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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Genetic system performs logic operations and stores data in DNA.

Roland Pease
13 February 2013

Synthetic biologists have developed DNA modules that perform logic operations in living cells. These 'genetic circuits' could be used to track key moments in a cell's life or, at the flick of a chemical switch, change a cell's fate, the researchers say. Their results are described this week in Nature Biotechnology1.

Synthetic biology seeks to bring concepts from electronic engineering to cell biology, treating gene functions as components in a circuit. To that end, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge have devised a set of simple genetic modules that respond to inputs much like the Boolean logic gates used in computers.

"These developments will more readily enable one to create programmable cells with decision-making capabilities for a variety of applications," says James Collins, a synthetic biologist at Boston University in Massachusetts who was not involved in the study.

more
http://www.nature.com/news/how-to-turn-living-cells-into-computers-1.12406
 

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Villain in glasses
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Doesn't the body already have cells like this. IDK much about biology but very interesting since it relates to informational sciences.
 

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Doesn't the body already have cells like this. IDK much about biology but very interesting since it relates to informational sciences.
I think John von Neumann drew an analogy between neurons and logic gates. In The computer and the Brain, on the topic of memory he wrote:
Systems of nerve cells, which stimulate each other in various possible cyclical ways, also constitute memories. These would be memories made up of active elements (nerve cells). In our computing machine technology such memories are in frequent and significant use; in fact, these were actually the first ones to be introduced. In vacuum-tube machines the "flip-flops," i.e pairs of vacuum-tubes that are mutually gating and controlling each other, represent this type. Transistor technology, as well as practically every other form of high-speed electronic technology, permit and indeed call for the use of flip-floplike subassemblies, and these can be used as memory elements in the same way that the filp-flops were in the early vacuum-tube computing machines.
Granted, von Neumann wasn't a neuroscientist (and i'm going a bit OT), but the comparison may still be interesting and useful.
 

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Villain in glasses
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I think John von Neumann drew an analogy between neurons and logic gates. In The computer and the Brain, on the topic of memory he wrote: Granted, von Neumann wasn't a neuroscientist (and i'm going a bit OT), but the comparison may still be interesting and useful.
I was thinking more of non neuron cells. I know bacteria can communicate with each other. technically the dna decoding process is a kind of computation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Biological Transistor Enables Computing Within Living Cells

Mar. 28, 2013 - When Charles Babbage prototyped the first computing machine in the 19th century, he imagined using mechanical gears and latches to control information. ENIAC, the first modern computer developed in the 1940s, used vacuum tubes and electricity. Today, computers use transistors made from highly engineered semiconducting materials to carry out their logical operations.

And now a team of Stanford University bioengineers has taken computing beyond mechanics and electronics into the living realm of biology. In a paper to be published March 28 in Science, the team details a biological transistor made from genetic material -- DNA and RNA -- in place of gears or electrons. The team calls its biological transistor the "transcriptor."

More: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328142400.htm
 

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Villain in glasses
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Biological Transistor Enables Computing Within Living Cells

Mar. 28, 2013 - When Charles Babbage prototyped the first computing machine in the 19th century, he imagined using mechanical gears and latches to control information. ENIAC, the first modern computer developed in the 1940s, used vacuum tubes and electricity. Today, computers use transistors made from highly engineered semiconducting materials to carry out their logical operations.

And now a team of Stanford University bioengineers has taken computing beyond mechanics and electronics into the living realm of biology. In a paper to be published March 28 in Science, the team details a biological transistor made from genetic material -- DNA and RNA -- in place of gears or electrons. The team calls its biological transistor the "transcriptor."

More: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328142400.htm
How fast does it work though? Electrons move at the speed of light, how fast do dna computers work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry Mr. Senator, but after much searching, I was unable to find a definitive answer for you.
 
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