TECHKNOW: Things to come ... Biological nanocomputers

TECHKNOW: Things to come ... Biological nanocomputers - Speed, power and size are the holy trinity of computer development, and makers look for ways to cram more of the first two into less of the third.

by JAMES WOUDHUYSEN, James@Woudhuysen.com
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Speed, power and size are the holy trinity of computer development, and makers look for ways to cram more of the first two into less of the third.

The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, takes a novel approach. Instead of silicon chips, its nanocomputer uses the data-handling properties of DNA molecules to do calculations on a molecular scale.

By exploiting the biological mechanisms that transfer genetic information from old cells to new, specially coded DNA molecules are read, split and reformed by 'software' DNA. These new molecules are decoded and the results displayed by electrophoresis.

It could be the first step to devices inside the body that detect infections and produce the drugs to deal with them.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

The questions to ask when everything is unknown

Systemic intelligence is an indispensable skill for business leaders.

How to stop your culture going back to normal after COVID

In this video, Capita's Melanie Christopher and Greene King non-exec board director Lynne Weedall discuss...

This isn't just a health crisis, it's an equality crisis

Inspiring Women in Business winners: In the “new normal”, we must make sure that female...

How to build an anti-racist business

You don't need a long history of championing equality to make a difference.

What are Simon Roberts’ big 3 challenges at Sainsbury’s?

The grocer's new CEO has taken the reins at a critical time.

Should CEOs get political?

The protests that have erupted over George Floyd’s murder have prompted a corporate chorus of...