On c|net.com (you have to click to skip an annoying ad first) there was a great article today that seemed to be a perfect follow up on last night's post - although I'm sure c|net doesn't get it's ideas from reading my blog (their loss *wink*).
The article "Playing science's genetic lottery" is about how "...single-celled animals might be some of the most important figures in high technology. Driving this trend is a small but growing number of start-ups and researchers that are trying to tap the power of the metabolic pathway--the complex chemical reactions inside a living organism that turn food into energy, body parts and waste products."
Some of the examples are fascinating! For example "Researchers at Rice University and the University of Southern California have embarked on a project to harness the power of Shewanella oneidensis(note - this link is to a picture that took a while to load on DSL - if you're on dial-up don't click!), a microorganism that essentially spits lightning. Rather than consume oxygen to turn food into energy, Shewanella consumes metals. In five years, the researchers hope to have a fuel cell that can propel itself."
I have often mourned that my youthful science fiction daydreams, induced by Heinlein, Clarke and Asimov filled reading - colonies in space stations and on the Moon and Mars or the asteroids - have not (and probably will not in my lifetime) come true. It seems, however that things as, or more, amazing than living extraterrestrially could come true before I pass away. And with other research going on in cloning and stem cells and nanotech - who knows, maybe I will live long enough to see it after all.
Today at work I was in a bit of a rut trying to solve a problem and I remembered that a technique called Mind Mapping has been helpful in the past. So I went on a search for some software that had a trial download period so I could put out a couple maps without investing several hundred dollars (yeah, those programs aren't cheap) and I found a freeware version! You betcha I downloaded that! If you're interested it can be found at Freemind. Anyway, using the mind map was very helpful and I did break through my roadblock. Now I'm thinking - this could be vewwy vewwy good for writing, too. I may just have a go at it. I'm stymied on one story and out of steam on another - this could revitalize them both.
Oh, I also downloaded fellow AWer and blogger Fahim's PlotCraft software. I need to explore it, too. I love gizmos and gadgets. My poor VAIO is stuffed to the gills. I think I may need to get a new compy soon that can handle all the stuff I use without groaning.
Dawno, c|net, biotech, Nanotech, Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, Asimov, Mind Mapping, Absolute Write, Plot Craft