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Thread: Odd biology concept ?

  1. #1 Odd biology concept ? 
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    Ok so the cell is basically a biochemical machine. It takes in raw materials, binding and splitting them to create useful chemicals. Looking toward the future, as science develops more, do you think it will be possible to alter the dna of a cell to manipulate what it can create. So we could end up using cells to create mobile phones and i-pods ? Obviously not as we know them today, but using alternative materials as the casing and other parts. Cables and metal parts would not work so they would have to be replaced, other problems pop-up, but assuming in the future we have found an electronic alternative to conductive metal, does it sound at all possible ?

    Cheers - Josh


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  3. #2  
    Reptile Dysfunction drowsy turtle's Avatar
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    I would say yes. But it would be incredibly complicated to engineer, incredibly unreliable, and incredibly expensive.


    "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair." ~ Douglas Adams
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  4. #3  
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    I could see how artificial bio-chemical memory storage might be possible at some distant time. Saving and retrieving simple files by computer but written in proteins would probably be the first step in engineering anything more complex like what you're describing. Anyone know if this much is being pursued? I can't imagine that we have the technology available right now.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    In a way, that sort of thing is already being done. By inserting plasmids of DNA into bacteria they can be turned into little protein factories. I believe insulin is one of the products produced this way.

    The biggest limitation would be cell size. There are limits to cell size based on how effectively nutrients can be transported in and waste can be transported out. Without altering these mechanisms to make them more efficient in bigger cells, I doubt we'll ever able to make a single cell make something the size of a cell phone, let alone something of that complexity.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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