Introducing Cell-Machine Interfaces

By | March 24, 2014
What happens if technology and biology could seemlessly communicate? And I mean seamlessly – no wired implantations, but biological implantations capable of converting wireless signals from, say, your overhead lights, to human stimuli, say triggering antibody production?

That's what these fancy new E.Coli do. Yes, they're organic. And they are modified to be able to convert environmental signals, like electricy or light, into chemical signals, in this case to controle the rate of production of curli fibers in the E. Coli. That allows the network of modified E.Coli to build complex, controlled nanostructures.

That's like a swarm of tiny microprinters creating a complex structure.With some further development, you may be able to teach those microprinters to recreate bone in-vitro. Or maybe even more complicated organs, like a failing heart valve. It's a technology with a lot of potential – and a lot of ethical risk.

/via +Betsy McCall

MIT news
Hybrid materials combine bacterial cells with nonliving elements that can conduct electricity or emit light.

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