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Hexapod cyborg walks on the planet

February 15 2006

News from the world of technology comes with incredible speed. Do not have time to cool off from the inquisitive minds of the news of the implanted microchips under the skin of the Americans , as media reports about a new sensation.

British and Japanese scientists have presented the fruit of joint development - a six-legged robot, which manages the mucous mold Physarum polycephalum.

Fungi are sensitive to light, and under their influence, the robot selects the least-lit places. Sensitive organ mold - filled with cytoplasm system microtubes. With its help the body adjusts its movement. Attempts to control the fungus to move a set of electronic sensors that transmit signals to the robot. In turn, the light falling on the robot determines the brightness of a special tank, where the mold is placed. Scientists say the fungus could even merge with the robot.

Such organisms are deprived of the nervous system, but to cope with a "brain" of a complex electronic device.

Earlier it was reported that a group of scientists from the American National Laboratory, Berkeley, and University of California has demonstrated the world's first device that is "cellular" analog known DNA chips that are used in genetic research.

These chips are the result of interbreeding "chip-based technologies" (eg, photolithography) with the methods of biochemical research. Now scientists have decided that a similar chip, you can create and entire living cells. However, for this they had to solve the problem of adherence of cells to abiotic surfaces.

Now the team plans to develop a technique for fast and mass production of such chips. They can serve as biosensors of hazardous or polluting substances or, for example, be useful to pharmaceutical companies test new drugs.

Meanwhile, researchers at the Korean Institute of Science and Technology KAIST have developed a chip that allows listening to iPod, using his own body as the transmitter signals.

The main feature of several chips, the scientists, were low energy consumption. This is one of the most painful moments for the microprocessor industry, takes on new meaning when the chip is used for implantation into the body or under the skin.

Sample chips provided by Korean researchers, should resolve some issues related to the personal network settings, and uses the capabilities of the human body to pass an electrical current. Had already been attempts to use the body as a network cable, but the early development of consuming too much energy or slowly passed the data to be effective solutions.

Chip from KAIST uses a broadband signal to reduce power consumption with an increase in data rate. To demonstrate its novelty Koreans modified under her iPod and headphones. The chip can transmit data at speeds up to 2 Mbps at a power consumption of less than 10 microwatts.

Another development is presented by scientists from the University of Utah, USA. It can display brain activity, sending the data to the monitor wirelessly.

On materials: New Scientist,,, battery news.

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Константин Дятлов

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