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    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2008
    A novel application for all of you interested in bio-machine interfacing. Rather than using machines to modify flesh, some researchers from the University of California used red blood cells as mechanical parts to calibrate tinyatomic force microscopy cantilevers.

    You can push the blood cell up against things, and know exactly how much force you're applying by its deformation (squashing) - so you're using the blood cell in a mechanical system. Awesomely cool stuff, real bio-physical integration rather than just "How can we use THIS, which we build, to modify THAT, which is complicated and squishy."

    The Applied Physics Letters paper is here. For those without a subscription, here's the abstract:

    We report on the refinement and validation of one of the earliest ideas of “reverse” biophysics: the use of individual red blood cells as reliable, ultrasensitive mechanotransducers. Our analysis is based on the numerical prediction of the force exerted by a micropipette-held red cell as it is pushed against a test object. Examining this red-cell transducer, in conjunction with a custom-built “horizontal” force microscope, we were able to soundly corroborate its utility, while at the same time, accurately calibrating the spring constants of atomic-force microscope cantilevers.

    and an ass-kickingly cool image:

    Blood cells as mechanotransducers
  1.  (1993.2)
    ...absolutely sinister. "Oh, this machine? It's power comes from YOUR BLOOD."
    • CommentAuthorjohnmuth
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2008
    Kind of off the topic, but still sort of related, is this movie I just found out about:

    "In the near future gas prices have reached astronomical highs nearing $40 a gallon. One man, Archie Andrews, an environmentalist elementary school teacher, is trying to discover an alternate fuel source. While experimenting with wheat grass, Archie accidentally stumbles upon a solution. That solution turns out to be blood. HUMAN BLOOD!"
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeApr 26th 2008
    Remember the Vorlons in Babylon 5 and all those other alien races where the humans go "They use ---- LIVING TECHNOLOGY!"?

    This is how it starts.
      CommentAuthorJoe Paoli
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2008
    They should instead learn to power our internal machines on fat.