We Can Create Yeast Cyborgs

Posted by on November 11th, 2011


If you thought that we’d never create a feedback loop with yeast that could help us control it’s organic nature using a computer, you are dead wrong.

This work, performed by scientists at the Automatic Control Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, is exceptional because of its simplicity: The computer turns the yeast on by flashing a red light, and it turns the yeast off by flashing a deeper red light. Connected to the yeast is a “reporter” molecule that fluoresces when the protein is produced. The computer can see this fluorescence and alter the light it emits, thus creating a full feedback loop.

This is the first step toward manipulating organic material by way of cell signaling which could lead to us making anything from fuel to pills from a vat ooze. Which is awesome.

[Extreme Tech]

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