This Biotechnology game lets you play with living creatures

Now a computer game which might help with biomedical research has been designed.It’s really quite ingenious. See for yourself.

Researchers are using  miniscule robots increasingly for solving a range of problems, from cancer treatment to water purification. And with developing technology there is a race on to make these devices ever smaller.

However there is a limit to how far one can go with a mechanical device for example moving parts such as motors can physically only get so small.


This is the reason why researchers are looking to the natural world to help. Single cell organisms like bacteria and algae, could make the parts in the miniaturised robots move, without the need for an external power source. Such organisms respond to changes in their environment like light and food by moving, and if these movements can be harnessed, we can use them as motors.

A news published in Lab on a Chip, Ingmar Riedel-Kruse and fellow scientists from Stanford University in the U.S. have demonstrated the use of one such organism, in the form of a game.

This game is basically based on Euglena gracilis, single cell algae which moves in response to changes in strong light. This game is somewhat like Pacman where the organisms are directed around a maze or “captured” in a space on the screen by the users turning lights on and off. This ability to control the movement of the algae demonstrates their potential application in mini, single cell organism-driven motors.

In this set-up, the algae’s movements are programmable. This is  a promising first step towards creating a microcomputer built on biotechnology.