By Catherine Griffin
The computing age is growing by leaps and bounds as we edge further into the future. Now, researchers may have taken another step forward. Scientists have used biomolecules, such as DNA and enzymes, in order to develop and construct an advanced biological transducer, a computer machine that’s capable of manipulating genetic codes and using the output as new input for subsequent computations.
The use of biomolecular computing devices possesses enormous potential for the field of medicine. A biological “computer” could potentially be used in gene therapy for patients, or could even be used to aid cloning. Unlike electronic computers, a biomolecular computer could interact directly with biological systems and even living organisms. No interface would be required since all components of these computers, including hardware, software, input and output, are molecules that interact in solution along a cascade of programmable chemical events.
“Our results show a novel, synthetic designed computing machine that computes iteratively and produces biologically relevant results,” said lead author Ehud Keinan of the Technion Schulich Faculty of Chemistry in a news release.