Feeds

Top US boffin plans jizz-based LEDs

US forces to benefit from spunktronic performance

High performance access to file storage

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).®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.