Primordial Biocomputer

Inspired by Andrew Adamatzky's pioneering work on the logic of slime moulds, Primordial Biocomputer questions the expectation of living materials to act mechanistically in designed systems.

 

The emerging technological fields of synthetic and systems biology are challenging the boundaries between living and inert matter, and raising questions about humanity’s relationship to non-human organisms. Genetically modified organisms are increasingly being used in industrial processes; however, outside these controlled environments, can we expect them to behave mechanistically?

 

The Primordial Biocomputer places acellular slime moulds in a series of logic gates which make up a simple physical computing device. Over roughly 2 weeks, the slime moulds make decisions based on their chemical environment, which can be output as binary data.

 

Can the slime moulds correctly calculate 2 + 3, or will their inherent unpredictable nature override their human-prescribed task?

 

The Biocomputer:

Slime mould:

OR logic gate:

AND logic gate:

On display at Design Externality Crisis:

Early experimentation:

© 2018 Joseph Revans