Where technology meets biology

Stanford University's Bio-X initiative is bringing together teams of engineers and doctors to develop the new technologies of tomorrow. Spurred by Netscape co-founder Jim Clark's $150 million donation, some of the projects include attaching a digital camera to retinal cells enabling people to overcome blindness and human tissue engineering. They estimate that they are 10 to 15 years away from actually going into a stem cell and making it build an organ like a liver or kidney. Future computers may even have more organic parts requiring "food" to run them instead of electricity. HAL meets the Cookie Monster? Stanford's proximity to Silicon Valley facilitates this kind of interaction. A 350-seat restaurant is being planned where researchers can discuss new ideas. This type of interdisciplinary research is perhaps the hottest thing in academics. Ah, to be young again.
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