Bio-computers utilize the systems of biologically derived molecules like DNA and proteins for the sake of performing various computational calculations which involve storing, regaining and processing the data. Scientists all over the world have been working towards biological computers and there were many advances in this field earlier.
With the expansion of nano-biotechnology, the development of bio-computers has been made a reality. The implementation of nano-biotechnology empowers researchers to engineer bio-molecular systems so that they can interact with each other leading to the computational functionality of the system.
Though, the bio-computers are not developed with the aim of surpassing the conventional electronic computers, there are few advantages of biological computers over traditional systems which include their ability of interacting directly with biological systems and even living organisms.
They don’t require an interface since all parts of the computer viz hardware, software, inputs and outputs, are molecules that interact in solution along with a series of programmable chemical reactions. Due to these advantages,there are lot of efforts to develop a biological computer which can offer greater computation speed with perfect accuracy and power.
One such research has been done by the scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.The team has developed and constructed an advanced biological transducer, a machine capable of manipulating genetic codes, and that can use the output as a new input for next computations.It produces outputs in the form of biologically meaningful phenomena, such as resistance capacity of bacteria to various antibiotics.
The research study published in Journal Chemistry & Biology of the Cell publishing house, states that this biological computer is completely built of bio-molecules such as DNA and enzymes.
The scientists claim that the transducer will not only perform a long division of binary numbers by 3 but also has the ability to read and transform genetic information. Along with this,it provides multiple benefits which include reducing to the molecular scale and the capability to generate computational results that communicate directly with the living organisms.
Entire living organisms, and all biological systems are natural molecular computers, which means they are like a machine in which all the components are molecules interacting with one another in a logical manner. The hardware and the software are the intricate biological molecules that activate one other in-order to carry out some pre-defined chemical tasks.
A molecule is an input that undergoes particular, programmed changes following specific set of rules where as the output of this chemical computation process is another well defined molecule.
Even though,the transducer is developed to solve a peculiar problem, the general methodology shows that the similar devices can also be applied in various other computational problems.Hence, the transducer’s implementation on a genetic material can alter and algorithmically process the genetic code by just not restricting itself to evaluate and detect specific sequences.
According to the research team, this results are encouraging and this breakthrough might open up interesting opportunities in the field of biotechnology, including cloning and individual gene therapy.