Bacteria found in lower intestine altered to build logic gates used for basic computing functions
Scientists at Imperial College London have claimed that they can build logic gates using bacteria and DNA, which they say are the fundamental building blocks of biological computers.
By using a bacteria found in intestines and DNA, the scientists have demonstrated that they can build logic gates, the Daily Mail reported. Logic gates are used for processing information in computers and microprocessors.
The scientists altered the E.Coli bacteria with modified DNA, which reprogrammed it to perform the same functions as chips. Using chemical stimulants, the scientists built the "AND Gate", "NOT gate" and the more complex "NAND gate".
The scientists claim the logic gates they have built are the most advanced biological logic gates ever made.
Imperial College London co-author and professor Richard Kitney said, "Logic gates are the fundamental building blocks in silicon circuitry that our entire digital age is based on."
"Without them, we could not process digital information. Now that we have demonstrated that we can replicate these parts using bacteria and DNA, we hope that our work could lead to a new generation of biological processors, whose applications in information processing could be as important as their electronic equivalents," he added.
Meanwhile, the BBC reported that researchers from Northwestern University in the US have developed a material that changes its electronic properties in such a manner that a resistor made from it could become a transistor or a diode. The research paves way for smaller chips.
"It’s becoming more and more challenging to make devices smaller and you need to think of new ways rather than just shrinking things down because you’re reaching a fundamental scientific limit here of how small you can make a device," researcher David Walker told the BBC.
"Our solution to this is instead of making things smaller, why don’t we try to make them more versatile – by taking all these hardware components and building them into one.
"Think of this as a Swiss army knife of computer hardware, so to speak, where you package a lot of different things all into one device."