Feeds

Top US boffin plans jizz-based LEDs

US forces to benefit from spunktronic performance

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

One of America's top light-emitting-diode boffins plans to develop improved LEDs made from sperm. Salmon sperm, to be precise - for now at any rate.

According to a tongue-in-cheek University of Cincinnati release dated last week, Prof Andrew Steckl is quite forthright about his plans.

"Biological materials have many technologically important qualities - electronic, optical, structural, magnetic," he says.

"But certain materials are hard to duplicate, such as DNA and proteins."

It seems that DNA - quite apart from its other well-known properties - is especially useful as an electron trap in LEDs.

"It allows improvements in one to two orders of magnitude in terms of efficiency, light, brightness - because we can trap electrons longer," explains Steckl.

It seems that the US Air Force Research laboratory, funding Steckl's research, was especially keen to consider sources of supply in developing a new generation of electronic components. They wanted to use materials which would involve no environmental damage, and which were not controlled by sinister foreign powers.

You or I, not being top scientists, would perhaps be stumped if asked to find a source of DNA - in industrial quantities, mind - which fulfilled these requirements. But not Steckl, who came up with sperm.

"Salmon sperm is considered a waste product of the fishing industry - it's thrown away by the ton," the Prof says, thankfully without going into detail.

The UC press department, perhaps suffering a rush of blood to the brain, adds that while Steckl is currently using DNA from salmon, he thinks that other sources might be equally useful. The UC scribes make the obvious point:

"For the United States, the [jism-based] approach takes advantage of something in which we continue to be a world leader..."

(That's agriculture, apparently.)

In a further naughtiness-aforethought quote, the puckish professor reports that his research has led to widespread excitement in the scientific community. He says he's receiving samples "from researchers around the world wanting to see if their sperm is good enough".

Steckl's plan does seem to raise some troubling questions. Assuming robust takeup of the new fish-emission-tronic LED tech, and some kind of massive piscine porn industry arising to service the inevitable eruption in materials output, it seems reasonable to suppose that the male salmon population will soon become too weary to reproduce themselves. At that point, jism futures might go ballistic and it could be literally all hands to the pumps in order to secure US military supplies.

Possibly a case of taking LED from one's pencil, so to speak (sorry).®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.