Bioengineering Roundup—Science Update: The Science Radio News Feature of the AAAS

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Bioengineering Roundup
February 22, 2008
Researchers use a diatom’s genes to design a better microchip.
Computer chips from slime. I‘m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
In a net, diatom algae looks like green scum. But under a microscope,each cell is an intricate masterpiece, created out of glass, or silica.And now University of Wisconsin engineers have isolated the genes inthe diatom’s chromosomes involved in creating the shells; their goal isto harness the diatom’s glass working ability to make tinier, morepowerful microchips.
A bee hive benefits from bits of information shared by dancingscout bees. Now Georgia Tech engineers have borrowed ideas fromhoneybees to improve software for busy computer servers. While theircomputer program doesn’t use actual dancing, it does collect andprocess information much the way bees do, improving efficiency by up totwenty five percent. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.