OLED And Mini LED Are Cool But Here Is Doom Running On A Display Made Of Gut Bacteria

hero e coli
If you ever wake up one day finding yourself wanting to play OG Doom on an 18x32 pixel display made of E. Coli bacteria with FPS as slow as molasses, then you ought to give MIT researcher Lauren Ramlan a call. We have a gut feeling that you'll have the time of your life, as long as you have 600 years to spare.

600 years is how long biotech research whiz Lauren "Ren" Ramlan estimates it'll take a player to complete Doom on the buggy console. This is due to the speed (or the lack thereof) at which the gut bacteria-based display refreshes itself. More on that in a bit, but first, we have to highlight Ramlan's ingenious creation and setup.

iD Software's perennial first-person shooter Doom from 1993 has been replicated to play on the most random of things like calculators, ATMs, Windows Notepad, LEGOs, and even pregnancy test kits. Ramlan then figured what it'd be like to have a biological system host this classic game, because "all one needs is a screen and willpower." Using common-grown E.Coli, Python coding, and some deep knowledge of electro-biofluorescence, Ramlan set about to answer a question nobody asked (but is so cool as an artsy proof-of-concept, regardless).

Now, it must be said that the bacteria doesn't run the game, but as the display panel. The processing job is accomplished with a display controller that crunches the graphical info to a repressor controlling the bacterial cells. Ramlan arranged the bacteria on a tray with 32 rows and 48 columns, then programmed them to glow as they are fed images from Doom

Playing a game on a tiny 1-bit display doesn't sound so bad (if you have eagle vision and like torture) until you learn that gut bacteria were never made for graphical duties. According to Ramlan's findings, her version of Doom has a refresh rate of roughly nine hours. It takes 70 minutes to each frame to illuminate, and "a total of 8 hours and 20 minutes for the cell to return approximately to the starting state." In order to completely render the entire game, the MIT researcher estimates it'll take the gut bacteria over 600 years. We reckon you'll never complain about the FPS on your old-school Nintendo Game and Watches anymore.
Tags:  FPS, doom, mit, bacteria