back to article Antibody transistor grabs gold

The immune system response in which antibodies bind to specific molecules they recognize has been exploited to create a self-assembling protein-based transistor. The Taiwanese researchers claiming the breakthrough say it could help overcome a difficult hurdle in the world of organic electronics: providing a repeatable way to “ …


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  1. Chimp

    Thai, as in, Thai-wan?

    Wrong part of the world, methinks.

    Now, if you meant Taiwan... Easy mistake to make. Phonologically, that is.

    1. Richard Chirgwin (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Thai, as in, Thai-wan?

      Thanks all for the correction. As you can see, I have now revised the copy.

  2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

    Can you use this to mine alluvial gold?

    1. Implant anti-body gene in convenient bacteria

    2. Grow in large quantities

    3. Direct gold-bearing stream through fermenter vessel

    4. Collect gold-rich bacteria sludge

    5. Profit!

    1. Richard Boyce

      re: wow!

      1. If your protein is inside the bacterium, it's not got access to the gold outside.

      2. If your protein is on the outside, while it's looking for lumps of gold to grab on to, other things in the outside world will be grabbing your protein for a light snack.

      But hopeless odds never put off a prospector with gold fever. Go for it. :)

      1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

        Re: re: wow!

        Two good points, but there are plenty of trans-membrane proteins, so it's not really a bigger problem than a micro-organism usually faces. However, what about bio-engineering a jointed protein arm with the gold receptor on the end? Then, once the bacterium has picked up some gold, it can use the jointed arm to whack any predators with a gold club. Easy.

    2. Yag

      Re: Can you use this to mine alluvial gold?

      You forgot something :

      4. Collect gold-rich bacteria sludge

      4.1 Retrieve and sell the gold

      4.2 Pay for the loan you had to take in order to fund the massive investment needed to bioengineer significant amount of gold-gathering

      4.3 Notice that you still owe a lot to the bank

      4.4 Start doing something else

      4.5 ???

      5. Profit

  3. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

    Life imitates ST:Voyager?

    Bio-neural gel packs, anyone?

  4. Pete the not so great

    Can you eat it?

    When it fails or is replaced?

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Can you eat it?

      Yeah, and I bet it tastes like chicken.

      Mine's the one sewn together from a diverse collection of furs.

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