Genetic engineering for synthetic semiconductors
June 11, 2012 // Sylvie Barak
Genetic engineering could hold the key to artificially creating semiconductors in a lab. According to technology news site Ars Technica, a team of academics at the University of California, Santa Barbara is looking at ways to create synthetic proteins that could form new structures of silicon dioxide to make computer chips with.
These chips would then be used in all kinds of electronics. The proteins could also form titanium dioxide, used in solar cells.
The process is a bit different from regular genetic engineering because it uses synthetic cells made of the randomly combined genes of two related silicateins replete with random mutations, surrounded by a nucleus of minute plastic beads.
The artificial cells are put through the proverbial wringer, killing many along the way. Those that survive the process have their genes cherry picked by the scientists from either the silicon or titanium dioxide-forming proteins.
The results were somewhat surprising, with researchers finding not just the original silicateins used to form the artificial cell in the first place, but also another, different gene.
Tests on the new gene found it contained a silica-forming protein which has been dubbed silicatein X1, which may prove useful in the making of folded sheets of silica-protein fibers.
Silica skeletons of radiolaria in false color.
While that may sound strange and complicated, it’s worth noting that even in nature, creatures like marine sponges can produce materials like fiberglass, while ARS notes that some bacteria can even build magnetic nanoparticles.
Now that scientists know it’s possible to create entirely different silica proteins, the next step will be to change the conditions in order to achieve things like semiconductor performance.
Flexible sensor detects multiple ions in fluids
November 24, 2015
Imec and Holst Centre have demonstrated a prototype of a single-chip electrochemical sensor for simultaneous detection of ...
Starting all over again on plastic: ARM
From electronics to maths and money madness
Analog IC market growth set to slow
Volkswagen deploys data glasses in series production
Startup CircuitSeed wants to be the ARM of analogue
November 23, 2015
Founded last summer after two years of preliminary research and with several patents pending, Californian startup Circuit ...
Imagination Technologies leverages kickstarter for IoT kit launch
Taiwan considers lifting China investment ban
Why Japan hasn't led IoT
- Battery Size Matters
- Software-Defined Radio Handbook - 11th edition
- Multichemistry Buck Battery Charger Controller
- Automotive Circuit Protection using Littelfuse Automotive TVS Diodes
InterviewCEO interview: InvenSense's Abdi on expanding MEMS horizons
InvenSense Inc. is a MEMS company that has epitomized a fabless approach to a sector that is still highly reliant on a thorough grasp of the manufacturing and packaging processes. We interviewed CEO Behrooz ...
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
This month, FTDI Chip is giving away six MCU development board packages complete with a dedicated compiler (including a full integrated development environment).
Worth Euro 315 each, the packages include a credit card sized Clicker 2 board for the FT90X 32-bit MCU supplied alongside a powerful dedicated compiler from MikroElektronika.
MORE INFO AND LAST MONTH' WINNERS...
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.