“Imagine having the parallel processing of one million computers in a drop of water.

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cosmictraveler

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While the potential computational power of programmed bacteria is immense, the DNA-computation system that Haynes and her colleagues designed can only solve problems by flipping and sorting data. It doesn’t have the open-ended computing flexibility of a laptop computer or even a solar-powered calculator, so the bacteria can only handle a limited set of mathematical problems. “We’re not going to have bacteria running iPods just yet,” Haynes says.

Other kinds of DNA computation are possible, though. Researchers in Israel recently designed DNA molecules that could compute games of tic-tac-toe, for example. “I liken this to where video games were when Pong first came out,” says Jeffrey Poet, a mathematician at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Mo., and member of the research team.


http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/32352/title/I,_computer
 
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