MIT biotechnology student gets DOOM running on human E. coli gut bacteria

Science students get DOOM running on human E.coli gut bacteria, with one frame of simplified black-and-white gameplay at 32 x 48 resolution.

2 minutes & 26 seconds read time

DOOM can run on virtually anything... we've seen it on fridges, MacBook Touch Bars, and even pregnancy tests... and now DOOM is running on human E. Coli gut bacteria, and we're not kidding. Check it out:

MIT biotechnology PhD student researcher Lauren "Ren" Ramlan concepted a very interesting 32 x 48 resolution, 1-bit display made up using E. coli cells, with each cell effectively acting as an individual pixel by lighting them up using a fluorescent protein.

DOOM isn't really "running" here because you're not getting 30FPS, let alone 60FPS or anything higher, as the cells are extremely limited in their ability. Still, it did successfully run on the walls of cells as a display for DOOM, rendering gameplay using the illuminated E. coli.

Ram got DOOM to display a single frame of simplified black-and-white gameplay at a resolution of just 32 x 48, a far cry from the 320 x 240 resolution that I played DOOM on when it first launched in the '90s. The cells would take 70 minutes to illuminate and 8 hours and 20 minutes to return to their starting state once they no longer needed to be illuminated to display DOOM.

This means you're looking at over 8 hours to display 1FPS (which is a frame per second), so 1 frame per 8+ hours means you'll get 3 frames in 24 hours. In order to display 30FPS, which is what you would've been running DOOM at on a decent PC back in the 90s, you'd need 10 entire days to achieve 30 frames displayed. Nice, real nice... this brings new meaning to the word "potato" when referring to consoles versus superior PC hardware.

MIT biotechnology student gets DOOM running on human E. coli gut bacteria 999

Ram also did the math on how long it would take to complete DOOM, where the average playthrough of the game takes around 5 hours, and the original game running at its capped maximum of 36FPS, the cell display would take around 599 years to play DOOM from start to finish. Five hundred and ninety-nine years.

Right, better get to it... prepare your gut bacteria, and you can finish DOOM in 599 years; in the meantime, you'll need some life extension technology. I guess the reason you could write down on the paperwork would be, "I need to live forever because I need to finish DOOM running on my gut bacteria, and that's going to take 599 years." it would work, hopefully.

Buy at Amazon

DOOM Eternal: Standard Edition - PlayStation 4

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
Buy at Newegg
* Prices last scanned on 2/27/2024 at 11:38 pm CST - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

Newsletter Subscription

Related Tags