Biological systems that are capable of performing computational operations could be of use in bioengineering and nanomedicine, and DNA and other biomolecules have already been used as active components in biocomputational circuits. There have also been demonstrations of DNA/RNA-enzyme-based automatons, logic control of gene expression, and RNA systems for processing of intracellular information. However, for biocomputational circuits to be useful for applications it will be necessary to develop a library of computing elements, to demonstrate the modular coupling of these elements, and to demonstrate that this approach is scalable. Here, we report the construction of a DNA-based computational platform that uses a library of catalytic nucleic acids (DNAzymes), and their substrates, for the input-guided dynamic assembly of a universal set of logic gates and a half-adder/half-subtractor system. We demonstrate multilayered gate cascades, fan-out gates and parallel logic gate operations. In response to input markers, the system can regulate the controlled expression of anti-sense molecules, or aptamers, that act as inhibitors for enzymes.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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