Feeds

Top US boffin plans jizz-based LEDs

US forces to benefit from spunktronic performance

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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).®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.