Thanks to advances in the biological sciences, the rapidly developing biotechnology offers us a promising future with an overwhelming attraction, in which not only animals, for example, with synthetic biology, open new chapters or are de novo synthesized to solve the problems in the world such as energy crisis, environmental pollution, and for the purpose, to serve human beings better, but also the "life" itself as a tool as well. In light of growth of such new branches on the tree of life, we might ask ourselves, whether we embrace a "brave new world"?
Consultation comprises of two devices that are used to prophesy future events and to indicate current situations. In these two devices magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) is applied that synthesize magnetic iron nanominerals (Fe3O4 or Fe3S4), which func-tion as tiny compasses for navigation of the microbes using Earth’s geomagnetic field.
Consultation M recalls the ancient Chinese ritual gua consultation and combines it with personal health check. Gua is articulated in 64 grouped symbols, each could be converted into binary codes, they provide the basis for the Chinese oracle book I Ching, also known as Book of Changes. Historically, the practice of gua consultation relates to the morality.
This is a prototype device that addresses a fictive commercial market. The con-sultation consists of three steps: first, one draws a blood sample from him or herself and injects it into the appropriate hose, second, one places the sphygmomanometer on his or her wrist, third, one breathes out into the other hose and turns on the sphygmomanometer. The magnetotactic bacteria act as biosensor and generate the gua symbol with the help of magnetic head like magnetic tape.
The bacteria, the hoses and the syringe with needle are disposable.
Consultation AL refers to Conway's Game of Life, a two-dimensional cellular automaton. The cellular automaton is a self-reproducing system that allows the de-velopment of the cells to be studied, as “artificial life” or life on silicon. Adhering to the Von Neumann architecture on which contemporary computers are generally based, there occurs a sequence of dynamic media memories, which Consultation AL explores. In 2011 Ben North und Oliver Nash‘s project Magnetic core memory reborn achieved the resuscitation of magnetic core memory, a predominant form of random-access computer memory used around 1955-75, for the Arduino. The magnetic core memory uses hard magnetic toroids, which are magnetized and read by electric currents. In Consultation AL the cores are substituted with magnetotactic bacteria, and this modulated core memory functions as a kind of memory of the Arduino, based on which the game of life plays out.
Further research and development with magnetotactic bacteria
With regard to the attribute of magnetotactic bacteria to synthesize magnetic iron nanominerals (Fe3O4 or Fe3S4), developing "magnetic tape" with these bacteria is set on the agenda.
Author of the project and execution: Ping Lu
Support: KHM, Interface Culture, AEC
Special Thanks: Mi You
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