Cyborg!

This isn’t exactly the Borg, but it’s getting closer. IBM researchers are experimenting with using the structure of DNA to create the next generation of computer chips.

International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N) is looking to the building blocks of our bodies — DNA — to be the structure of next-generation microchips.

As chipmakers compete to develop ever-smaller chips at cheaper prices, designers are struggling to cut costs.

Artificial DNA nanostructures, or “DNA origami” may provide a cheap framework on which to build tiny microchips, according to a paper published on Sunday in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

You can build your own origami DNA at home, too! (PDF).

Okay, that’s not really what they are talking about in the article. The real technique appears to be this one:

Scientists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) and Harvard University have thrown the lid off a new toolbox for building nanoscale structures out of DNA, with complex twisting and curving shapes. In the August 7 issue of the journal Science, they report a series of experiments in which they folded DNA, origami-like, into three dimensional objects including a beachball-shaped wireframe capsule just 50 nanometers in diameter.

Interesting concept. The lines between man and machine grow a bit more blurry. 

(Yes, I realize that this is not the classic definition of Cyborg (Cybernetic Organism). Still, it’s fun to play with that concept a bit.)

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One Response to Cyborg!

  1. A few years ago a writer named Jeff Carlson wrote a book called Plague Year about a nano made exactly they way these guys did. It is unstoppable by the body’s defense system.

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