome idea, but.. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27421879)

What happens when you get a yeast infection and need to take anti-fungals? Are these yeast going to be fungicide resistant, or are you going to have to replace the implant?

Unless you could make the container impermeable to fungicides but permeable to everything the yeast need. Might not be possible depending on the fungicide.

Re:Awesome idea, but.. (5, Informative)

Cube Steak (1520237) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422023)

Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or brewer's yeast, which is what they are using doesn't cause yeast infections. You are thinking of the pathogenic strain Candida albicans.

Re:Awesome idea, but.. (2, Interesting)

Perp Atuitie (919967) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422397)

No, s/he's asking if the fungicides used to treat yeast infections would also attack the "good" yeast. And while we're at it, what about reglar ol' antibiotics?

And I thought bats were a problem, (3, Funny)

yakatz (1176317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421911)

now we may have to worry about vampire cars and vampire houses too?

If people can use this descovery to power other things, you might need to walk around in a full suit of armor to keep your blood to your self.

Could we generate power... (4, Funny)

thered2001 (1257950) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421929)

...using this technology and the artificial blood from yesterday's story?

sugar! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27421937)

Giving new blood(aha) to the term 'sugar rush'.

Vamp Cell?! (1)

Cur8or (1220818) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421949)

This has to be an April fools thing. Would you give blood to get your mobile phone running again? You're going to lose weight, I guess.

Cybernetic Implants (3, Interesting)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#27421957)

Besides the importance of creating pacemakers without batteries that have to be surgically removed, doesn't this edge us closer to electronics built into humans.

Most likely it will have to low power ARM processor related, but imaging if you could have a blue tooth cochlear implant, built in throat mike, and SSD storage built in to your own being.

You could be tethered to your energy consuming 3g device and have conversations without a head set (aka Ghost in the shell).

Of course if they can figure a way for you to have conversations without actually talking so you don't look crazy...

Is this a serious post... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27421985)

...or another unfunny post like everything else on /. today.

The Matrix? (1)

Andy_w715 (612829) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422033)

nfm

Useful! (1)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422113)

How long until someone has a power source embedded in their arm? A person could plug in their laptop and run it indefinitely, while losing weight at the same time.

So many stories to choose from (1)

EldonL (1478517) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422129)

Do we have to choose the least or most obvious April Fools story today?

I can hear it now (1)

CDOS_CDOS run (669823) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422131)

Damn ... another yeast infection

yeah right.... (3, Funny)

inerlogic (695302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422157)

you lost me at "Canadian researchers"

So thats why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27422203)

cops eat so many donuts. Or perhaps we could fit this technology on sharks with lasers mounted on there head......

Just imagine, cities powered by... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27422207)

yucky poon....

Eliminating waste products is easy (4, Interesting)

Morgaine (4316) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422245)

TFA didn't really phrase the paragraph about waste elimination too well.

It's not so much that "leaching out of harmful substances into the bloodstream" is a problem. The real issue is devising a process for the yeasts that produces only normal metabolic waste. Given that, waste elimination is really easy, since the body has terrific mechanisms for locking up toxins and circulatory systems for eliminating them.

Re:Eliminating waste products is easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27422623)

Yeah, I'm glad I'm not the only one that thought this shouldn't be an issue.

The real issue, as I see it, is to produce a filter that allows the food to go in, the waste to go out, but keeps the reproducing fungi in place.

Suspicious funding.... (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422269)

Was this research funded by the estate of Bela Lugosi?

Re:Suspicious funding.... (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422301)

You might call it the Transylvanian Connection.

I need... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27422303)

I live in MN. I need a car that runs on snow.

Names. (1)

Tavor (845700) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422309)

I shall call my first pacemaker Nosferatu, just for this very reason.

Can there be any doubt... (2, Funny)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422317)

...the science fiction/teen slasher movie that's bound to come out of this will have the words "mutant" and "beer" in the title?

Anyone having a Strange Brew flashback? (5, Funny)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422363)

Sorry, but when I saw the summation about Canadian scientists and beer yeast on April 1st, my mind immediately went to some kind of mutated Bob & Doug McKenzie flashback.

Doug McKenzie: I am your father, Luke. Give in to the dark side of the force, you knob.
Bob McKenzie: He saw Jedi 17 times, eh.
Doug McKenzie: Hey I just thought of something, what if we could harness the power of the force from the beer yeast that would feed on human blood? Somekinda Vampire beer power, eh?
Bob McKenzie: Take off, eh!

Seems like this will be difficult to sustain (1)

fragMasterFlash (989911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422399)

One of the many tricky bits in implementing a yeast or other biological based in vivo power source will be in maintaining balance. Too little yeast and it would seem that immunities in the body would deplete it, too much and the culture will grow unchecked. Would antibiotics be required on an ongoing basis to sustain a controlled yeast population?

Hm... Yeasty! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27422477)

So yeasty girls can power their implants by sucking down ding-dongs and ho-hos...?

A dream come true... (2, Funny)

Perp Atuitie (919967) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422481)

My own private vampire.

Sure, RIGHT. (3, Insightful)

glindsey (73730) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422517)

You know, Slashdot could've gone the way of Wikipedia, which has a bunch of crazy entries on the front page which are actually truthful in some way (albeit usually misleading in a humorous way). Instead we get the usual "HUR HUR MICROSOFT RELEASES CP/M 9.2" bullshit.

Oh, wait, what? This one is serious? Nah, can't be. I mean, you've cried wolf how often?

Why does ANYONE post stories on April 1st??? (3, Insightful)

rstanley (758673) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422605)

I can't take ANY story seriously today! I have been bitten too many times to believe ANYTHING posted today! ;^)

Happy April Fools Day to everyone!

Wow. Synergy. (1)

Perp Atuitie (919967) | more than 5 years ago | (#27422611)

Just happened to scroll down some after reading this. Not only will the batteries keep our mechanical add-ons working, they can have a Repo Man. [slashdot.org] No more late payments to our poor "health care" enforcers.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27422659)

Couldn't a weight loss device be built with this?

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