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Scientists create computing building blocks from bacteria and DNA
Date:10/18/2011

parts. The new biological gates are also modular, which means that they can be fitted together to make different types of logic gates, paving the way for more complex biological processors to be built in the future.

In the new study, the researchers demonstrated how these biological logic gates worked. In one experiment, they showed how biological logic gates can replicate the way that electronic logic gates process information by either switching "on" or "off".

The scientists constructed a type of logic gate called an "AND Gate" from bacteria called Escherichia coli (E.Coli), which is normally found in the lower intestine. The team altered the E.Coli with modified DNA, which reprogrammed it to perform the same switching on and off process as its electronic equivalent when stimulated by chemicals.

The researchers were also able to demonstrate that the biological logic gates could be connected together to form more complex components in a similar way that electronic components are made. In another experiment, the researchers created a "NOT gate" and combined it with the AND gate to produce the more complex "NAND gate".

The next stage of the research will see the team trying to develop more complex circuitry that comprises multiple logic gates. One of challenges faced by the team is finding a way to link multiple biological logic gates together, similar to the way in which electronic logic gates are linked together, to enable complex processing to be carried out.


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Contact: Colin Smith
cd.smith@imperial.ac.uk
44-207-594-6712
Imperial College London
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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