Bacterial machines--real ones
Fully merging microbe and machine for the first time, scientists have created gold-plated bacteria that can sense humidity.
The breakthrough is the first "cellborg," heralding what might become an array of devices that could sense dangerous gases or other hazardous substances.
The bioelectronic device swells and contracts in response to how much water vapor is in the air. It’s called a cellborg humidity sensor, and it is at least four times more sensitive than those that are solely electronic. It even works even when its biological parts are long dead.
(More info and technical details in the article).
We're already using bacteria for bio-remediation, to produce insulin and growth hormone, in mining, and even to control mosquito populations. I anticipate that the applications will grow exponentially in years to come, reminding us again just what a large role these microscopic critters play in our everday lives.