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Fears about bio-chips and nanofabrication

Ross O. Storey | Aug. 24, 2009
How dangerous is it to mesh technology with human biology and what are the limits?

Heres how the process is explained in our IDG report:

The approach takes advantage of DNA's natural ability to incorporate large amounts of complex information that can be applied to different types of activities.

To make a chip, the scientists first create lithographic templatesthe patterns from which circuits are madeusing traditional chip-making techniques. Later, they pour a DNA solution over the surface of the silicon and the tiny triangles and squareswhat the scientists call DNA origamiline themselves up to the patterns etched out using lithography.

"It's too early to say whether this will be a game changer," Allen said. "But we're pretty enthusiastic about the potential of this technique."

Where does the DNA come from?

Now Im not a scientist and Im hoping that someone will ask the question about whos DNA molecules get used for these planned bio-chips, or whether Im misunderstanding the whole concept (a distinct possibility).

Nevertheless, the idea of using human elements, tissue, organs, molecules or whatever, incorporated with circuitry, chips, machines or mechanisms, leaves me cold and disturbed.

Lets hope the marketers can properly explain such remarkable advances, so that worry warts like me can be re-assured.

Ross O. Storey, currently the Managing Editor of Fairfax Business Media Asia, is responsible for the editorial content and production of MIS Asia, CIO Asia, Computerworld Singapore and Computerworld Malaysia magazines.      


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