Sperm-derived power system for nanobots patented
Emissions issue overcome by spunky boffins
Cybernetics designers have long tended to copy successful anatomical features from living creatures. Now nano-robotics boffins are getting in on the act, seeking to make use of the process which drives sperm.
Apparently your regular sperm makes use of a process called "glycolysis" to generate energy with which to swim tremendously long distances (relative to its size). Brainboxes at Cornell University aim to replicate this process for use in powering "nanoscale robots".
"Our idea is not the final product but rather an energy-delivery system," said Alex Travis of the Cornell veterinary school. The research was presented on Monday at the American Society for Cell Biology's annual meeting.
It seems that sperm make use of ten different enzyme processes in the "fibrous sheath" that encases their tail to make glycolysis happen. Travis and his pals have cracked only three of these stages in a way that can be replicated on a chip, but they consider this to be "proof of principle".
Indeed, the Cornell researchers believe that miniscule spunk-drive robomachines could one day be widespread, and earn big money for their inventors. Potential uses would include the targeting of specific cells within a body - not unlike what sperm do normally, in fact.
Now the boffins just need someone to get in bed with them.
"We have a provisional patent, so if a company shows interest, we could work something out with them," said Travis.
Or, of course, the Cornell boffins could become owner-operators.
A tad more (as it were) from the University magazine can be read here. ®
the boffins who are trying for the patent, should be required to follow each sample of "prior art" during production, and then to examine each sample in detail, for however many sample contributors decide to show up to challenge this patent.
i feel certain that they'd quickly decide that trying to patent a widespread and established natural process is beating a...well, you know.
this is especially true for a process they haven't completely figured out yet. perhaps they should be given a "patent in principle", which would provide absolutely no protection, but give everyone else easy access to their work, and if someone else patents the process (and all of its details) in its entirety, before they do, then the "patent in principle" becomes void. this should discourage other greedy tossers from trying to patent things they don't really understand.
i eagerly await the first patent on the stars (luminous stellar bodies distantly seen through the atmosphere), a la "The Little Prince"; this patent will instantly be granted, because no one else had the gall to apply for such a thing before. prior art (literally art, this time) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry will, of course, be discarded as irrelevant.
it seems practical at this point to take the entire USPTO out to a testing facility, run repeated IQ tests on all persons working on patents or setting policy, and fire anyone who scores under 105 intellectual IQ. when that is done, run repeated psychological tests and interviews, to establish who among the remaining persons actually cares enough to do a decent job, then fire everyone else. lastly, give all remaining persons a salary of $100k or above, with the firm promise of regular raises, and tell them that they will be subject to monthly ethics and quality oversight. most who stay, will be worth keeping.
this process should also make the USPTO much harder to corrupt and mislead.
i "spit" in their general direction (USPTO and the research tossers, both).
Nanobots are too far ahead...
There are excellent potential applications for the glycolysis based power process without bothering to build nanobots. Imagine a cell-phone charging implant. Just plug your phone into your hip jack for perpetual text-message readiness, while burning off your last bucket of KFC. I smell a new Boost mobile campaign in the US. I can't speak for the incidence of obesity amongst chavs across the pond, but the possibilities are endless...
Even better, if the implant were positioned correctly you could kill two birds with one stone and provide free birth control by - ironically enough - overheating the sperm with waste heat. All but the lowest pants wearers would probably want the output jack positioned a little higher via an internal wire!
It's just too damned easy. I mean cum on.....
But i do wonder if this would promote alt. energy production for off-grid systems applicable to homesteading.
Mind you, I am all for off-grid power for homes....but that is a lot of kinetic energy expended....and I would lose interest after the first six or seven hours.
And if your battery runs down in your laptop or Ipod....you run the risk of an indecent exposure charge if in public.
It's thoughts like this that perpetually guarantee coal every year for Christmas for me...and odd looks from my wife and her family.