A while back I heard about an algae that flapped its little tail in response to light. Ingenious scientists were planning to turn that motion into simple machines. All well and good.
This month, though, Wired magazine has an article about taking the gene that causes the algae to move, inserting it into viruses and inserting the viruses into specific brain cells. Ostensibly, combined with implanted LEDs they can cure Parkinson's or depression. The lame can walk and the blind surf the web. Fine, but just you wait until Monsanto patents it. They'll probably start by curing people's aversion to genetically modified food, and it will all end up with people shambling down the streets eating each other.