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Biological Computing

Biological computers are machines made of biological molecules. Like biological systems, these computers are based on a large number of chemical reactions that occur autonomously. This means that biological computers are not linear but parallel processors.

Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology report to have created a molecular transducer built entirely of biomolecules that can manipulate genetic codes. The transducer uses the output as a new input for subsequent computations and produces outputs in the form of biological phenomena.

Biological computers will not only have much greater computational speed than electronic computers. Researchers say that the main advantage of biological computers is the ability to interact directly with biological systems and living organisms.

 

Opportunities: 

Improving parallel processing, greater energy efficiency and reduced toxicity.

Closer integration of biological computing with living organisms could lead to advances in medicine and biology. For example, biological computers could help us treat and diagnose genetically based illnesses from within living organisms.

Potential to transform healthcare.

Picture: courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Timeframe: 
2040
Desirability: 

Likelihood: 

Curators: 

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