A computer consisting of DNA strands placed in a test tube is capable of performing calculations on the square root of numbers up to 900.
Chunlei Guo, a researcher at the University of Rochester in upstate New York, and his colleagues developed a DNA computer. To be more precise: have developed a computer that uses 32 DNA strands to store and process information.
“And nothing, even so astonishes”.
The DNA computer can calculate the square root of the numbers 1, 4, 9, 16, 25 and so on up to 900.
The biological processor built by the University of Rochester team uses a process known as hybridization, which occurs when two strands of DNA come together to form double stranded DNA.
How the DNA computer works
That related to a DNA computer is one of the roads on which research moves. As a branch of computing moves towards quanting computing, there are research groups that they rely on the power of the genetic code.
In the specific case, to start the team coding a number through DNA, using a combination of ten building blocks. Each combination represents a different number up to 900 and is connected to a fluorescence marker.
The team then controls the hybridization in such a way as to modify the overall fluorescent signal to match the square root of the original number. The number is then deducted from the color.
A future of biological informatics
"The biological computer could help develop even more structured processing circuits," says Guo. "DNA processing is still in its infancy, but it holds great promise for solving problems that are too difficult or even impossible to handle by current silicon-based computers.".
Guo believes that biological computers may one day soon replace traditional computers with complex calculations.