Scientists with Silicon Brains?

TUESDAY, JULY 11, 2017

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Science Magazine recently published a feature article about how technologies such as the Echo Liquid Handlers are replacing human scientists to make processes more automated and efficient. Describing the lab at Labcyte customer Zymergen, a synthetic biology company in Emeryville, CA, the author writes “Instead of using a pipette to suck up and squirt microliters of liquid into each well – a tidal wave of volume on the cellular scale – the robot never touches it. Instead, 500 times per second, a pulse of sound waves causes the liquid itself to ripple and launch a droplet a thousand times smaller than one a human can transfer.”

An exciting new wave of technologies is being built on top of foundational instruments like ours – ushering in a new era of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Computer programs are designing experiments, with the goal that one day scientists will spend much less if any time on the tedious, time and cost intensive parts of their jobs, and be liberated to do more interesting and advanced work.

While the field is still developing and has a long way to go, you can learn more about how computer algorithms are being employed to design and run experiments in the article, "A new breed of scientist, with brains of silicon.”