The science of it is actually relatively simple, even if the article is hard to follow. They took mammalian cells (human? Probably not, compatible with human cells? Maybe…) and soaked them in a silica solution to get them good and coated in the stuff. Then they heated them to 500 degrees to ‘cook off’ all of the live material leaving behind just the silicon shell. They found out that these cells continue to function as living cells, can be bonded and put together to make larger things, and best of all they operate when and where normal living cells could not survive…like zombies. Seriously people!?
The talk is this can be used for nanotech sort of development, but how long before this is used to replace human tissue in things like transplants and the like? Will it ever be? Something like it maybe? Who’s the lucky sap that’s going to get a new synthetic heart valve made out of these things and become patient zero?