Wednesday, August 17, 2005

No Worker Too Small

Hello, I'm back from my sybaritic seaside revels, and I can't quite decide if this is really cool or really creepy. Or plausibly, I guess, both. Scientists have harnessed up algae cells and made them haul tiny cargoes of polystyrene beads around little chambers, dubbing the petite slaves (not even a carrot to motivate this workforce: they're enticed along the desired path by attractive low-intensity light, or else driven along it by repulsive high-intensity) 'microoxen'.

Most chilling statement from the report's co-author: 'We harness their motors to make them perform unconventional tasks.'

The imagination balks.

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