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Salmon sperm used to intensify LEDs, grossify everyone

Nilay Patel
March 11, 2008
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See, the problem with bioengineering isn't moral or ethical dilemmas, or even homicidal robo-droids enslaving humanity. It's that if you let researchers go wild, eventually they'll find a way to make LEDs out of salmon sperm, threatening the sanctity (and sperm-free-ness) of your entire gadget-based lifestyle. Yet that's exactly what Professor Andrew Steckl of the University of Cincinnati has managed to do, using the DNA found in salmon sperm to enhance the brightness of LEDs. The so-called BioLEDs are being developed in cooperation with the Air Force (yes, the Air Force -- they had a "good source" of salmon sperm, apparently) and they've been so successful that Steckl has been getting salmon sperm from researchers worldwide "wanting to see if their sperm is good enough." Steckl says that since salmon sperm is considered a waste product of the fishing industry, BioLEDs are particularly green -- kind of like our faces right now.

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