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Inside the Lab That's Growing Mushroom Computers

recording electrical activity of a Schizophyllum commune fungus

Recording electrical activity of Schizophyllum commune, a split gill fungus.

Credit: Irina Petrova Adamatzky

On top of the cluttered desks of the Unconventional Computing Laboratory at the University of the West of England are large plastic containers with electrodes sticking out of a foam-like substance, and a massive motherboard with tiny oyster mushrooms growing on top of it. 

The lab was founded in 2001 with the belief that the computers of the coming century will be made of chemical or living systems, or wetware.

Integrating these systems into the computing infrastructure could in theory allow information to be processed and analyzed in new ways. It's an idea that has gained ground recently.

"We can say I'm planning to make a brain from mushrooms," says lab director Andrew Adamatzky.

From Popular Science
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