New futuristic computer technology

A while back, I made a big deal about logic gates made from crabs.  In retrospect that accomplishment was not especially great – specifically the OR gate.  If two halls of crabs converge into a single hall, an OR truth table is pretty easy to envision.  The AND is a different story. . . .  But, I’ve since moved onto cellular computing.  Advances along these lines are necessary if Moore’s law is going to keep chugging along.

The new advance was developed at Johns Hopkins University and is the creation of AND and OR gates using protein cells.  The drawback right now (other than the lab-only setting, limited logic functions, and specialized cells) is that the logic assertion takes on the order of one or two seconds.  Talk about a race condition!  Another cool thing, is they extended their research and made their outputs fluorescent  — better than an LED on the output.

The craziest thing about this, is that Douglas Adams called this development (including eons-long run-times) 30 years ago.  I just hope the eventual answer is not 42.

Even LEGO robots get stuff done

This is pretty cool.  LEGO robots are used in the lab at Cambridge University to grow bones.  There are a few things I really like about this.  First, it uses common off-the-shelf components to get something done.  Second, the people doing the work (growing bones) did not get hung up trying to figure something out – they just went and did it.  Lastly, it gives a prime example for kids that even playing with LEGOs is a worthwhile pursuit.  Now I just need to get a LEGO robot to wash my pick up.