Friday, March 29, 2013

Biological transistor for biocomputer

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. 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."


Jerome Bonnet, Peter Yin, Monica E. Ortiz, Pakpoom Subsoontorn, and Drew Endy. Amplifying Genetic Logic GatesScience, 28 March 2013

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