Biological computers, Blue gene, Face recognition technology

Abstract: Biological computers are special types of microcomputers that are specifically designed to be used for medical applications. The biological computer is an implantable device that is mainly used for tasks like monitoring the body's activities or inducing therapeutic effects, all at the molecular or cellular level. The biological computer is made up of RNA (Ribonucleic Acid - an important part in the synthesis of protein from amino acids), DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid - nucleic acid molecule that contains the important genetic information that is used by the body for the construction of cells; it's the blue print for all living organisms), and proteins.

Advantages
The main advantage of this technology over other like technologies is the fact that through it, a doctor can focus on or find and treat only damaged or diseased cells. Selective cell treatment is made possible. The biological computer can also perform simple mathematical calculations. This could enable the researcher to build an array or a system of biosensors that has the ability to detect or target specific types of cells that could be found in the patient's body. This could also be used to carry out or perform target-specific medicinal operations that could deliver medical procedures or remedies according to the doctor's instructions. This not only makes the healing process easier. It also allows the doctors to focus only on the damaged, diseased or cancerous cells found in the patient's body without causing stress to other healthy and normal cells.

How It Works
Biological computers are made inside a patient's body. The researchers or doctors merely provide the patient's body with all of the necessary information or a "blueprint" along which lines the biological computer would be "manufactured." Once the "computer's" genetic blueprint has been provided, the human body will start to build it on its own using the body's natural biological processes and the cells found in the body. As of today, reading signals produced by cell activity is not yet possible due to technological limitations. However, through the use of a tiny implantable biological computer, these cellular signals could easily be detected, translated and understood using existing medical and laboratory equipment.

a doctor or researcher can easily use the biological computer to identify all types of cellular activity and determine whether a particular activity is harmful or not. Applications The implantable biological computer is a device which could be used in various medical applications where intercellular evaluation and treatment are needed or required. The output on the other hand could be detected using laboratory equipment. By Jonathan M. we have many interesting and ingenious ways of looking at biological processes. Gitlin | In the lab. and other specific chemicals that are found in the human cytoplasm.Through boolean logic equations. and we can pinpoint within a cell the precise location of proteins. while these tasks are relatively easy to perform in . As with conventional computers. It is especially useful in monitoring intercellular activity including mutation of genes. However. the biological computer also works with an output and an input signal. The main inputs of the biological computer are the body's proteins. The biotech revolution has allowed us to develop methods for detecting and quantifying molecules produced by living cells. RNA. we can detect gene expression and activity. The cellular activities that the biological computer could detect can even include those of mutated genes and all other activities of the genes found in cells.

The circuit works by having two different mRNA strands that code for the same protein but contain untranslated regions that correspond to different siRNA sequences. Other mRNA strands can be designed to work for (A AND NOT B). Different endogenous inputs will control the expression of the various siRNAs.vitro on a lab bench. and so on. living animal). Although this research describes relatively simple artificial molecular machinery. Scientists at Harvard and Princeton have detailed the construction of a biological circuit that uses siRNA to affect boolean logic statements. imagine the benefits to medicine if we could apply them in vivo (in a whole. that brings this dream a little bit closer to reality. thereby affecting which of the two mRNA strands gets expressed. Nanotech machines could be injected into a patient that would then monitor for certain conditions and respond accordingly. and inputs X and Y inputting the other mRNA. There is a paper. for example. thereby giving the logic expression (A AND B) OR (X AND Y). it doesn't take much imagination to see the potential. The output of the mRNA strand that isn't silenced can be a reporter protein: luciferase or GFP. published online today in Nature Biotechnology. an example would be inputs A and B targeting one mRNA. Biological .

Should they find such markers." according to Harvard’s Yaakov “Kobi” Benenson. http://arstechnica. a Bauer Fellow in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ Center for Systems Biology.ars/2007/05/21/ designing-biological-computers By Bill Christensen Biocomputers constructed entirely of DNA.machines can be implanted or even built within a patient's own cells that will act as biosensors. RNA and proteins can function inside the body as "molecular doctors.” .” says Harvard’s Benenson. Your cells will literally build these biocomputers for you. That could involve inducing programmed cell death in the case of cancerous cells or synthesis of a drug in specific tissues. watching out for disease markers. the molecular logic circuits like this could chose the most appropriate action. “Each human cell already has all of the tools required to build these biocomputers on its own. “All that must be provided is a genetic blueprint of the machine and our own biology will do the rest. Obviously such therapies remain vaporware for now.com/journals/science. but that won't remain true for much longer.

Also. Dr. discussed the possiblity of biocomputers as early as 1994. researchers could build biosensors or medicine delivery systems that could single out specific cell types in the body. Science fiction fans didn't have to wait so long. In theory. ignoring healthy ones. he had run them through simple T-mazes. Leonard Adleman. using a biocomputer as the calculation mechanism. These molecular doctors could target only cancerous cells. . Biomolecular computers have been proved in concept by researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science. coli mutations had had the learning capacity of planarian worms. see the article Biomolecular Computer: The Tiniest Doc?.Benson and colleagues claim to demonstrate that biocomputers can work in human kidney cells in a culture. giving sugar rewards. they have developed a conceptual framework by which various phenotypes could be represented logically. a computer scientist at USC. Phenotypes are characteristics that are measurable and that are expressed in only a subset of the individuals within that population (like blond hair or brown eyes). for example. they could read about the intellectual cells in Greg Bear's 1984 novel Blood Music: His first E.

com/ct/Science-FictionNews.. white cells from his own blood. and prefers to leave prophesying to others.asp?NewsNum=1051 For a scientist who has just staked a claim to the first programmable and autonomous biological nanocomputer. his incremental approach to the embryonic science of turning DNA into trillions of tiny ..a much more complex miniature glass maze. Removing the finest biologic sequences from the altered E. He refuses to get drawn into detailed discussions of futuristic applications for the technology. At the same time. Professor Ehud Shapiro is remarkably low-key when asked to predict how such research may eventually change the world.They had soon outperformed planaria.technovelgy. coli. Vergil had "trained" the lymphocytes in the past six months to interact as much as possible with each other and with their environment . he had incorporated them into Blymphocytes. http://www.Using artificial proteins and hormones as a means of communication...

computers. "Based on the information it receives from the environment and medical knowledge encoded in the software it may diagnose the problem and prescribe a solution. as some have suggested. he envisions DNA computers as a "molecular computing device that can operate initially in a test tube and eventually inside an organism and interact with its biochemical environment. he said. could happen within a decade. "I don't have an opinion on nanogurus or . inside a living organism." That's as far as Shapiro is willing to venture on the prospects of the technology. "In the longer term. by eliminating the need for sequencing. you may have medical applications in which this device can operate in vivo. This. has given Shapiro a keen sense of direction as he embarks upon a long-term mission." he says." DNA computing could possibly be used to streamline laboratory analysis of DNA. Shapiro does not see his computer as a potential competitor to silicon-based electronic computing. swimming inside a test tube. and then it could synthesis that molecule and output it. Instead.

to help make it work. "We know where we are and where we are going to go. . "It has input." he says dryly during an interview in his office at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot. it has software and it has hardware components.D. G and T to encode the zeroes and ones and create an input molecule with an exposed "sticky" end. which is another molecule. and challenged Yaakov Benenson. came after his Internet software company called Ubique was sold to IBM in 1998.nanoapproaches. It's just going to be a very long way. Plotting a path back to academia. C. who recently published his design for a molecular computer in Nature magazine. Shapiro stumbled upon research being done in molecular computing. and when it computes it produces output." To do this. a biochemistry Ph. capable of answering "yes" or "no" to very basic questions about a bunch of zeroes and ones." Shapiro says. Shapiro and his colleagues used the four components of a DNA strand known as A. Their modest initial goal was to find a way to use turn DNA into the most elementary mathematical computing device known as a finite automaton." The starting point for Shapiro. "We constructed a molecular realization of this mathematical device. Israel. student.

This is because electronic computers are based on sequential logic. There are 765 different possible software programs that can be used for simple calculations. Los Angeles. Conventional computers have extreme difficulty solving the problem. when he used the stuff to solve the "traveling salesman" problem. In 1994. such as whether there are an even or odd number of zeroes or ones. the hardware gets to work. in which the shortest route between several cities must be mapped without going through the same city twice. After hooking up. Adleman proved that DNA could compute. leaving the next section exposed. Each exposed edge has a specific complementary DNA strand. An enzyme called ligase seals the link. The process continues several times until the computer delivers an answer to the question. and another called Fok-1 moves in to snip the strand. which . Shapiro's research is the latest step forward in a field founded by Leonard Adleman of the University of Southern California. another DNA strand -.Then. especially when dealing with many points on a map.the software -swoops in to try and hook up with an exposed edge like a Lego piece attempting to lock into a complementary block.

Although Adleman's computer was composed of many trillions of tiny DNA molecules swimming around in a test tube. "The calculation needed to be carried out by humans. Adleman demonstrated that DNA could be an efficient way to solve such problems. "His computer is measured in meters." Experts point out that Shapiro faces stiff competition and will be challenged to scale up the work to perform more complex computations. In our case. who can put a trillion of his own biological computers into a drop of solution. Shapiro says it was essentially a large operation that required active involvement of scientists. the computer is just the molecules. John Reif.makes them good at solving a problem requiring lots of computations in a row." says Shapiro. But posed with a puzzle of how to figure out the shortest route between 100 cities -.a problem best cracked by simultaneously performing an enormous number of short operations -. professor of computer science at Duke University.conventional computers do not make the grade. described Shapiro's work as "ingeniously constructed experiments" that clearly . Shapiro says his DNA computer is fundamentally different from Adleman's breakthrough. ours is measured in nanometers.

so the challenge for the Israelis is to go in and push those limits as defined by some of those strong competitors. "But there is a lot of competition out there in the DNA computing world. sitting in a cardboard box in his office. Shapiro has no illusions. Science still has no clue how to create designer enzymes that could pave the way to dramatic progress. meaning scientists must search for the right enzymes that could help perform computations on DNA.demonstrated the ability to perform simple computations via solid experimental protocols. The biggest stumbling block now is the dependency on natural enzymes. which is a representation of a computing device capable of an infinite number of computations." he added. Shapiro has taken an important theoretical step forward by building a model of a molecular Turing Machine. It is in this green. squarish model." Reif said. For his part. singling out DNA computing research at Princeton University and the University of Wisconsin that has gone beyond the finite automaton. that Shapiro sees the real potential for molecular computing. alongside the finite automaton. "People are really aggressively pushing the limits. The ability to create a molecular Turing Machine .

” says Harvard’s Benenson. a Bauer Fellow in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ Center for Systems Biology.smalltimes." http://www. “Each human cell already has all of the tools required to build these biocomputers on its own. "I believe this will keep me busy until I retire. RNA and proteins can function inside the body as "molecular doctors.” Benson and colleagues claim to demonstrate that biocomputers can work in human kidney cells in a ." according to Harvard’s Yaakov “Kobi” Benenson. Your cells will literally build these biocomputers for you. he is keeping focused on the scientific challenges ahead -." he says. "We have made a first small step in this direction.com/articles/stm_print_screen.cf m?ARTICLE_ID=267662 Biocomputers constructed entirely of DNA.and plans to be tied up in his DNA strands for a while. In the meantime.would allow scientists to use DNA to generate massive computing power. “All that must be provided is a genetic blueprint of the machine and our own biology will do the rest.

. giving sugar rewards. They had soon outperformed planaria. Biomolecular computers have been proved in concept by researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science.. ignoring healthy ones. Science fiction fans didn't have to wait so long. a computer scientist at USC. Phenotypes are characteristics that are measurable and that are expressed in only a subset of the individuals within that population (like blond hair or brown eyes). they could read about the intellectual cells in Greg Bear's 1984 novel Blood Music: His first E. coli mutations had had the learning capacity of planarian worms.culture. researchers could build biosensors or medicine delivery systems that could single out specific cell types in the body. These molecular doctors could target only cancerous cells. Removing the finest biologic sequences from the . Leonard Adleman. Dr. using a biocomputer as the calculation mechanism. they have developed a conceptual framework by which various phenotypes could be represented logically. discussed the possiblity of biocomputers as early as 1994. see the article Biomolecular Computer: The Tiniest Doc?. he had run them through simple T-mazes. for example. In theory. Also.

Using artificial proteins and hormones as a means of communication..technovelgy.. Vergil had "trained" the lymphocytes in the past six months to interact as much as possible with each other and with their environment .asp?NewsNum=1051 . white cells from his own blood.altered E.com/ct/Science-FictionNews. he had incorporated them into Blymphocytes. http://www.a much more complex miniature glass maze. coli.

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