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 Projects and Studies
P1142
Biosciences and ICT - two worlds growing together?
closed
For further information please contact:

Peter Stollenmayer
Project Supervisor
EURESCOM
Wieblinger Weg 19/4
69123 Heidelberg, Germany

Project Information
What is this Project about?

In summary:
Which aspects of bioscience will have an impact on ICT, what are the timescales involved and what should TelCos do about it?

This explorative Study provides the opportunity for an early look at a new and challenging area of future technology relevant to EURESCOM Shareholders: "Biosciences and ICT".

Visions of the future invariably include descriptions of brain implants, human machine symbiosis (cyborgs), smart prosthesis, molecular computing, nanotechnology, genetic manipulation of natural systems, etc. This Study is about untangling some of these ideas and identifying the potentially important ones from pure fantasy.

There are already examples of successful integration of molecular and biological technology with ICT. These include: bio-sensors for detecting substances like explosives and the interfacing of biological cells or complex molecules to silicon chips. Laboratory experiments have demonstrated the formation of wet logical gates, the building blocks of computers, in the test tube. Although these developments are still at an early stage, they show that progress is being made towards overcoming key barriers.

Longer-term speculation may include complex molecular nano-machines that circulate through the human body identifying hostile cells and viruses and communicating their presence externally. Alternatively, could we expect Cisco to bring a wet router to market within ten years?

A key issue for the Study Team is how we classify, understand and monitor these developments to help Shareholders identify which will be significant and possibly spot new opportunities. The Study has a strong cross-disciplinary flavor, however at the same time the detailed science and technology is highly specialized.

The study focuses on the ways in which biosciences may contribute to ICT. The use of ICT as an enabling technology for the pursuit of bioscience (for example the field of bioinformatics) and medical science (for example remote surgery) is excluded from the scope of the study.

What are the main objectives of this Study?

  • Research and explore current thinking on molecular or biological systems which may lead to innovations in ICT systems. Examples could be ‘wet computing’, ‘bio-chips’ or ‘artificial neural pathways’.
  • Explain and classify current and future developments in this area. This should include clarification of concepts and terminologies used.
  • Provide scenarios that speculate on future uses of bio inspired ICT systems.
  • Provide a set of recommendations on the applicability of these developments to telecommunications and if appropriate suggest areas of further Study, collaboration and application.
Project Results
Deliverable Title  No Planned issue date
Biosciences and ICT - Two worlds growing together?   published