December 28th, 2009

kevinkellme

I, For One, Welcome Our New Bacterial Overlords

Too freakin' cool.
Scientists have demonstrated a way to harness the motion of swimming bacteria to turn tiny gears. This bacteria-driven mechanism could someday power micro-machines that combine living organisms and man-made materials.

To build their rudimentary device, the research team first fashioned silicon gears measuring a mere 0.01 inches (380 micrometers) across and 0.002 inches (50 micrometers) thick. With their slanted teeth, the gears look rather like tiny ninja stars.

The microgears were then placed into a nutrient broth swarming with the microbe Bacillus subtilis, the workhorses in this setup. When supplied with nutrients and oxygen the bacteria scoot about randomly.
Nicked from AmericaBlog.

If you could have cyborg parts, would you get 'em? And, if so, what would they be? Assume Six Million Dollar Man rules, i.e., they feel real and work without stressing the rest of your weak, puny human physiology. I'd likely go for new legs, hips, and lower back at this point, maybe with a few USB jacks in convenient locations.