Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Nanotube-Excreting Bacteria Allow Mass Production

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the building-tech-from-the-ground-up dept.

Biotech 73

Invisible Pink Unicorn writes "Engineers at the University of California, Riverside have found semiconducting nanotubes produced by living bacteria — a discovery that could help in the creation of a new generation of nanoelectronic devices. This is the first time nanotubes have been shown to be produced by biological rather than chemical means. In a process that is not yet fully understood, the bacterium secretes polysacarides that seem to produce the template for the arsenic-sulfide nanotubes. These nanotubes behave as metals with electrical and photoconductive properties useful in nanoelectronics. The article abstract is available from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."

cancel ×

73 comments

immature fp (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21622339)

teeheehee
he said secretes

Re:immature fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21622367)

I say Socrates!

Re:immature fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21623419)

that's no secret

If they sh*t it, they eat it... (4, Interesting)

scsirob (246572) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622341)

In general, nature re-uses everything. That means if bacteria excrete nanotubes, there are probably other organisms that feed on them. That makes me wonder if we'll find our wonderful nanotechnology will be vulnerable to organisms eating them...

Re:If they sh*t it, they eat it... (0)

G-News.ch (793321) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622437)

Now all we need to find is a proper use for all the shit that's being produced on the internet every day.

Re:If they sh*t it, they eat it... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21622513)

Shut up. Shut your stupid black mouth.

Re:If they sh*t it, they eat it... (5, Funny)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622725)

This phenomenon is well-known, and has frequently been described in scientific literature under the term "Politicojournalistivorism".

Re:If they sh*t it, they eat it... (1)

RockedMan40 (1130729) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622823)

Okay - now THAT was damn funny !!

Re:If they sh*t it, they eat it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21624045)

+ 1 - I just blew wine out my nose!

Re:If they sh*t it, they eat it... (4, Insightful)

GroeFaZ (850443) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622753)

Every living organism is a special case of chemistry, so if an organism secretes something, that something might also be broken down without help of an organism, so yes, it's possible, but not necessary. Furthermore, should the need arise, I'm sure stuff made from carbon nanotubes can be made resistant to consumption by organisms for its expected lifetime just as for example a wooden ship, or a sheet of paper, or food, or whatever, can.

Re:If they sh*t it, they eat it... (2, Funny)

hanshotfirst (851936) | more than 6 years ago | (#21623119)

Furthermore, should the need arise, I'm sure stuff made from carbon nanotubes can be made resistant to consumption by organisms for its expected lifetime just as for example a wooden ship, or a sheet of paper, or food, or whatever, can.
Unless you own a Labrador retriever. Trust me, they'll eat anything. Mine has an affinity for checkbook registers, including the vinyl cover.

Re:If they sh*t it, they eat it... (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 6 years ago | (#21637765)

<chong>Hey, man, d'you want to smoke some Labrador?</chong>

When they follow this up the food chain ... (1)

timothy (36799) | more than 6 years ago | (#21624005)

They'll find that cats have long been producing our most valuable resource, and we were just too stupid to do anything but throw it out with the litter, instead of creating the awesome future they've been trying to have us construct for them.

timothy

Re:If they sh*t it, they eat it... (3, Interesting)

digitally404 (990191) | more than 6 years ago | (#21624347)

Actually, discussion on the nanotubes from bacteria usually talks about them being used to gain electron neutrality. Some bacteria may serve as acceptors, and others as the donors. What's interesting is that these tubes are also sometimes produced by bacteria seeking metallic elements in order to be able to "dump" their excess electrons, which may be used as a means of manufacturing them.

Bacteria nanutubes have been discovered in 2006, but originally they were coined as nanoWIRES. This was before they took a closer look at the inner composition of the nanowires to discover that they were actually hollow. It's interesting that they have electrical properties.

You know, in the future, the internet may quite literally become a series of tubes.

Re:If they sh*t it, they eat it... (2, Interesting)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21625499)

but these don't seem to be the same composition as the all carbon ones. The chemically made carbon nanotubes have big environmental problems because they're nearly indestructible. One of the original purposes thought of for Buckyballs (the round relative) was to carry molecules of medicine, but in lab rats the balls were so durable they tore thru individual cell walls... perhaps these will have a natural decay rate so they can be widely deployed.

Re:If they sh*t it, they eat it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21625625)

"That means if bacteria excrete nanotubes"

They don't excrete it they build it and then move it outside.

Re:If they sh*t it, they eat it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21625635)

Like coral reefs?

more like a series of tubes (3, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622371)

In a process that is not yet fully understood, the bacterium secretes polysacarides that seem to produce the template for the arsenic-sulfide nanotubes.

Yes, well, at least they've been proven to not be a truck.

Re:more like a series of tubes (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21626179)

FTFA, "arsenic-sulfide nanotubes"; That looks like a Hell of a Deadly combination. Maybe a cousin of this bacteria does the same thing, only with carbon? Or maybe Silicon perchance?

Awesome... (3, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622399)

A new process to create a multi-core CPU and beer at the same time!

I for one (1, Troll)

odinsgrudge (945399) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622489)

Welcome our new Nanotube-excreting bacterial overlords.

arsenic-sulphide? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21622403)

Wouldn't that mean that the waste would be arsenic and sulphide? Just what we need, landfills with arsenic and sulphide leaching into ground water.

Re:arsenic-sulphide? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21622925)

Everyone knows not to mix e-waste with normal garbage, so it doesn't end up in landfills.

Re:arsenic-sulphide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21624443)

As though there were not already tons of gallium arsenide LEDs there already.

Swarm (1, Offtopic)

bmgoau (801508) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622407)

Anyone read Prey by Michael Crichton?

Re:Swarm (1)

SiriusStarr (1196697) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622495)

Dearly love the book; one of my favorites. You seeing shades of it here? Using bacteria to create electrical components? That could then be assembled...

Re:Swarm (1)

H0D_G (894033) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622533)

Prey is an incredibly fanciful representation of nanotechnology. the situation described, as well as many of the properties attributed to nanomachines, is complete fiction. problem is, it's believeable to non-scientists. when talking about nanotechnolgy to non-scientists, I either get "what is that" or "you'll kill us all, grey goo." it's actually a damaging book, in that it actively attempts to hobble a science before it was anywhere near that level of complexity.

Re:Swarm (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21625265)

it's actually a damaging book, in that it actively attempts to hobble a science before it was anywhere near that level of complexity.

Crichton may write what is passed off as "science" fiction, but he's fundamentally anti-technology, anti-progress, and unlike a Clarke or a Heinlein he's not always very careful about working through the numbers to make sure his vision of the future is even remotely probable. I can't stand his stuff for that reason, it's always the same thing. Man reaches for something he doesn't have the wisdom to handle properly, and gets bitchslapped by Mother Nature for overstepping his bounds. It's a common theme running through his books.

Re:Swarm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21627563)

"Man reaches for something he doesn't have the wisdom to handle properly, and gets bitchslapped by Mother Nature for overstepping his bounds."

Funny, that's almost exactly the opposite of Crichton's opinion of humanity's role in global warming.

Re:Swarm (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622539)

Yes, and its a week I could have spent reading something a worthwhile.

Re:Swarm (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622639)

I pretty well gave up on him after the homocidal albino gorillas with stone ping pong bats in Congo and the entire plot of Sphere. For those of us that don't intend to read Prey what are you referring to?

Re:Swarm (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21624979)

It's Cricton. His collected works make up the Luddite's bible. It goes something like this: scientists make technology, demonstrate arrogance and lack of foresight, people die, and the reader's brain is injured by his clunky writing and inability to conceive a plot that doesn't telegraph itself from the dust jacket.

Re:Swarm (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21625387)

At the end of Jurassic Park he had the military (someone's military, I don't think he specified whose) bomb the island to kill all the saurians, and then (of course) had a colony of velociraptors escape the island and make it to the mainland. The presumption was that the raptors would breed and ultimately put us into a world of hurt. That whole book was classic Crichton, but in order to make the film palatable to everyone who made it out of the 1970's, Spielberg had to change ending. I stopped reading Crichton after that one (although I loved the movie.)

Re:Swarm (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21625533)

they sort of put the escape in the second movie when the pterodactyls followed the black helicopters to the mainland.

Re:Swarm (1)

MrKaos (858439) | more than 6 years ago | (#21630149)

Yeah, but that's Crichton's audience, I read Prey, it was ok, I handed it over to a plumber so he could read it, and then my uncle the painter who liked Andromeda Strain and Jur-ass-has-had-it Park. Why?, Cause after they read it their eyes don't glaze over when you talk about nano-shit, they ask questions and when they do that they stop being luddites.

Don't underestimate the value of an author like Crichton just because you're not his target audience. The best thing he could do is write the very stories he does, that raise awareness to an audience that would not know what nano engineering or 'grey goo' is, the very people who need to grasp the concepts, so support at a political level continues and the real science can occur.

Get over it people, thats why they call it fiction - crappy writing style or not, scientific accuracy is not criteria. Crichton is not Clarke, Asimov, Bear, Brin or any of the other 'giants' of Sci-Fi but he still has a place and an audience to people who would never get past the first or second chapter Greg Bear's 'Eon' or 'Forge of God'.

Re:Swarm (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21625617)

I look at the works more as a critique of corporate culture than raw science. The idea that "all obstacles" to profit have to be avoided rather than simply lampooning scientific achievement in general.

Even in computer science/security/privacy I see the same issues as in his books. Just because we CAN track purchases, google searches, etc. doesn't mean we have to or should. Many "normal" people don't see the difference between the ideas of "can" and "should/should not". Middle management (all the way to guys with big bucks like Gates) want things to be "easy" for the masses so they can get money/not lose money. People keep expecting technology to be "magical" and each new thing is marketed as a "silver bullet" and nobody is expected to understand limitations or to be smart enough to work around them and still be safe (or at least principled).

I keeeeeeel him (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622467)

The son of a camel [slashdot.org] who wrote this article has taken the name of the sacred one(BBHHH) in vain! One hundred lashes is not too many!

Re:I keeeeeeel him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21622635)

We killses you and your sacred one, and our bacteria shitses tubes on your headsies!

Re:I keeeeeeel him (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21622785)

Someone please remove or mod down above post.

Re:I keeeeeeel him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21635661)

Hey, raghead - shut the fuck up, you dumbass sand-nigger.

Re:I keeeeeeel him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21622901)

Not just that: I hear some sod named a bear after Him.

whos on first? (1, Redundant)

slyn (1111419) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622491)

Head scientist: What is all this shit?

Scientist: Yes.

HS: What?

S: It's all shit.

HS: What the hell are you babbling about?

S: You asked me what all this was.

HS: And what is it?

S: Shit.

HS: ???

S: OHHH.... shit.... I thought you asked: "What is all this, shit?" My mistake.

Owwie! (4, Funny)

mbstone (457308) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622623)

It must really hurt to excrete a nanotube. Maybe some nanoprunes would help.

Ha! I excreted a brick this morning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21626431)

complete with perfect corners and "ACME" printed on it. Happens all the time.

And let me be among the first to welcome our nanotube-shitting bacterial overlords. Sad to see the human race come in a poor second in the race to nanotechnology, but sometimes that's how the gene pool crumbles.

Re:Owwie! (1)

tkw954 (709413) | more than 6 years ago | (#21633771)

PETA must hear of this! This enslavement and torture of living organisms must end now!

Bulletin from University of California, Riverside (3, Informative)

prollifik (1094359) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622695)

See also this link. There's a picture. http://www.newsroom.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/display.cgi?id=1730 [ucr.edu]

Re:Bulletin from University of California, Riversi (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21623035)

Here [goatse.cz] is another picture not totally OT.

Re:Bulletin from University of California, Riversi (1)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21623985)

That same pic is in the article linked in the summary....

Re:Bulletin from University of California, Riversi (2, Informative)

prollifik (1094359) | more than 6 years ago | (#21625123)

My bad. I read the abstract and didn't notice the article.

Beware of nanogoatse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21638805)

Linking to pictures of someone excreting something? I'm not following that link, sorry =)

nanowire, nanotube and bacteria: not so new? (4, Interesting)

jjq (589527) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622927)

I've a question: it seems that nanowire and nanotube are the same objects. In that case, nothing so new. See http://www.geobacter.org/ [geobacter.org] and a paper in the June 23, 2005 issue of Nature about the geobacter bacteria. I did a funny use of it during the rump session of CRYPTO 2005 at UCSB, see http://www.iacr.org/conferences/crypto2005/rumpSchedule.html [iacr.org] "The geobacter attack: when nanotechnology meets chips" with the slides and the video.

I'm just waiting (1)

LilGuy (150110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21622943)

..for some senator to start talking about how we need to tax all these nano-internets.

it could solve our ethanol supply problem.... (1)

doug141 (863552) | more than 6 years ago | (#21623145)

...if we could find an organism that has corn in its poop!

Re:it could solve our ethanol supply problem.... (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21624377)

You've obviously never eaten corn. Everything that eats corn has corn in it's poop.

Re:it could solve our ethanol supply problem.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21625623)

You've obviously never... well, never mind that. The fact is, what remains in the poop is not a good ethanol raw material, those are just empty outer skins of corn seeds. Most of the starch is digested by then.

Re:it could solve our ethanol supply problem.... (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#21632455)

To tell you the truth, I'm not all that into scat, nor corn, and I've never had much of a problem with a kernel or two in the can. Hell, where did you think 2.5.14 went?

Re:it could solve our ethanol supply problem.... (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 6 years ago | (#21624785)

Whenever I eat corn, I have corn in my poop. My body doesn't digest it very well you see. Am I going to be the solution to the world fuel shortage now? Am I going to be rich and famous?

Re:it could solve our ethanol supply problem.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21626961)

and why do you suppose that is?

The first part of digestion is masticating the food. I suggest you eat slower and masticate more. Yes, that means you should chew it up in your mouth before swallowing it. That does several things, such as causing your saliva glands to produce saliva which triggers acid production in your stomach which attacks the corn. Also the corn is broken into small pieces which means the acid can attack the corn better and the end result (heh) is that you don't get corn showing in your poop.

The really interesting part (4, Informative)

rbnigh (1063950) | more than 6 years ago | (#21623607)

These researchers are so focussed on industrial production of nanotubes (big bucks) that the completely forget to mention the really interesting part of their 'discovery'. Bacteria exude polysaccharides to create biofilms, the principal expression of bacterial populations in nature. What are the implications of this for the way bacteria control ecosystems? And, by the way,if we don't have a clue as to what is going on here, wouldn't it be prudent to understand a little more before *we* start exuding nanotubes hither and thither?

Re:The really interesting part (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21624687)

C'mon, this is beyond big bucks. This what could change nanotech from curiosity to mainstream. Everyone talked about commercial infeasibility of the space elevator and such. But is that really about big bucks? If this works on large scale, it would be beyond money. It could redefine humanity.

Prey (2, Interesting)

sageimac (1090741) | more than 6 years ago | (#21623611)

Has anyone read "Prey" by Michael Crichton? This is scary science fiction coming true.

Re:Prey (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 6 years ago | (#21625013)

Prey is not only laughably implausible in reality... it's only incidentally related. Prey featured nano-robots forming a sort of distributed-group-consciousness-thingy. No one is making nano-robots. People are making nano-tubes, which have about as much relationship to nano robots as a three-foot section of copper phone wire has to a regular-sized robot... and you need more than just that for Prey, you need wireless-mesh-communication self-aware mind-controlling evil nanorobots who can fly through the air like nanoblackhelicpoters.

Next to all that, the way he butchers computing isn't even worth mentioning.

Re:Prey (1)

MrNiceguy_KS (800771) | more than 6 years ago | (#21628613)

I'll put it like this:
Real World Nanotech is to Prey
as
Real World Hacking is to "It's a unix system! I know this!"

(and to the anal-retentive Crichton fan, yes I know that was in the movie, not the book)

Re:Prey (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#21625085)

Naah. It's just you being unable to tell real science from the bullshit that Crichton writes. It's entertaining, sure, but has very little basis in reality. If you really are scared because of something Crichton wrote, do the world a favor and stop having a public opinion on anything scientific, because you're doing more harm than good.

Re:Prey (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 6 years ago | (#21628453)

But, but, we have to stop all cloning research or we'll all be eaten by raptors!

I'm still working on it ... (2, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21623783)

I've been trying to train myself to excrete nanotubes, but so far all I've gotten are macrorods.

Correction to dept. (2, Funny)

callmevinny (1101147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21624195)

building-tech-from-the-bottom-up

Arsenic sulfide? (5, Funny)

perbert (241785) | more than 6 years ago | (#21624777)

It is just me, or is there irony in the fact that the nanopoop is AsS?

Re:Arsenic sulfide? (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 6 years ago | (#21637787)

It's just you [tri-bit.com] .

Internet nanotubes? (1)

RudeIota (1131331) | more than 6 years ago | (#21624929)

This is quite a discovery!

This may open the door for much, much smaller, less expensive tubes to replace the Internet's current tubular system.

Excuse the pun (1)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 6 years ago | (#21626123)

Fab!
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...