We talk about how much paper is wasted each day in offices and homes, where moving to the digital platform is supposed to eliminate the paper problem. The thing is, electronic waste is also a big issue to resolve, and with more and more countries adopting digital platforms, waste from obsolete phones, cameras, computers and other mobile devices have proved to be a potentially huge problem. Not only are circuitry and packaging non-biodegradable, but most of the time they are laced with toxic substances including heavy metals. How about a biodegradable piece of electronics that could even be eaten once you are done with it? Sounds disgusting, but who knows, you might want to slather some ketchup over your keyboard in the future.
Biodegradable information technology could be a possibility in the future with this announcement made by Fiorenzo Omenetto of Tufts University in Massachusetts, US, alongside his co-workers who claimed that they have the ability to create a laser from silk. This silk laser is said to be immensely strong, stronger than steel in fact, and can be used to manufacture tough fibres and ropes, while being biodegradable at the same time. Could it see action in manufacturing medical implants like screws, or artificial blood vessels?
The other use would be for action in high-tech optical technology, including the kind that makes up the basis of optical storage and telecommunications. Microscopic moulds are able to shape silk into structures which reflect and diffract light, such as found on DVDs, and can also support holograms. The silk laser is a further improvement on the idea where it can generate light from it as well. When you expound it, you will get ‘edible’ electronics, although one might need plenty of garnishing to make it palatable.
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