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      CommentAuthorbadger
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
     (231.1)
    This is not as cool as building a neural network with bacteria in my opinion, but creating photoactive arsenic-sulfide nanotubes with bacteria is interesting. They want to find (or engineer) a bacteria species that could produce cadmium sulfide nanotubes.
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      CommentAuthorLuke
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
     (231.2)
    The idea of engineering nanofactories like this is an awesome one - why go to all the bother of assembling molecules when you can just reprogram something that already does it?
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      CommentAuthorJoe Paoli
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
     (231.3)
    The question I have is what size are the nanotubes this process produces? One of the big limiting factors in carbon nanotubes is length; we can't make them very long or chain the tiny ones together. I'm waiting for that breakthough.
  1.  (231.4)
    Joe, the length is a really important issue for applications where tensile strength is important (come on space elevator) but there are many other applications where it's much less important.

    For example, nanotubes absorb hydrogen well and could be used to store and transport it. Similarly, there are high-efficency solar panels that use nanotubes to absorb light.
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      CommentAuthorJoe Paoli
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
     (231.5)
    Joe, the length is a really important issue for applications where tensile strength is important (come on space elevator) but there are many other applications where it's much less important.
    Sure, sure. But say nanotubes, and everyone's all like "where's my damn Space Elevator!?!"

    Either way, cool that bacteria can make them for us - I know making them is an expensive process no matter what length they are.
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      CommentAuthorVespers
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
     (231.6)
    Damn straight where's my damn Space Elevator.