If there are two things the Internet loves, it's cute, fuzzy animals and deadly cyborgs. As awesome as those two things are on their own, though, combining them gives us something that's often more disturbing and insane than either of those could bring us on their own.
Ah, science. Apparently, we won't learn until Terminator badgers and RoboCop narwhals take over the world.
7Leech Brain Computers
Here's a question for you: If the human brain is way faster and more efficient than a computer many times its size, why aren't we devoting our time to trying to design artificial, organic brains instead of computers? If your answer is that the result would be a superintelligent, unpredictable monstrosity that would quickly take over the Earth, well, that's probably the reason.
Science: bringing nightmares to life.
But science, oh glorious science, couldn't resist the temptation forever and is already taking steps toward creating an organic thinking machine. In 1999, scientists at Georgia Tech created a computer able to do basic computations, and they made it out of a leech's brain.
Via BBC News
Yes, a leech. It will be a blood-drinking robot.
What Were They Thinking?
Since this is fairly uncharted territory, the eggheads figured they'd better start small. The robo-leech is only able to do simple calculations, but it's still a solid first step into bio-organic computer components. In the decade since, scientists have continued research into making living things into computer parts. Take, for example, the gold-plated microbes that scientists built to act as humidity sensors in moisture-sensitive equipment. They're four times more accurate at detecting moisture than solely electronic sensors.
Via BBC News
We're not even to the creepy (or is it creepiest?) part of this whole scheme. They built this thing specifically so it could think for itself and, if it didn't know the answer to a question, to figure it out for its damn self. According to one of its creators, "Ordinary computers need absolutely correct information every time to come to the right answer. We hope a biological computer will come to the correct answer based on partial information, by filling in the gaps itself."
Yeah, that makes sense.
We won't have to worry about rogue A.I.s becoming sentient one day if they're already living, thinking things. Then it's just a certainty.
6Chemical Detectors Made From Living Animal Parts
As humans, we don't have very good senses of smell. For example, you can slowly get used to the funk of your unwashed body and then you can honestly say, "I don't know why everyone's complaining, I can't smell a thing." It works. Possibly even in a court of law. Trust us.
"Does anyone smell that? You don't?"
This is why we need animals to do our really important smelling tasks for us, like with bomb-sniffing dogs. They're great at it, and they get those bulletproof vests that make them just look adorable.
Aw, who's a good justice-loving doggie? Yes you are!
But you think science is going to stop there? Shit, no! That's why it's time for supersmelling machines made out of bees. Or frog guts. Obviously.
What Were They Thinking?
See, the problem with dogs is you have to train each dog individually, and most dogs are only trained to sniff out just a few scents at a time. So what if you need, say, 30 some-odd chemicals sniffed out at once? The answer is bees. Bees have noses that are just as good as a dog's, but they're much easier and faster to train. They can only be trained to respond to one scent at a time, but they're small enough that you can keep a bunch of them in a small space. Enter the VASOR136.
It's like the bastard child of a hand vac and a Ghostbusters containment device.
It's a device that holds tiny cartridges filled with bees. Bee cartridges. Each bee is attuned to a specific scent like meth or TNT and, when they smell it, they respond by extending their proboscis, just like bees normally do when they smell nectar. The device detects that and, voila, the scent has been detected. (Also, the bees are let go afterward. You don't just leave them in there or anything.)
That's interesting, because AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!
But if you're looking for the next level shit, some Japanese scientists have got what you need. They took the scent receptor cells from an African clawed frog, genetically modified them to work like an insect's, and put them in a portable device. They say the frog cells worked better because they were big enough to individually manipulate, but we think that they probably just had too many frogs laying around or something.
Craziest of all, though, is that they actually mounted the thing to a robot and their report gives instructions on just how they did it. That's great for all of you who thought you could hide from a robot uprising, or cover yourself in mud to hide from their infrared sensors. Don't worry, their super sense of smell will find you just fine.