Saturday, July 15, 2006

New Directions in DNA Computing

Ehud Shapiro and Yaakov Benenson, "Bringing DNA Computers to Life: Tapping the computing power of biological molecules gives rise to tiny machines that can speak directly to living cells," Scientific American, May 2006 issue.

Jeff Dauer noticed the above article and kindly sent me the link.

Ehud Shapiro is a great guy who works on DNA computing at the Weizenbaum Institute of Science in Israel. I met him recently at an Israeli workshop on the Nature and Origin of Computation, where he presented his work.

DNA computing is computing that exploits the combinatorial properties of DNA and RNA molecules. Traditionally, the goal is to exploit the presence of illions of molecules together to generate massively parallel computations. Lately, this project seems to be losing steam.

Shapiro and his group are pioneering a new kind of DNA computing, aimed at creating a new generation of drugs that can be released within cells depending on whether certain conditions are satisfied. Very cool stuff.

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