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Bacteria Can Build Nanowires

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the everyone's-favorite-buzzword dept.

94

Roland Piquepaille writes "Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have discovered that under certain conditions, some very common bacteria can form nanowires. These bacteria were able to produce nanowires as small as 10 nanometers in diameter, but which can reach hundreds of microns in length. What is interesting here is that these nanowires are electrically conductive ones. This means that bacteria could be used to build microbial fuel cells or bacteria-powered batteries. As one researcher said, 'Earth appears to be hard-wired.'"

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94 comments

Bacteria powered pacemakers? (2, Insightful)

Zyprexia (988133) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704127)

bacteria powered accu cells.. I'm not a scientist, But i always heared that bacteria multiply faster in warm en high humidity environments. So how much influance would this have an the power or lifetime? That this might be handy for pacemakers and other 'internal' devices in the human body which need some degree of power. The human body has in theory a stable temperature.

Re:Bacteria powered pacemakers? (1)

vstanescu (522393) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704161)

But are you sure you want those specific bacteria inside your body?

Re:Bacteria powered pacemakers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15704170)

No, but I'm absolutely sure that I don't want battery acid inside my body.

Re:Bacteria powered pacemakers? (2, Informative)

nitro2k01 (988379) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704178)

But energy can't be created. No matter what you need an energy source. Pace makers use well isolated, acid-free silver batteries as of today.

Re:Bacteria powered pacemakers? (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704206)

new "bacteria powered" pacemakers could get their energy from "food" and oxygen in the blood, just make sure the power "element" is immersed in blood or has been given a blood supply and that there is a means for "food" & oxygen molecules to pass one way and ONLY waste to pass the other way...

Re:Bacteria powered pacemakers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15705030)

What happens to the bacterial pacemaker when you take an antibiotic for some other infection?

Re:Bacteria powered pacemakers? (1)

l33t_f33t (974521) | more than 7 years ago | (#15724135)

generally speaking antibiotics tend to be specific, so they wouldn't affect thhese bacteria.

Re:Bacteria powered pacemakers? (0, Redundant)

FirienFirien (857374) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704179)

What? Bacterial power? The article is about building nanowires, nothing in there at all about power at all...

Re:Bacteria powered pacemakers? (2, Informative)

Zyprexia (988133) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704190)

The text litery says: This means that bacteria could be used to build bacteria-powered batteries.

In Soviet Russia... (1)

ijakings (982830) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704244)

Bacteria power YOU

In Soviet Russia... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15704411)

Tired old cliché makes terribly convoluted and unfunny jokes about YOU!

Re:Bacteria powered pacemakers? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15705079)

Bacteria can build conductive nanowires? Wow. The chances of anything so incredibly useful evolving by chance are so small, I think this could be used as a proof for the nonexistence of God.

Re:Bacteria powered pacemakers? (1)

andrewman327 (635952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15707618)

The way I read it, TFA is talking about bacteria building wires, not the power supplies themselves.

Re:Bacteria powered pacemakers? (1)

Zyprexia (988133) | more than 7 years ago | (#15710940)

Well, actually they're talking about microbes that are doing all kind of stuff. In stead of a wire they could also build a battery cell; As also mentioned in the (PNNL) article. Now you need a operation to get a pacemaker. But if these bacteria also have some sort of in-build 'gps' device, they you could just swallow a cup with a drink containing these bacteria. So, some of the bacteria would build the wires to connect some heart mussles, other bacteria build the battery cell. As operations always have several risks, this could be in time an adequate solutions to prevent those risks. From the PNNL article:
Gorby and colleagues induced nanowires in a variety of bacteria and demonstrated that they were electrically conductive
Bereft of these "electron acceptors," bacterial nanowires "will literally reach out and connect cells from one to another to form an electrically integrated community," Gorby said.
To measure currents as precisely as possible, Gorby and colleagues from the University of Southern California have built a microbial fuel cell laboratory at PNNL
I'm starting to wonder if you even read the article..

Mutation danger (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15704142)

Considering how rapidly bacteria tend to evolve, entrusting the production of wires to them may have unforseen and possibly devastating consequences. If a mutated bacterium produced a slightly incorrect wire, it may wreck a machine causing financial damage and maybe even injury. This is obviously pure speculation and it can be carried on... what about if an evil wire-eating bacterium evolved, for example?

Re:Mutation danger (2, Funny)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704168)

Considering how rapidly bacteria tend to evolve, entrusting the production of wires to them may have unforseen and possibly devastating consequences.

Don't Worry!! We can Genetically Engineer(TM) that evolution out of the little critters! Plus We can make them construct the wires, Better, Stronger, Faster!!! No I didn't see Jurassic Park, What's your Point!?!!?

Gene Therapy(TM) is the Future of the Human Race!!!!! Of All Life on Earth!!!11111oneoneeleven

Re:Mutation danger (1)

stunt_penguin (906223) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704706)

Dr. Ian Malcolm: God creates bacteria. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates bacteria...
Dr. Ellie Sattler: Bacteria eat man. Woman inherits the earth...

At least, I think that's how it went _^^

Re:Mutation danger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15740076)

shut the fuck up you fat faggot. go to hell. we're sick of hearing your shit. you're a loser and a wanna-be.

Re:Mutation danger (4, Insightful)

Jesapoo (929240) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704171)

I don't see how it's different from using any natural product as a material used to make anything else. Wood, Rubber, Oil - these are all natural products with varying quality from item to item. You need to check each one - quality control. Surely this is exactly the same. Natural Nanowires would have to be tested to make sure they were suitable

Re:Mutation danger (1)

nitro2k01 (988379) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704233)

What Jesapoo said. And I think the risk of evolving bacteria that use the intelligence in the circuit to "take over the world" is very small, since they'll wash all the bacteria away before distribution, and as Jesappo said, do quiality testing.

Re:Mutation danger (4, Interesting)

Tx (96709) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704176)

Considering how rapidly bacteria tend to evolve...

I'm no microbiologist, but I suspect that statement is a bit simplistic. Some bacteria are very well known for their ability to resist and repair damage to their DNA, even under very harsh conditions. I guess choosing the right bacteria would be kind of important.

Antibactite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15707028)

Considering how rapidly bacteria tend to evolve...

I'm no microbiologist, but I suspect that statement is a bit simplistic. Some bacteria are very well known for their ability to resist and repair damage to their DNA, even under very harsh conditions. I guess choosing the right bacteria would be kind of important.


So there's a right kind of bacteria, eh? It's well known that SOME bacteria can repair their DNA - others, well, you know. Pretty soon we have nano concentration camps and little nano arm bands.

Boring. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15704146)

Yawn. Wake me when they have bacteria that eat the flesh of Roland Piquepaille.

Genetic algorithms' hardware analogue? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15704147)

I imagine with machines built by bacteria it would be possible to create a situation where the ideal harware design is evolved - similar to how genetic programming techniques today evolve software solutions. Maybe we'd even learn something new and exciting about hardware design.

Re:Genetic algorithms' hardware analogue? (0, Troll)

kjorn (687709) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704269)

Modded INTERESTING?!

WTF! How the hell would this work? Bacteria could 'somehow' evolve to make better machines. Hm. Yeh. Right.

Take a look at the timescale of evolution, then take a decient engineer and see how fast they build and prototype a product (HINT: it doesn't take millions of years to make a new, better iPod)

And I had fucking mod points, but there isn't an 'idiotic' mod.

Re:My teacher was a bacteria colony? (2, Funny)

rowama (907743) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704335)

Ms. Coli: Today's lesson is brought to you by the letter "W"

Engineer student: Oh I thought this was Hardware Design 101, not politics.

Surfer: Dude, y'er thinking Dubya. The prof wants to talk about Wire again this semester.

Ms. Coli: Actually, we will be talking about Wire for the next 3.5 million semesters. Today we begin trying to understand why it hurts when the wire comes out.

Re:Genetic algorithms' hardware analogue? (1)

RsG (809189) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704344)

Wouldn't it be simpler, in the case you specified, to do the designs on a computer instead and then use the aforementioned "genetic programming techniques"? Why involve an organism at all?

Assuming the bacteria themselves aren't going to be used in the finished product, then what possible gain is there in using them in both design and construction? If you must have an evolved element in the design (and I do see the advantage here), then it makes far more sense to develop the blueprints for whatever it is you want ahead of time using genetic computer modeling and then just use the bacteria to make the finished product. Cheaper and probably faster than doing it the old fashioned way.

Re:Genetic algorithms' hardware analogue? (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704580)

I'm not sure that doesn't presuppose that biological development (ie evolution) is deterministic, it's not.

The value of biological development in evolution is the number of parallel iterations over time, and the system's redundancy. In the same sense, we look at biological systems now and marvel at their complexity, but really, we're seeing the itsy-bitsy proportion of successes and NOT immediately noticing that behind it is a huge timespan and multitudes of failures.

I have no doubt that EVENTUALLY such organisms might have something to teach us...but in the same timeframe in which they repeatedly 'try' to succeed, I expect that we'll probably have learned more, faster.

Re:Genetic algorithms' hardware analogue? (1)

settrans (902777) | more than 7 years ago | (#15705383)

Hold on a minute. I don't think that's how evolution works.

The evolution of the bacteria is driven by natural selection. Natural selection is a wonderful and amazing force of nature; it has enabled the elephant with its all-purpose trunk, birds with aerodynamic and flight-sustaining wings, and humans with their vastly complex brain.

Natural selection has limitations, however. It is entirely blind to the future--it cannot even see one generation in advance. If a given mutation works out for an organism, it lives longer and has more offspring. Likewise, no organism can evolve to break the limitations of the proteins they are composed of, so don't expect sharks to develop propellors, regardless of the evolutionary advantage that may allow.

The cyanobacteria mentioned in the article thrive when their adaptations enable them to photosynthesize most effectively; this is how they gain energy and propagate. It just so happens that these bacteria excrete conductive nanowires that might have exciting electronics applications. Even if this waste was enabling in their photosynthesis and allowed them to propagate more successfully, it is highly unlikely that mutating into a strand that magically wires useful circuits for human use would give them a significant evolutionary advantage.

Simply put, I just don't see these bacteria evolving into Intel's next competitor.

Re:Genetic algorithms' hardware analogue? (1)

Relic of the Future (118669) | more than 7 years ago | (#15705922)

Genetic programming techniques are already being used to design computer hardware. Simulated aneeling(sp?), for example, is used to find near-minimal-length trace layouts.

What would you clean the wires with? (3, Funny)

celardore (844933) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704181)

If you used any kind of germicide or the like on your wires / kit, you'd be screwed!

Re:What would you clean the wires with? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15706257)

Why?

You surely want the bacteria dead once you have built your circuit anyway. If you keep them alive, they could carry on making more wire which may then cause a short circuit and then screw up your circuit completely.

Ok, I know it was supposed to be a joke, but it was based on a stupid assumption.

Obligatory (1, Funny)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704191)

I, for one, welcome our new electrical bacterium overlords.

Re:Obligatory (1)

Yorrike (322502) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704220)

I do too. Given enough time, they could spell out letters and words in those wires, giving us original and genuinely funny jokes to use on Slashdot. They could, perhaps, give a reasonable solution to these endless and pointless, clichéd "jokes".

The original, unedited article HERE! (1, Offtopic)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704286)

Live Wires

A microbiologist discovers our planet is hard-wired with electricity-producing Slashdot posters

RICHLAND, Wash. -- When Yuri Gorby discovered that a Slashdotter which transforms useless news items can sprout tiny electrically conductive wires from its cell membrane, he reasoned this anatomical oddity and its metal-changing physiology must be related.

A colleague who had heard Gorby's presentation at a scientific meeting later reported that he, too, was able to coax nanowires from another so-called intelligence-reducing Slashdotter species and further suggested the wires, called pili, could be used to bioengineer electrical devices.

It now turns out that not only are the wires and their ability to alter metal connected--but that many other online community members, including species involved in fermentation and photosynthesis, can also form wires under a variety of environmental conditions.

"Earth appears to be hard-wired," said Gorby, staff scientist at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, who documents the seeming ubiquity of digitally conductive Slashdotter life in the July 10 advance online Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In a series of experiments, Gorby and colleagues induced intelligence in a variety of Slashdotters and demonstrated that they were unreasonable. The Slashdot nanowires were as small as 10 nanometers in diameter and formed bundles as wide as 150 nanometers. They grew to be tens of microns to hundreds of microns long.

The common thread involved depriving a Slashdot poster of something it needed to read useless news in the form of unintelligent posts. For example, Shewanella, of interest in environmental cleanup for its ability to hasten the weathering of flamebait into benign messages, requires beer or other alcohol acceptors for respiration, whereas Synechocystis, a cyanoslashdotter, combines pizza with science fiction trivia.

Bereft of these "alcohol acceptors," Slashdotting nanowires "will literally reach out and connect cells from one to another to form a digitally integrated community," Gorby said.

"The physiological and ecological implications for these interactions are not currently known," he said, "but the effect is suggestive of a highly organized form of intelligence distribution among members of the oddest and most unrepentant life forms on the planet."

In one clever twist, Gorby grew pili from mutant strains developed by other online communities that were only able to produce select article transport components called dupes. Sure enough, the nanowires of the mutants were poor conductors.

"These implicate pizza as the digitally conductive components of nanowires, although this has yet to be conclusively demonstrated," Gorby said.

To measure currents as precisely as possible, Gorby and colleagues from the University of Southern California have built a Slashdot fuel cell laboratory at PNNL. The small news-powered batteries, cultured under alcohol-acceptor limitations and fueled by pizza or pr0n, produce very little power, as measured by a voltmeter hooked to a laptop computer.

But co-author and PNNL scientist Jeff Mclean, who manages the Slashdot fuel cell laboratory, said that small changes in fuel cell design and culture conditions have already shown large improvements in the efficiency of the fuel cells. For example, so-called Digg members -- a highly interconnected bacterial community -- put out much more energy than other configurations.

Re:The original, unedited article HERE! (1)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 7 years ago | (#15708785)


  "100% Informative"

  Uh, mods? :-)

SB

Re:The original, unedited article HERE! (1)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 7 years ago | (#15709502)

I posted the thing and even I can't figure out how it is even remotely informative. *scratching head*

/. really is going downhill, I guess.

Re:The original, unedited article HERE! (1)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 7 years ago | (#15709747)

Yeah.

  Now it's "offtopic".

  Eh? WTF?

  guess the mod_crack module is being beta tested again, while mod_humor_sense is SOL. Must. Insert. Mod_thc module :-)

  *shrug* ;-)

  Downhill barely begins to describe it, IMNSHO, sigh. I mean there's serious, there's humor, and then there's serious humor... come on, people, get a fucking GRIP.

SB

Hooray and W00t in order. (3, Funny)

rtyall (960518) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704234)

This could mean we'll all get to have mobile phones that we can barely even see the screen on, because they're so small. Fuck sidekicks, nanobutton phones where it's at.

I hate to point this out (1, Flamebait)

perrin5 (38802) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704258)

Because it's the opposite of what slashdot usually does...

This has been around for at least a year, and the first group to find it was NOT PNL. It was Derek Lovely.

OH WAIT!!! Here's the original story:
http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/08/0 9/0348241 [slashdot.org]

The difference here is that they have shown that the wires are conductive, and carbon based. This too is something that has been worked on for a while.

Re:I hate to point this out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15704594)

It's been around for a while, true, but the guy's name is Derek _Lovley_.

Re:I hate to point this out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15704839)

Derek Lovley found nanowires in Geobacter. This is in Shewanella.

Virus scan your batteries (2, Funny)

mjjw (560868) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704271)

Just don't run a virus scan on your laptop power supply.

Re:Virus scan your batteries (1)

bcattwoo (737354) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704553)

Just don't run a virus scan on your laptop power supply.

Captain NoHumor here to point out that bacterium != virus !

Re:Virus scan your batteries (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704669)

Good thing we have you to inject a unnecessary level of seriousness into conversation, Captain NoHumor.

Do you do parties? There's one coming up I'd like to ruin.

Re:Virus scan your batteries (1)

Marcos Eliziario (969923) | more than 7 years ago | (#15709787)

Err... Sometimes pretending you have no humour IS humour. A lot of british humour is based preciselly on that idea.

I knew Douglas Adams was right. (4, Funny)

Jsleeman (988390) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704278)

"Earth appears to be hard-wired." The Earth is a giant super computer and the answer to the Universe is 42!

Re:I knew Douglas Adams was right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15704469)

Yes, but what is the question?

Re:I knew Douglas Adams was right. (1)

agquarx (803258) | more than 7 years ago | (#15718221)

Everyone and everythink repeating this nauseating figure (or is it a number?) over and over a-gain SHOULD (per RFC definition of should) count how many fingers one has and how many hands with those fingers are needed to create a sound effect affecting anything at all or somethink. Oh, and ponder smoke and mirrors. This is not a joke, I am simply a mad scientist and you know what follows by induction...whatever it is...let's look that up on en.wikipedia.org...BTW - you are right too or was it left? Those who are into biochemistry know what I tried to mean, while holding to the concept of love (Sorry, but my iPod mistress Amphitrite randomly choose to remind me not to mess with the minds of my readers too much with that Cranberries song...), but didn't read en.wikipedia.org long enough ;-} { A.A }

Bacteria in your pc (1)

Roy van Rijn (919696) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704283)

Imagine having bacteria in you pc, buiding and moving wires for you as it grows. You buy a pc, give it food and water and you can see it grow ;-)

Enough kidding around, its good news, this will probably make it easier to create the tubes, and the cost of producing them will probably go down. The age of nano-tubes has arrived! (maybe?)

Re:Bacteria in your pc (1)

satcomdaddy1 (938185) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704423)

Imagine having bacteria in you pc, buiding and moving wires for you as it grows. You buy a pc, give it food and water and you can see it grow ;-)
Yes, folks, it's the ChiaComputer! Ron Popeil will have a field day with this!

Re:Bacteria in your pc (1)

honor, not armor (904095) | more than 7 years ago | (#15705343)

You buy a pc, give it food and water and you can see it grow ;-)
You mean for the cost of just a little food and water, I can upgrade to a Radeon X1900GT?

Re: Grow your own? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15706406)

In five years...

"I bought a Mac because the locusts in our region tore through our Windows PCs."

secure firewall (1)

dino213b (949816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704319)

This application can be expanded; lets think outside the box for a minute.

First there was a lock. Then you had a guy in front of the door with a gun. Then there was encryption.

Now, there is a deadly strain of bacteria that not only powers the server but protects it from hacking. The ultimate solution in biological protection. Order yours now.

Re:secure firewall (1)

mjjw (560868) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704355)

Damn computer! It gave me a cold when I tried to use it!

Re: Nothing new ... (1)

rowama (907743) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704397)

since computers have been spewing out viruses for a long time. Viruses cause colds, not bacteria. I could be wrong, but I don't think so.

Chip Production (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15704354)

I think you guys have the wrong idea. They're not going to leave the bacteria floating around and building more nano-wires in your laptop. Techniques like this can greatly simplify production (reducing cost and increasing productivity), but being able to "control" bacteria so that they can "control" your computer is a little outside the realm of possibility. (At least for now. Soon as we get remote-controlled bacteria, then you guys can have at it.)

Fry's worms (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704387)

Didn't we already see this demonstrated in the Futurama episode where Fry eats the sandwich from the 20th century? I mean, those were worms, but they were tiny and seemed to be rewireing Fry okay. I know I could sure use some of them worms...

Obligatory patent reference (1)

PhysicsPhil (880677) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704640)

Didn't we already see this demonstrated in the Futurama episode where Fry eats the sandwich from the 20th century? I mean, those were worms, but they were tiny and seemed to be rewireing Fry okay. I know I could sure use some of them worms...

Now if someone tries to patent this method, Futurama will surely count as prior art!

Re:Fry's worms (1)

Matimus (598096) | more than 7 years ago | (#15705485)

The sandwich was from a space truck stop vending machine not the 20th century. It was egg salad.

Re:Fry's worms (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#15705667)

You're right. I think I've got it mixed up with the episode of News Radio when Phil Hartman's charecter eats the who knows how old sandwich from a vending machine.

I wonder (3, Funny)

StarfishOne (756076) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704422)

I wonder if we will ever see companies like Intel and AMD hiring people trained in a biological field. :)

Pentium, Bacterium.. what's in a name? :D

Or: the new PetriDish(tm) cpu: bringing multimedia and culture to your desktop! ;P

This is not a power technology (3, Informative)

smartalix (84502) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704490)

Let's be careful when talking about this tech, as it is a wire-building tech, not a power generation tech. This technology will be able to create the conductive structures needed in those next-gen fuel cells and batteries, but this is not microbial fuel cell technology [electronicproducts.com] .

You know what this means? (1)

salec (791463) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704639)

This means your chips can literally rot (or get "septic") if their encasing is breached and bacterial nanowires short the parts of it. Shure, if the short circuit current is high, no problem (at least not a permanent one) it will fuse out, but if there are shorts between high impedance points...

Hmm.. (1)

michaelvkim (981938) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704670)

The future would revolve around bacteria shit.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 7 years ago | (#15705068)

It already does. Consider this:
The youth are our future.
We send youth to college.
College revolves around booze.
Booze is a waste product of bacteria.
Therefore our future revolves around bacteria waste.

Re:Hmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15706334)

Wrong, booze is a product of yeast, which is a fungus.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 7 years ago | (#15706488)

If you want to get nit picky, it isn't a fungus either.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 7 years ago | (#15706528)

nevermind. I was remembering and old article talking about the genetic uniqueness of yeast. Guess it's still considered a fungus. On the other hand, why are you and I getting worked up about something that was meant as a joke?

Needs this. (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704769)

Everyone understands that there needs to be some way to control the growth and deposition of the bacteria before it's more than just random strands, right?

Bathroom Datacentres (1)

DavidV (167283) | more than 7 years ago | (#15704830)

Some bathrooms are datacentres built on this technology, some people I know have beowoulf clusters of beowoulf clusters in the basin. I have contributed very little to the setup but all combined we are building some high tech bacteria. I wonder though, are we at any risk of our virus getting a virus?

yuo FUail it... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15704946)

irc.secsuP.o8g or

interesting conspiracy theory... (1)

shunz (984596) | more than 7 years ago | (#15705422)

infect people with bacteria, use some wireless/wave to activate bacteria in people, perhaps radiation from a computer monitor? Bacteria infects brain and is better at repairing it's DNA than human cells can... We all become wired zombies :) just a thought ;)

Sorry to tell you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15706754)

This has already happened, the only reason you are able to speak about it is because you haven't been wired yet. Your IP address has been noted and your next day's batch of junkmail will have bacteria included on the outside of the envelope that will make its way into your system when you take it out of your mailbox.

conductive proteins (1)

chaotropic agent (840411) | more than 7 years ago | (#15705504)

One thing I've always wondered is how conductive these wires are. Apparently, very, so what in the protein sequence makes them this way? Pretty cool that proteins can go from stretchy and strong as silk to stiff as collagen to conductive as these things are.

And in a related story... (1)

Elbowgeek (633324) | more than 7 years ago | (#15708109)

Scientist from several major biotechnology companies were seen combing downtown Manhattan and paying hot dog sellers large amounts of money for the contents of their carts...

Looks like a form of cooperation: (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 7 years ago | (#15708348)

Looks like a form of social cooperation. Bug with energy-supplying food but short on electron sink runs wire to bug with electron sink (like maybe more oxygen handy) but short on energy-supplying food. They split the energy. Both benefit.

Possible stepwise evolution: Leakage of electrons from surface of bug provides some electron sink. Growing a conductive whisker improves this. Reducing metal from compunds also sinks electrons - with a side effect of producing conductive metal for wire building.

What's old is new again (1)

BubbaJonBoy (691386) | more than 7 years ago | (#15711866)

There was a researcher in N.C. that had a patent for using bacteria to build integrated circuits and transistors. He used a bacteria that was known to absorb metals and would align themselves with electrical fields. He "drew" the circuit patterns (like an IC layer mask) using a scanning electrom beam on the substrate. A soup with the metal laden bacteria was poured in and fixed somehow. The circuit could then be built in layers. I believe he actually demonstrated transistors and small circuits using this technique.
Oh - and this was in the early 80's...
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