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Squid extract bridges human / machine divide, cyborgs to become very real

Joseph Volpe, @jrvolpe
September 21, 2011
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If we ever manage to capture a live giant squid, researchers at the University of Washington are going to have a field day. Enterprising minds at the institution's materials science and engineering department have discovered a use for chitosan -- an extract made from squid pen or crab shells that could lead us down a cybernetic road to human / machine interfaces. The team incorporated the organic compound into their field-effect transistor prototype, and effectively created the first protonic circuitry "that's completely analogous to [the way] an electronic current" can be manipulated. Naturally, the silicon-based tech isn't ready (or safe) for implantation into humans just yet, but could one day be used to control biological functions, sending on / off commands to our bodies. So, maybe we won't have to fear that robot apocalypse, after all. You never know, give scientists ample time to fully flesh this advancement out and Spielberg's next great cinematic, sci-fi opus could wind up becoming a cyborg rom-com. Stranger things have happened folks.

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