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LifeChips is the study and development of micro- and nano-scale technologies, systems and devices that combines methods developed by life scientists and technologists to help solve fundamental problems in the life sciences and in engineering. As the name suggests, it also represents the merging of two major industries, the microelectronic chip industry with the life science industry.

LifeChips has emerged from a growing research paradigm that combines technology development with the study of life science and medicine at microscopic and smaller size scales. Since the 1990's, governments and industries in the United States, Asia and Europe have initiated major efforts to bring microtechnology and nanotechnology to biology and medicine under such labels as "bioMEMS", "nanomedicine" and "nano-bio". Other initiatives seek to use life-based materials for non-biological applications, such as the use of DNA for transistors. Additionally, high throughput biology products that utilize semiconductor chip technologies, such as lab-on-a-chip, DNA microarrays and protein microarrays, have seen considerable commercial success. These events have driven the need for collaborations among researchers from traditionally different backgrounds and cultures, namely life scientists (biologists, medical researchers) and technologists (physical scientists, engineers). The LifeChips theme encompasses these research topics, as well as the interdisciplinary collaborative efforts themselves.

In the summer of 2006, the National Science Foundation awarded UC Irvine $2.9 million to teach LifeChips to graduate students. The award was part of the NSF's Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship program (IGERT) that supports interdisciplinary education for doctoral students.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "LifeChips". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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