A wiring diagram illustration depicts a system of 74 DNA strands that constitute the largest synthetic circuit of its type ever made. The circuit can compute the square root of numbers up to 15, though very slowly. (Lulu Qian / Caltech / June 2, 2011)
Research Marks A Leap Forward For DNA-Based Computers -- L.A. Times
A system involving 74 DNA strands can calculate square roots of numbers up to 15, though very slowly. Scientists say the goal is to devise computers that can interact directly with living cells — and perhaps fight disease.
Caltech researchers have produced the most sophisticated DNA-based computer yet, a wet chemistry system that can calculate the square roots of numbers as high as 15.
The system is composed of 74 strands of DNA that make up 12 logic gates comparable to those in a silicon-based computer, the researchers reported Thursday in the journal Science. But the system operates a little more slowly than a conventional computer: It takes as much as 10 hours to obtain each result.
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