Right now, most semiconductor chips (those tiny pieces that are crucial to computers and electrical circuits) are crafted from silicon, a relatively expensive material. But what if we told you that these teensy, crucial cogs could be made from a material that lives within the human body? Researchers at Duke University are designing logic chips from self-assembling DNA. The team hopes the process will provide a cheap, easy method of making chips, eventually eliminating the need for silicon semiconductor chips altogether.
Photo courtesy of Popular Science
To create the chips, engineer Chris Dwyer and his team made and mixed snippets of DNA and other molecules. These pieces assembled themselves into billions of tiny, waffle-like structures. Using light rather than electricity, Dwyer turned the structures into logic circuits. Using that process, the team can create a virtually endless supply of logic circuits. To put things into perspective, Dwyer says that a single grad student using DNA to make self-assembling circuits could produce more logic circuits in one day than the global silicon chip industry can create in a month!
Abundance isn’t the only benefit to using DNA instead of silicon. For one, light-sensitive DNA switches can move signals through a device at much higher speeds than computers and electrical circuits that run on electricity. Plus, DNA is cheap; silicon is expensive.
The tech is still being optimized, but it sounds incredibly promising. The next computer you buy just may contain DNA-based chips instead of silicon, semiconductor chips.
Via Popular Science
- 25 Comments >
- 1 Comments >
- 90 Comments >
9 Comments >
FDA finds majority of herbal supplements at GNC, Walmart, Walgreens, and Target don't contain what they claim - instead cheap fillers like wheat and soy powder
182 Comments >
19-Year-Old Develops Ocean Cleanup Array That Could Remove 7,250,000 Tons Of Plastic From the World's Oceans
- 116 Comments >
- 25 Comments >
- 39 Comments >
- 2002 Comments >
411 Comments >
BACK TO SCHOOL GIVEAWAY: Enter to Win a HP Pavilion dv6 Laptop and Green Prize Package (Worth $1155!)
- 391 Comments >
- 366 Comments >
- 351 Comments >
284 Comments >
LAST CHANCE: Enter to Win a Voltaic Laptop-Charging Solar Backpack Filled With Green School Supplies (Worth $500)!
281 Comments >
GIVEAWAY: Enter to Win a Sloan AQUS Grey Water Toilet System That Recycles Your Sink Water (Worth $189)!
- 247 Comments >
240 Comments >
LAST CHANCE: Enter Inhabitat's Back To School Contest to Win $250+ of Green Goodies Including a Voltaic Solar Backpack (Worth $129)
- 228 Comments >
- 221 Comments >
- 187 Comments >
WINDOWHOP It's easy to get depressed when your work schedule has you getting less sun than Edward Cullen (you've got the sickly pallor to match and it's not nearly as sexy on you). If you're lucky enough to at least have a window in your workspace, openREAD MORE >
Cutting back on your energy usage is one of the best ways to bring down your electricity bill. But did you know that making simple changes to not just your wattage consumption but the way your home retains and expels air can dramatically transform the wayREAD MORE >
Did you know that there are wolves living near you in almost every state in the country? Sadly most of these wolves are not living in the wild, but in wolf sanctuaries, which are conservation organizations set up to protect them and help grow their populationREAD MORE >
Namba Parks was conceived when Osaka Stadium closed down, presenting a great redevelopment opportunity for a new commercial district right next to the Namba Train Station, which is just one stop away from Kansai Airport. Since it's one of the first placesREAD MORE >
Top image: A child is put to work at a militia-run mine in Watsa. © Marcus Bleasdale/National Geographic Captured during a 2004 visit to the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, Bleasdale's images "tell the story of the country's mineral resourceREAD MORE >
You've all heard the tired mantras about changing your lightbulbs and recycling at home in order to save the planet - are you yawning yet? Many consumers think that going green is a gesture of self-sacrifice that often comes at great expense and inconvenienceREAD MORE >
BANANAS You might have heard that bananas are favored by athletes because they contain potassium and it's that same reason that makes them great hangover cures. When you're hungover, your body has lost a lot of potassium that needs to be replenished, so eatingREAD MORE >
Images © Graham King “The shopping cart tree symbolizes both generosity and abundance, as well as acknowledging those less fortunate where their whole world may be housed in a cart. We see shopping carts every day and take them for granted. IndividuallyREAD MORE >
TIP 1: Wrap Your Home in Insulation - "The More, The Better!" Proper insulation is probably the most important factor you can control in creating an energy-efficient home. I always say insulation is like chocolate, the more you have, the better! On average,READ MORE >
While conjuring up comfort in the home seems like a basic principle, it’s a far more complex process for architect & remodeling guru Sarah Susanka, who believes that comfort can significantly influence the sustainability of your personal abode. WithREAD MORE >
Two architects, Jos Burger and Wouter Keijzer of BK. Architecten, in charge of the renovation of the old church decided to preserve the atmosphere of the existing place with a spatial intervention that preserves its historical value. The three new floors wereREAD MORE >
For centuries, the Dutch have manipulated the landscape to move water away from their dwellings. Instead of battling the elements, Netherlands-based firm Waterstudio just announced plans to construct the world's first floating apartment complex in 2014! TheREAD MORE >