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RNA-based logic gates compute inside cells
Written by Daniel   
Friday, 17 October 2008 12:06
RNA-based logic gates compute inside cells

By John Timmer | Published: October 17, 2008 - 10:32AM CT

Researchers have been experimenting for some time with the idea that biology can be harnessed to perform computations. Biological systems can amplify and sample a large collection of molecules simultaneously, and they can register states that are far more subtle and complex than the binary ones handled by standard computers. Although there are no clear cases where a biological computer will outperform standard silicon, a biological computer may be useful for detecting the state of other biological systems, and it may find uses in diagnostics or environmental sensing. A potential step forward for biological computing was just reported in Science, where researchers describe logic gates built from RNA, a chemical the helps run the basic metabolism of the cell.  [ARSTechnica...]    [Comments...]

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