The living computer


One of the most fascinating potential devices to come from synthetic biology is a biological computer – a 'living computer' – capable of processing functions in the biological world, such as the inside of a human cell, or in environments where conventional computers cannot go, like the ocean floor. Researchers at Imperial developed an oscillator from E. coli bacteria earlier this year.


In Other News...
SIZE really isn't everything you know
New findings by scientists at Imperial College London have cast doubt on the legacy of 'the island rule'.

Shake on it
Girls, forget about Facebook and trawling through his old text messages – the key to your boyfriend's past lies in his handshake.

Magnetic personality
Physical attraction has reached another level for Aurel Raileanu. The 40-yearold Romanian claims that he can attract metal, enabling him to stick objects – as small as a paper clip or as large as a TV set – directly to his body.

Drunksophila!
What differentiates a lightweight from a heavyweight when it comes to drinking? Identifying the genes involved is tricky in humans due to a lack of control over both genetic and environmental factors.

Handlebar heroes
Take your mind back to the month of November. Perhaps you noticed an increase in the number of mustachioed men walking our streets? If so, you may have been witness to some of the hundreds of men growing a moustache for charity.

Wellcome flesh
Late last year, the Wellcome Collection played host to 'Materials Library Presents Flesh: an experimental and experiential insight into the materiality of flesh'.


In This Issue...
Fly me to the Moon
Nira Datta and Tamsin Osborne talk to British documentary maker Chris Riley about his latest film, In the Shadow of the Moon.

Biological revolution
Living machines? Modular biology? These terms seem counterintuitive but they are becoming part of the vernacular at Imperial College's Institute of Systems and Synthetic Biology. Brett Cherry and Tim Sands went to find out what they mean.
Sex, Drugs and Greed: obesity research - a fat lot of use?
Katrina Pavelin talks over weighty matters with Imperial's Professor Steve Bloom and finds that there is no easy solution to the obesity crisis.

You little beasts!
Strange goings on in South Kensington David Stacey investigates.

 

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