It may be hard to believe, but a DNA-based computation might be possible. At least that’s what a group of South Korean researchers proposes, who developed a basic processor made of deoxyribonucleic acid molecules.
The researchers’ idea is that this will serve to replace traditional electronics-based processors in the future.
The use of the DNA molecule in computing as a storage medium has been frequently discussed.
Now researchers have experimented with DNA to create storage solutions that can hold terabytes of data in a simple way.
The problem, according to the scientists, would be that reading and writing in this type of storage, since it would take much longer than usual.
How does it work?
This technology has been developed by researchers at Incheon National University, in South Korea, who called this system Microfluidic Processing Unit (MPU).
The first MPU prototype is capable of performing AND, OR, XOR and NOT operations, which can be considered basic but represent a great advance, since they show some of the first implementations of DNA molecules for the computing.
This new MPU has been manufactured with a 3D printer, which reduces complexity and allows an important first step towards creating a processor that works with molecules.
“Future research will focus on a total DNA computing solution with algorithms and storage systems,” say the scientists.