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Wednesday, November 08, 2006 Silicon and Sun

Summary: Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Silicon and Sun
In his lab facing the Pacific Ocean, Daniel Morse is learning new
ways to build complex semiconductor devices for cheaper, more
efficient solar cells. He has an unlikely teacher: sea sponges.
By Kevin Bullis
In his beachfront office overlooking the
Santa Barbara channel, Daniel Morse
carefully unwraps one of his prized
specimens. An intricate latticework of
gleaming glass fibers, it looks like a piece of
abstract art or a detailed architectural model
of a skyscraper. But it's actually the skeleton
of one of the most primitive multicellular
organisms still in existence--a species of
marine sponge commonly known as Venus's
flower basket. Morse, a molecular biologist
at the University of California, Santa Barbara,
wants to know how such a simple creature
can assemble such a complicated structure.


Source: Aksay, Ilhan A. - Department of Chemical Engineering, Princeton University


Collections: Materials Science