Various Bio Bits

In the future there will be no dry nanotech.

Other than the slow/fast revolution in materials that is currently underway, but which is currently mainly characterised by research-institute press-releases, rather than anything we can actually use right now.

How much of these materials will be created using e-coli remains to be seen, but the thing with e-coli, is that is self-generates, and the environment for growing one batch, is pretty much the same for any other – so if we get to the point where we can tweak it to produce materials on spec, the setup required to produce PLA is probably going to be pretty much the same as that which produces LSD.

Or spider silk/protein


Which is stronger than steel, tougher than kevlar, has heat conductivity similar to copper and isn’t rejected by human imuno-systems. It’s potentially quite useful. Like so many other things, it ain’t quite there yet – but is close. And the thing that’s interesting about it, is that it’s being created using e-coli.

Meanwhile, genetically tweaked human imuno cells are seeing an 88% cure-rate in late-stage lukemia – an early stage trial, with a small sample size, and quite a lot more research required – but it’s a pointer to what is possible I think – and quite rightly sweeps “ethical” (aka: fear) concerns about human gene-therapy out the window. We’re going to be doing this stuff. A lot.

Nano-Bionic plants – which appears to consist of dosing the leaves with the now omnipresent carbon nano-particles/tubules… which allows them to detect trace atmospheric pollutants/toxins etc, as well as radically boosting levels of photosynthesis.

Arabidopsis Thalianawhich is used in gen-tech quite a lot by the looks. The e.coli of plants maybe.

Arabidopsis thaliana


27% of Americans now use devices for recording bioetric data? Really? That’s loads.

Meta-Material – this time, V02… A meta-material is “an artificially structured material fabricated by assembling different, often nanoscale objects to take the place of the atoms and molecules that one would see in a conventional material”

Graphene used to make IR-Detecting contact lenses

And so on and so on.

I keep hearing how weird the future is going to be – It’s not yet. I’m sitting in an armchair in the door of a tumble-down beach house, looking at the sea. I’m not doing anything I couldn’t have done 10 years ago – although I guess the expectation that I should be, is something new. I keep reading about the utterly incredible cutting edge of research etc – but haven’t actually seen any of it yet. Maybe this is the calm before the storm. I mean what this is all looking like to me is a Cambrian Explosion… and I guess we can see it coming, and some of us are working towards it, but the real shockwave has yet to hit.

Maybe we have to make it ourselves. Maybe that’s the point.