The researchers at Microsoft and University of Washington have recently built a nanoscale computational circuit board with DNA. It seems quite a mysterious name for this research. But, the nanoscale computational circuit board with DNA is nothing but a method that uses the spatial organization to build nanoscale computational circuits made of synthetic DNA.
What is Nanoscale computational circuit board with DNA
As the researchers describe, a nanoscale computational circuit board with DNA uses the “DNA domino” circuits. It consists of DNA “Domino” molecules that are positioned at regular intervals on a DNA surface. The information is transmitted when DNA dominoes interact with their immediate neighbors in a cascade.
For many years, scientists were trying to figure out how to use DNA molecules to compute. This would have been a perfect amalgamation of technology and biology. The DNA molecules would have also helped scientists to build Nano circuits, which would occupy the least space and can also be implanted within a human body for certain bodily functions.
Finally, the scientists are successful in building the Nanoscale computational circuit board with DNA. This process includes developing algorithms that operate effectively at the molecular scale and identifying fundamental principles of molecular computation.
Microsoft’s research team mentions how the circuit boards with DNA are made.
“The components of these molecular devices are typically made from strands of synthetic DNA, where the sequence of the strands determines how they interact.”
The team further mentions the current functionality of the circuit boards with DNA:
“So far, however, most of these devices have been designed to operate in a chemical soup, where billions of DNA molecules rely on the relatively slow process of random diffusion to bump into each other and execute a computational step. This limits the speed of the computation and the number of different components that can effectively be used. This is because the freely diffusing DNA molecules can collide with each other at random, so they must be carefully designed to avoid unintended computations when these random collisions occur.”
In future, a Nanoscale computational circuit board with DNA can be used in vitro diagnostics of pathogens, biomanufacturing of materials, smart therapeutics and high-precision methods for imaging and probing biological experiments.
To know more about the Nanoscale computational circuit board with DNA, read the complete blog on Microsoft Research Blog.