Occasional thoughts and deeds of an Engineer
RSS icon Email icon Home icon
  • Maybe I am not so brilliant

    Posted on August 17th, 2016 cwmoore No comments

    Ok, just when I think i am pretty smart or was really smart in my 30’s, along comes some really amazing things that make you re-think your own brilliance.  For example, neural dust device or how about Synthetic Biology.  All this technology is so amazing and  mind boggling that at times I wish I was thirty again.

    Synthetic biology is a highly interdisciplinary field, which combines biology, chemistry and physics with engineering. Its goal is to design molecular factories and synthetic cells with novel properties or functions for applications in healthcare, industry, or biological and medical research. Such artificial systems are in the nanometer scale and are built by combining and assembling existing, synthetic or engineered building blocks (e.g., proteins). Molecular systems have wide application ranges, e.g., for chemical compound synthesis, waste disposal, energy supply and medical diagnosis or treatment.

    Berkeley engineers have built the first dust-sized, wireless sensors that can be implanted in the body, bringing closer the day when a Fitbit-like device could monitor internal nerves, muscles or organs in real time. Wireless, batteryless implantable sensors could improve brain control of prosthetics, avoiding wires that go through the skull. (UC Berkeley video by Roxanne Makasdjian and Stephen McNally) Because these batteryless sensors could also be used to stimulate nerves and muscles, the technology also opens the door to “electroceuticals” to treat disorders such as epilepsy or to stimulate the immune system or tamp down inflammation.

    All this makes me wish I was working again – almost.