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TI-E. Coli

Save any E-coli bacteria you find...it may prove valuable.

For example, American scientists engineered E-coli bacteria in a way that it acts as a computer and can solve complex mathematical problems faster than most computers.

The E. coli bacterial computer was used to solve the Hamiltonian Path Problem. The task is to visit a number of interconnected cities, but each only once and with a shortest route (i.e. also known as the Traveling Salesman's Problem).

The difficulty of the problem grows very fast, as with ten cities, one faces more than 3.5 million possible routes.

The E. coli bacterial computer, with its zillions of bacteria put to work, can look at every route simultaneously. Also, the scientists claim that the bacterial computer will actually increase in power as the bacteria reproduce.

To provide more background, the problem was coded by modifying the DNA of E. coli bacteria. Each city was represented by genes causing the bacteria to glow red or green, with the possible routes between the cities being traversed via random shuffling of the DNA. When bacteria discovered the correct answer and glowed both colors, the "cities" were turned yellow.

Just amazing....

Source: Guardian.co.uk, July 24 2009