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Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid

 
Thoughts Faux Fodder
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Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
[link to www.popsci.com]
While so many scientists spend their time trying to create nanobots the size of bacteria, researcher at the NanoRobotics Laboratory of the École Polytechnique de Montréal, Canada, decided to simply take direct control of live bacteria. By using a computer-controlled magnetic field, the researchers turned the bacteria into fully-compliant biological nanorobots.

The trick was using a type of microbe known as magnetotactic bacteria. These critters have little internal compasses, and will follow the pull of a magnetic field. By manipulating a magnetic field, the researchers tricked the bacteria into forming a giant, computer-controlled swarm. In one experiment, the researchers had the bacterial swarm assemble a small pyramid. In another, they directed bacteria through the blood stream of a rat, like in Innerspace.

[link to www.popsci.com]

Last Edited by Phennommennonn on 09/23/2012 10:28 AM
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And never stops at all....
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03/25/2010 07:20 PM
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
i make pyramids all the time when i goto the bathroom.
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03/25/2010 07:30 PM
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
Pretty strange.
Thoughts Faux Fodder (OP)

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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
Pretty strange.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 843435

agreed!!!!! to me it sounds like an episode of the outer limits episode right before things get funky lolsign

this line in particular ...

"In one experiment, the researchers had the bacterial swarm assemble a small pyramid. In another, they directed bacteria through the blood stream of a rat, like in Innerspace
."

Last Edited by Thoughts Faux Fodder on 03/25/2010 07:36 PM
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all....
Emily Dickinson
Thoughts Faux Fodder (OP)

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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
mrobmp
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all....
Emily Dickinson
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03/25/2010 08:51 PM
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
And here we are like idiots wondering how the egyptian dudes did it...of course! they had bacteria to build their pyramids for them!
Thoughts Faux Fodder (OP)

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03/25/2010 08:53 PM
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
And here we are like idiots wondering how the egyptian dudes did it...of course! they had bacteria to build their pyramids for them!
 Quoting: Uncle Nutsy

llzzzz!!!!
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all....
Emily Dickinson
Thoughts Faux Fodder (OP)

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03/25/2010 10:55 PM
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
i really thought this would spark more conversation...

yzzzz??
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all....
Emily Dickinson
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03/25/2010 10:58 PM
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
so it begins. The enslavement of bacteria. Next they will make them build temples.
Thoughts Faux Fodder (OP)

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03/25/2010 11:52 PM
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
so it begins. The enslavement of bacteria. Next they will make them build temples.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 909728

neighhaz are you an outer Limits fan? I swear the first thing that came to my mind was the one about the guy who finds microscopic spores in Martian sand samples and hatches them.It was called the sand kings, and they as they evolved they eventually made a sand sculpture of the scientist to show their worship ...right before they ate his dog , wife and pretty much anything else with the bad luck to encounter them....
I know this It is a totally different situation here and i realize it isn't likely these bacteria will mount a human eating revolt ( at least not anytime soon LOL).

We well may unleash more than we intend eventually.

This is amazing tech , and i can see it having incredible medical applications as they advance the research - but have to admit that nanotech such as this leaves me more than a tad unsettled.
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all....
Emily Dickinson
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03/26/2010 12:18 AM
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
Wow, great find, OP!
Thoughts Faux Fodder (OP)

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03/26/2010 12:23 AM
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
Wow, great find, OP!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 921039

thanks!
YELOSMILX
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all....
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just me
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
so it begins. The enslavement of bacteria. Next they will make them build temples.

:neighhaz: are you an outer Limits fan? I swear the first thing that came to my mind was the one about the guy who finds microscopic spores in Martian sand samples and hatches them.It was called the sand kings, and they as they evolved they eventually made a sand sculpture of the scientist to show their worship ...right before they ate his dog , wife and pretty much anything else with the bad luck to encounter them....
I know this It is a totally different situation here and i realize it isn't likely these bacteria will mount a human eating revolt ( at least not anytime soon LOL).

We well may unleash more than we intend eventually.

This is amazing tech , and i can see it having incredible medical applications as they advance the research - but have to admit that nanotech such as this leaves me more than a tad unsettled.
 Quoting: Thoughts Faux Fodder


Sandkings began as a sci-fi short story by George R. R. Martin, if memory serves. Great read.
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03/26/2010 12:27 AM
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
Massive implications.
Considering all the bacteria composing us.
Thoughts Faux Fodder (OP)

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03/26/2010 12:32 AM
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
Sandkings began as a sci-fi short story by George R. R. Martin, if memory serves. Great read.
 Quoting: just me 921039

OHH thank YOU!! i will look for it :-)

BBLSMZ
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all....
Emily Dickinson
Thoughts Faux Fodder (OP)

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03/26/2010 12:33 AM
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
Massive implications.
Considering all the bacteria composing us.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 743646

and all around us... i agree, the implications of this and similar research could be very far reaching.

Last Edited by Thoughts Faux Fodder on 03/26/2010 12:34 AM
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all....
Emily Dickinson
Thoughts Faux Fodder (OP)

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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
I know this is a long article-this is about half, but it is worth reading imo.


[link to www.wellcome.ac.uk]

Feature: 'Building block' biology

The new field of synthetic biology aims to make biology controllable, predictable and designable. Mun-Keat Looi asks if you can really engineer a biological organism and hears how a unique competition for undergraduates is helping the field gather momentum.

What if you could engineer an organism to do whatever you want: produce life-saving drugs cheaply, generate energy, or detect and clear waste from a polluted lake? And what if building that organism was like constructing a model using toy bricks or piecing together an electronic circuit? Welcome to the world of synthetic biology.

"The theory is that we now know enough about biological systems to be able to start putting them together," says Dr Gos Micklem, Director of the Cambridge Computational Biology Institute. "At that point it becomes relevant to apply engineering principles."

The essence of synthetic biology is to make biology controllable, predictable and designable. A 2009 report from the Royal Academy of Engineering defined it as an attempt to "design and engineer biologically based parts, novel devices and systems as well as redesign existing, natural biological systems".

By producing standard biological parts, scientists can assemble synthetic DNA circuits that produce specific functions within cells, like putting together transistors or capacitors in electronics. Through this, researchers hope to build organisms with an efficiency that promises benefits in a variety of fields.

Take drug development and production, for example. One of the biggest achievements in synthetic biology to date is the engineering of yeast cells to produce a precursor of the antimalarial drug artemisinin, which is expensive to produce when derived naturally from the plant sweet wormwood.

This landmark, by researchers at University of California, Berkeley, showed the power of synthetic biology. Because yeast is used widely in industry (for brewing, among other things), the method could be widened to an industrial scale, bringing down the cost of the drug. Moreover, because the artemisinin-producing yeast is engineered from controllable parts, it could make it easier to create new variants of the drug that can overcome resistance mechanisms in the malaria parasite.

"The standard parts approach broadens the horizons for us to use biology in different ways," says Professor Richard Kitney, co-Director of the new Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Centre for Synthetic Biology and Innovation at Imperial College London. "And it is not application-specific. It can be applied to a whole range of fields, from biofuels to pharmaceuticals."
iGEM

When you have, as Kitney puts it, a "paradigm shift in how you approach genetic engineering", how do you explore the possibilities it offers, not to mention build a critical mass of scientists who can expand the nascent field? That's where iGEM comes in.

Started in 2003, the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition sets university teams from all over the world a simple challenge: if you could make anything, what would you make?

"It's the opportunity to make things, design things of your own choice and test them out - a very fundamental human activity," says Randy Rettberg of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Director of iGEM.

Diagram of Cambridge 2009 iGEM project. Dipstick wells contain genetically engineered E. coli. When the sensor detects the substance it sends a signal to the tuner - this ensures that pigment is produced only when the concentration is above a certain threshold (which can be ‘tuned’ to different levels). Each well contains different bacteria tuned to react to different concentrations - higher concentrations activate more wells along the dipstick and warning colours can be used to indicate unsafe levels.

Each team is given a set of parts from MIT's 'BioBricks' Registry of Standard Biological Parts, an open-access archive being developed by synthetic biologists worldwide.

After a crash course in basic biology, the teams use the ten or so weeks over the summer to come up with an idea, design it, model it, build it and test it in the lab, before presenting the final results at a showpiece event at MIT in November.

It's a daunting task, but one that teams consistently rise to. Successful ideas range from bacteria that detect arsenic in water to a 'clutch' mechanism allowing you to control the movement of bacteria.

In 2009, the competition involved 120 universities worldwide. The Imperial College London team placed fourth overall with their idea of creating a bacterial pill for ingestion that would manufacture specific therapeutic proteins and then encapsulate itself to form a 'micro-pill'. "The overall aim was to design a modular system that could be adapted to produce a variety of drugs," says Kitney.

But the competition was won by the University of Cambridge team, who provided a simple, elegant engineering solution to an everyday problem. The aim was create a simple visual signal to represent something detected by a biosensor, such as the arsenic detector developed by a University of Edinburgh team in a previous iGEM competition.

They plundered simple, known metabolic pathways from different organisms, using different combinations in E. coli to produce a variety of coloured pigments: orange and red from carotenoids, brown from melanin, violet from violacein and green by knocking out a gene in the violacein pathway. The team created a number of different colour readouts, as well as sensitive tuners that allow the system to respond precisely to input from different sensors.

Imagine you have a dipstick with a range of wells along it, each containing different E. coli tuned to respond to different signal strengths (the concentration of heavy metals in the environment, for instance), and each producing a different coloured pigment in response to that. Testing a water sample will produce a kind of 'live barchart' on the dipstick in rainbow colours, with the well containing the most sensitive bacteria at the base of the bar chart, and progressively less sensitive bacteria further up.

"Our hope is to take our parts along with the biosensors that people like the Edinburgh team have produced and put them together for use in the field," says Micklem.

Last Edited by Thoughts Faux Fodder on 03/26/2010 01:29 AM
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all....
Emily Dickinson
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
[link to www.popsci.com]

While so many scientists spend their time trying to create nanobots the size of bacteria, researcher at the NanoRobotics Laboratory of the École Polytechnique de Montréal, Canada, decided to simply take direct control of live bacteria. By using a computer-controlled magnetic field, the researchers turned the bacteria into fully-compliant biological nanorobots.

The trick was using a type of microbe known as magnetotactic bacteria. These critters have little internal compasses, and will follow the pull of a magnetic field. By manipulating a magnetic field, the researchers tricked the bacteria into forming a giant, computer-controlled swarm. In one experiment, the researchers had the bacterial swarm assemble a small pyramid. In another, they directed bacteria through the blood stream of a rat, like in Innerspace.

In the future, the researchers want to use the bacteria as a propulsion system for larger nanorobots that could deliver drugs, repair an organ, or assemble larger and more complex nanostructures.


But, as I mention with every video, don't take my word for it when you can check it out for yourself! In the video below, you can actually watch the bacterial swarm assemble a tiny pyramid:


 Quoting: Thoughts Faux Fodder


Skynet future is near!
Thoughts Faux Fodder (OP)

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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid



Skynet future is near!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 925889

hiding damned
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all....
Emily Dickinson
The monk in the mountains.
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03/26/2010 02:15 AM
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
sound ways can repair any human. I just don't know how to do it yet.

-peace
ShadowFox

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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
Magnetic field ?


Mind control anyone ?
Thoughts Faux Fodder (OP)

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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
sound ways can repair any human. I just don't know how to do it yet.

-peace
 Quoting: The monk in the mountains. 925982

I'm certainly not an expert on this..but based on what i've read on the topic, i would tend to agree with you.
It makes sense to me that since we all (all matter ,really) vibrate at individual frequencies, that there would be harmonics to put ones body back into balance if you can just figure out which one will work for each individual's needs. peace

Last Edited by Thoughts Faux Fodder on 03/26/2010 02:30 AM
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all....
Emily Dickinson
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
Sandkings began as a sci-fi short story by George R. R. Martin, if memory serves. Great read.

OHH thank YOU!! i will look for it :-)

 Quoting: Thoughts Faux Fodder

for anyone else interested in reading this- you can find it on the Barnes and noble ebook site for less than 2 bucks. :strzdrmz:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all....
Emily Dickinson
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
Good find OP....Thanks for sharing.
bump
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
Magnetic field ?


Mind control anyone ?
 Quoting: ShadowFox

lol we think along the same lines... how long til this experimentation is moved up to more complex organisms and would they have the same success?


As i said, i am of mixed feelings about this, on one hand i can see the theoretical applications that could potentially end up revolutionizing medicine so i find it amazing... but my darker imagination says this is a terrible thing and brings many scenarios where it could end in catastrophe... with so many of our recent scientific advancements there seems to be a very fine line between what might be good for humanity and what may one day brings us to a foolish end.

Last Edited by Thoughts Faux Fodder on 03/26/2010 06:26 AM
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all....
Emily Dickinson
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
so it begins. The enslavement of bacteria. Next they will make them build temples.

:neighhaz: are you an outer Limits fan? I swear the first thing that came to my mind was the one about the guy who finds microscopic spores in Martian sand samples and hatches them.It was called the sand kings, and they as they evolved they eventually made a sand sculpture of the scientist to show their worship ...right before they ate his dog , wife and pretty much anything else with the bad luck to encounter them....
I know this It is a totally different situation here and i realize it isn't likely these bacteria will mount a human eating revolt ( at least not anytime soon LOL).

We well may unleash more than we intend eventually.

This is amazing tech , and i can see it having incredible medical applications as they advance the research - but have to admit that nanotech such as this leaves me more than a tad unsettled.


Sandkings began as a sci-fi short story by George R. R. Martin, if memory serves. Great read.
 Quoting: just me 921039


It was the new "outer limits", in color. Sand kings was in 2 parts, if memory serves, so it was a movie length episode.

"Outer limits" and "Twilight Zone" had better story lines and more intriguing concepts and more ideas in their episodes than scifi series with continuing story lines, like Star Trek or similar. More intelligent stuff, count me as a fan..
Thoughts Faux Fodder (OP)

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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
Good find OP....Thanks for sharing.
bump
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 924122

hf hf peace
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all....
Emily Dickinson
Thoughts Faux Fodder (OP)

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03/26/2010 06:16 AM
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
skzbmp for the morning crowd peace
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all....
Emily Dickinson
Apocalypse Troll
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03/26/2010 06:19 AM

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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
I for one welcome our new bacterial nanobot overlords.
attxflag
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Thoughts Faux Fodder (OP)

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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
I for one welcome our new bacterial nanobot overlords.
 Quoting: Apocalypse Troll

yukkkzz!hylllzzz thanks for making me spit tea all over my screen!!!!

Last Edited by Thoughts Faux Fodder on 03/26/2010 06:28 AM
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all....
Emily Dickinson
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Re: Video: Computer-Controlled Bacteria Build a Miniature Pyramid
yeah, welcome to the future !
bump

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