Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"I never saw why I had to give up science in order to write, or the other way around, so I didn't!"
- Gregory Benford

Mining Worm (Organic)  
  Genetically altered earthworm created just for mining.  

Mt. Lookitthat had valuable ores to mine, and the colonists had lots of little helpers for the job of mining. Just don't let one bite you.

A mining worm is five inches long and a quarter inch in diameter, mutated from an earthworm. Its grinding orifice is rimmed with little diamond teeth. It ingests metal ores for pleasure, but for food it has to be supplied with blocks of synthetic stuff which is different for each breed of worm - and there's a breed for every metal...

What breaks down the ores is a bacterium in the worm's stomach. Then the worm drops metal grains around it's food block, and we sweep them up.

From A Gift From Earth, by Larry Niven.
Published by Del Rey in 1968
Additional resources -

These little guys are reminiscent of the Hortas of Janus VI, who were also industrious mining creatures (from the orignial 1967 Star Trek episode Devil in the Dark, written by Gene Coon).

The idea of a mining worm predates Niven's work; see the mining worm (robot) from Love Among the Robots by Emmett McDowell, published in 1946.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 1 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A Gift From Earth
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to A Gift From Earth
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

Mining Worm (Organic)-related news articles:
  - Deep Sea Mining Tube Worms
  - Evolved Earthworms To Clean Up Toxic Metals
  - Earthworms Absorb Copper Nanomaterials From Soil

Articles related to Biology
Monkey Gets A Bigger Brain, Thanks To Human Gene
Mushroom Coffin Returns You To Nature, Naturally
Mechanical Milking Of Microalgae For Fuel Production
Fetal Lamb Rests In Artificial Womb

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Flatcat Robot Recalls Both Heinlein And Simak
Sorry, you'll need to read the article.

Nuclear Batteries May Pack Inner Punch
'... the most super-valuable substance in the solar system.'

Elon Musk STILL Wants To Make Heinlein's 1940's Speedster
'As she neared the barrier the car surged and lifted...'

Mercury Capsule Ablative Shielding
'...a synthetic which air-friction would erode away.'

Heinlein And Russian Quail In Orbit
'No earth-hatched bird can learn to fly in that fashion...'

Solar Powered Robot Cleans Up Solar Panels For Free
'... with large padded feet, who were apparently polishing their way the whole length of Rama's six artificial suns.'

Spot Arm From Boston Dynamics Picks Up Like Heinlein's Hired Girl Robot
'Anything larger than a BB shot it picked up and placed in a tray on its upper surface...'

Electric Vehicle Prices Will Drop To $2,890
'the human seats took up two-thirds of the room in each'

TIGER Ultimate Mobility Vehicle From Hyundai
'He admired the fast-plodding, articulated legs...'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.