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Scientists borrow from electronics to build circuits in living cells

Posted by Neelansh Bhartiya 03/07/2017 0 Comment(s)

 

Synthetic biology researchers have demonstrated a new method for digital information processing in living cells, analogous to the logic gates used in electric circuits. The circuits are the largest ever published to date in eurkaryotic cells and a key step in harnessing the potential of cells as living computers that can respond to disease, efficiently produce biofuels or develop plant-based chemicals.

A team of UW synthetic biology researchers have demonstrated a new method for digital information processing in living cells, analogous to the logic gates used in electric circuits. They built a set of synthetic genes that function in cells like NOR gates, commonly used in electronics, which each take two inputs and only pass on a positive signal if both inputs are negative. NOR gates are functionally complete, meaning one can assemble them in different arrangements to make any kind of information processing circuit.

The UW engineers did all this using DNA instead of silicon and solder, and inside yeast cells instead of at an electronics workbench. The circuits the researchers built are the largest ever published to date in eurkaryotic cells, which, like human cells, contain a nucleus and other structures that enable complex behaviors.

For more details: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170525085123.htm

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Author’s name: Neelansh Bhartiya

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