Computing with DNA comes a step closer

Is DNA the new silicon? News last month that scientists had built the first programmable computer made from the molecule which carries our genes has brought the vision of computing with DNA one step nearer.

Israeli researchers have developed a DNA computer so tiny that a trillion of them could sit in a drop of water and perform a billion operations per second.

The idea of following Mother Nature's lead and using DNA to store and process information took off in 1994, when Leonard Adleman of the University of Southern California first used DNA in a test tube to solve a simple mathematical problem.

Since then a dozen research groups around the world have jumped into the field -- which fuses biology and information technology -- in a bid to harness the inherent ability of strands of DNA to perform trillions of calculations at the same time.

That massive simultaneous problem solving at a nanoscale is a potential way of getting round the limits of the silicon chip, which scientists believe cannot be scaled down much further.

News source: Reuters

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