Navigation Links
Researchers bring new meaning to the term 'computer bug'
Date:5/19/2008

US researchers have created living computers by genetically altering bacteria. The findings of the research, published in BioMed Centrals open access Journal of Biological Engineering, demonstrate that computing in living cells is feasible, opening the door to a number of applications including data storage and as a tool for manipulating genes for genetic engineering.

A research team from the biology and the mathematics departments of Davidson College, North Carolina and Missouri Western State University, Missouri, USA added genes to Escherichia coli bacteria, creating bacterial computers able to solve a classic mathematical puzzle, known as the burnt pancake problem.

The burnt pancake problem involves a stack of pancakes of different sizes, each of which has a golden and a burnt side. The aim is to sort the stack so the largest pancake is on the bottom and all pancakes are golden side up. Each flip reverses the order and the orientation (i.e. which side of the pancake is facing up) of one or several consecutive pancakes. The aim is to stack them properly in the fewest number of flips.

In this experiment, the researchers used fragments of DNA as the pancakes. They added genes from a different type of bacterium to enable the E. coli to flip the DNA pancakes. They also included a gene that made the bacteria resistant to an antibiotic, but only when the DNA fragments had been flipped into the correct order. The time required to reach the mathematical solution in the bugs reflects the minimum number of flips needed to solve the burnt pancake problem.

The system offers several potential advantages over conventional computers says lead researcher, Karmella Haynes. A single flask can hold billions of bacteria, each of which could potentially contain several copies of the DNA used for computing. These bacterial computers could act in parallel with each other, meaning that solutions could potentially be reached quicker than with conventional computers, using less space and at a lower cost. In addition to parallelism, bacterial computing also has the potential to utilize repair mechanisms and, of course, can evolve after repeated use.


'/>"/>

Contact: Charlotte Webber
charlotte.webber@biomedcentral.com
44-020-763-19980
BioMed Central
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. By adding graphene, researchers create superior polymer
2. Researchers Document Rapid, Dramatic Reverse Evolution in the Threespine Stickleback Fish
3. Glowing zebrafish help researchers track role of sugars in the cell
4. Researchers develop method for transmitting medical images via cell phones
5. Researchers create the first thermal nanomotor in the world
6. U-Md. Researchers Report Advance in Biological Microfactories for Drug Research
7. Boston College, MIT researchers achieve dramatic increase in thermoelectric efficiency
8. Iowa State researchers developing system to efficiently convert biomass to ethanol
9. Researchers engineer new polymers to change their stiffness and strength when exposed to liquids
10. Sigma-Aldrich Announces New Prestige Antibodies(TM) Line for Proteomics and Cell Biology Researchers
11. Stanford researchers hear the sound of quantum drums
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/25/2017)... ... July 25, 2017 , ... ... and improve efficiency of livestock farming while reducing the use of antibiotics and ... intellectual property from Cornell University. , These new proprietary technologies expand the ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation has ... Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as its ... individual who has made and is continuing to make significant transformative breakthroughs in ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... July 20, 2017 , ... Corista, a leader ... artificial intelligence Tuesday, July 25, during the Association of Pathology Chairs’ Jubilee Meeting ... , Baras, Associate Director of Pathology Informatics, will present “The Digital Pathology ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... Sourcing custom glass or quartz parts can be a ... to properly execute your job can take many hours of emails, phone calls and ... designed to showcase the company’s capabilities and core custom categories, and enables you to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/19/2017)... 2017 The global military biometrics ... marked by the presence of several large global players. ... five major players - 3M Cogent, NEC Corporation, M2SYS ... nearly 61% of the global military biometric market in ... global military biometrics market boast global presence, which has ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... According to a new market research report "Consumer IAM Market by ... Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and Region - Global Forecast to ... USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD 31.75 Billion by 2022, at ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... -- NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... of independent Directors Mr. Robin D. Richards and ... furthering the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , Chief Executive Officer ... guidance and benefiting from their considerable expertise as we move ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):