This is Doom running on E. coli bacteria


MIT biotech researcher Lauren “Ren” Ramlan has run the iconic computer game Doom using gut bacteria. It’s not doing the running of the game, per se, but it is running (barely) on a display inside a cell wall made entirely of E. coli bacteria.

The researcher dosed the bacteria with fluorescent proteins to ensure they lit up like digital pixels, reaching a heady 32×48 resolution. In their paper, Ramlan says “To run Doom, all one needs is a screen and willpower,” mentioning Doom running on the digital display for a pregnancy test.

However, this is not playable. It takes 70 minutes for the bacteria to illuminate one frame of the game and another eight hours to return to its starting state. So, nearly nine hours per frame. Your Switch doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

— Mat Smith

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