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New Discovery Shows The Possibility Of Making Biological Computers



/ 4 years ago

Researchers at Standford University have been using genetic material to make biological transistors, allowing them to get one stop closer to making biological computers possible. The biological transistor, also called a “transcriptor” will enable researchers to embed different program functions into living sells. Using these transcriptors, the research team were able to create “logic gates” which have the ability to give a true-or-false response to any biochemical questions embedded in that cell.

Logic gates based on transcriptors will allow scientists to easily identify cells and even store information. Scientists could also instruct the cell to either stop or start reproducing by communicating the genetic information with another cell which will influence the behaviour of the group of cells.

The transcriptor is the third and final component required by the researchers to make biological computers which can operate within single living cells. They operate in the same way a computer operates  e.g. storing, transmitting and handling calculation and other processing operations.

Scientists and doctors can use this to perform name tests, as Jerome Bonnet said that the possibilities of this approach are as limitless as electronics themselves. He added,””You could test whether a given cell had been exposed to any number of external stimuli — the presence of glucose and caffeine, for instance”.

Jerome Bonnet, a post-doctoral scholar in bioengineering said who is also the lead author in the research paper said,”Biological computers can be used to study and reprogram living systems, monitor environments and improve cellular therapeutics.”

It was only last year when Drew Endy was able to made the other 2 components required to make a biological computer.

Source: Palo Alto Online


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