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technology learns from nature

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I'm not sure if you all are interested in things like this, but I thought these stories were kind of interesting, showing the progression and the melding of technology and nature. It's a cool idea, but at the same time pretty scary thinking about what the future will bring:



DNA basis for new generation of computers


SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- It almost sounds too fantastic to be true, but a growing amount of research supports the idea that DNA, the basic building block of life, could also be the basis of a staggeringly powerful new generation of computers


Human cells and computers process and store information in much the same way.


Computers store data in strings made up of the numbers 0 and 1. Living things store information with molecules represented the letters A,T,C and G.


The problems solved by DNA computers to date are rudimentary. Children could come up with the answers more quickly with a pencil and paper.


But the researchers hope to someday inject tiny computers into humans to zap viruses, fix good cells gone bad and otherwise keep us healthy.


They're also pursuing the idea that genetic material can self-replicate and grow into processors so powerful that they can handle problems too complex for silicon-based computers to solve.


Eventually, the scientists aim to create self-sustaining computers that can be used, for instance, on deep-space voyages, to monitor and maintain the health of humans on board.


What struck Adleman most that night he jumped out of bed was how a living enzyme "reads" DNA much the same way computer pioneer Alan Turing first contemplated in 1936 how a machine could read data.


One problem is that setting up DNA computers and extracting results from them can take days, sometimes weeks. Perhaps a bigger obstacle is controlling biological developments to generate accurate calculations. DNA doesn't always behave like it's expected to.




Scientists: Ocean sponge bests man-made fiber optics


Scientists have found that the optical fibers of the sponge Euplectella, left, are similar to, and perhaps more advanced, than today's state-of-the-art fiber optics.


(AP) -- Scientists say they have identified an ocean sponge living in the darkness of the deep sea that grows thin glass fibers capable of transmitting light better than industrial fiber optic cables used for telecommunication


The natural glass fibers also are much more flexible than manufactured fiber optic cable that can crack if bent too far.


"You can actually tie a knot in these natural biological fibers and they will not break --


The glassy sponge, nicknamed the "Venus flower basket," grows the flexible fibers at cold temperatures using natural materials, a process materials scientists hope to duplicate in order to avoid the problems created by current fiber optic manufacturing methods that require high temperatures and produce relatively brittle cable.


The sponge also is able to add traces of sodium to the fibers which increase their ability to conduct light, something that cannot be done to glass fibers at the high temperatures needed for commercial manufacturing, Aizenberg said.



from CNN

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maybe the spongefish that grows fibers will be the answer to the quantum computer problem...they need a silica layer on top of the suspended iodide molecules....would compute in unseen 4th dimension...


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Originally posted by casekonly

....would compute in unseen 4th dimension...



*excuse the fact that I'm gonna call you a dipshit...


EVERYTHING computes in the unseen 4th dimension, you DIPSHIT, the 4th dimension is time... every computation takes time... therefore...


However, I was just telling Tesseract about the Annapolis physics teacher I had the pleasure of sitting next to at dinner one time... he explained how the uncertainty principle has been used to demonstrate rudimentary time travel... make your nano-engine do that and I'm buying!

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