DNA Logic Gates May Yield Injectable Bio-computers

DNA Bio computers

DNA-based logic gates created by researchers at the Hebrew University in Israel can lead to injectable bio-computers that can sense biomarkers or traces of perhaps cancer and release counter-agents. This may be the key to solving many medical problems that have been labeled incurable.

The logic gates are formed by short strands of DNA and their complimentary strands to emulate their electronic counter-parts. Strands act as input by representing 0 when absent and 1 when present.

The researchers engineered molecules to fluoresce when the output is 1. For example for the XOR gate when both strands are present the complimentary strands would combine and blocked the fluorescence. This is because exclusive-OR (XOR) gates output 0 with 1 for both inputs.

This new research would be particularly useful in drug delivery where diseases must be targeted directly in order not to harm innocent cells like with cancer. Although there have been such DNA logic gates in the past, they were disposable and could only be used once before falling apart. In the past, many DNA gates were used with enzymes forcing the bio-computer to only function in very specific chemical environments.

The researchers have been able to make the strands reusable and thus be able to create much more complicated calculations. The gates can be reused because they are restored to their initial states after being used.

This could yield a new breed of smart bio-computer drugs that target specific diseases. Of course, no one can know the full potential of these drugs but as with all powerful technologies a Pandora's box may have been opened.

Baran Ornarli's picture

Ah well that's going to be

Ah well that's going to be interesting, I doubt it can rival electronics' speeds but then again that's not really it's purpose. I hope it will be used to cure a lot of our most troubling diseases.

Hub422z's picture

Pretty awesome! I never

Pretty awesome! I never expected this technology to become available for the next 30 years, but maybe it will be much much sooner.

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