Image: Courtesy of John Reif
 NEXT GENERATION PC? An AB* array lattice formed from two varieties of DNA tiles, including one (B*) containing an extra loop of DNA projecting out of the lattice plane, faciliting atomic force microscope imaging of the lattice.

A multidisciplinary group of researchers is trying to change the way people think about computers. Why rely solely on silicon-based hardware, they say, when there is so much promise in what Grzegorz Rozenberg of the University of Leiden, Netherlands, calls "bioware"--nucleic acids and enzymes? It's not as far-fetched as it sounds: A computer is nothing more than a device that computes--that is, it performs a defined series of operations on a set of input data to produce an answer. Using this definition, one can imagine, as Douglas Hofstadter did,1 that the central dogma of molecular biology is a computation in which an input DNA is transformed via...

Interested in reading more?

Magaizne Cover

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?