Tiny PC in the genes
DNA researchers unveil science fiction-style processing
It sounds like pure science fiction, but Israeli scientists have invented a DNA computer which is so tiny that a trillion of them can fit into a 0.1ml droplet of watery solution. And if that isnít mind boggling enough, the scientist claim the combination of tiny computers could perform up to a billion operation per second with 99.8 per cent accuracy.
The micro-machine, created by the Weizmann Institute of Science, is contained within a test tube and uses naturally occurring enzymes to manipulate DNA molecules in order to perform input and output operations
A simple mathematical computer is formed form this process, known as a "finite automation" and the scientists say they can program it to perform a number of simple tasks by mixing different DNA molecules in solution.
According to scientist, the DNA computer has the potential to operate within human cells to detect disease and abnormal changes in the body, and to determine how to cure it by synthesising and releasing the proper drug.
This technology may be in its infancy, but the Israeli scientists arenít alone in their discovery " The human brain is a great computer buts it not so good on memoryĒ said professor Colin Humphreys of Cambridge University's Nanotechnology department.
"we are about to send off a paper because we have been able to trap and isolate a single molecule of DNA and manipulate it, but we the first people to do it I think, to do this. However, actually turning this into a computer is years and years away.