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"Evolving electronics" could lead to new electrical devices
Scientists at Durham University, UK, have “taught” materials to form electrical pathways in order to solve a simple problem, which could eventually lead to new electronic devices. Taking their inspiration from nature, where living organisms evolve to perform complex tasks, the researchers trained tiny carbon nanotubes, suspended in a liquid crystal solution, to form new electrical pathways to sort data into two categories. When varying electrical voltages were applied to the material using a computer programme, the carbon nanotubes changed position within the solution creating new electrical circuits and increasing its ability to solve the task over time.