Water Drops
+ Comments(0) Water Drops - 2005-11-21 15:11:41

Industrial machinery is useful (and blokey); nanotechnology predicts to be the answer to everything - but I believe it is nature that is already holds the ultimate machines.

Powered by the sun, water and air, leaves make intricate arrangements of biomass and amongst other things, oxygen, which proves to be a rather useful thing for us. A tree is a fairly complex organism so it's no wonder that we've started out in biotechnology at the more "basic" level of single celled creatures such as bacteria and algae.

An amazing example is the production of insulin for treatment of diabetes.

Once engineers had identified the DNA sequence responsible for the production of insulin (amazing in itself) they genetically modified the DNA of a strain of bacteria - forcing in the insulin "code". Now you have big vats of "insulin" bacteria churning out the stuff, which is otherwise extremely difficult to produce.

In the future I can see bacteria being modified to produce muscle tissue, fat and bone in much the same way. A carefully arranged combination and you'll get lamb chops being extruded from a tray of bugs. I wonder if that will bring the vegetarians back to a more omnivarious diet?

Canon EOS 10D
1/5 sec f 6.3 65 mm Flash: Not Fired ISO: 100