Adleman-ScAm94

Adleman scam94

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Unformatted text preview: Computing with DNA The manipulation of DNA to solve mathematical problems is redefining what is meant by “computation” by Leonard M. Adleman C omputer. The word conjures up images of keyboards and monitors. Terms like “ROM,” “RAM,” “gigabyte” and “megahertz” come to mind. We have grown accustomed to the idea that computation takes place using electronic components on a silicon substrate. But must it be this way? The computer that you are using to read these words bears little resemblance to a PC. Perhaps our view of computation is too limited. What if computers were ubiquitous and could be found in many forms? Could a liquid computer exist in which interacting molecules perform computations? The answer is yes. This is the story of the DNA computer. Rediscovering Biology M y involvement in this story began in 1993, when I walked into a molecular biology lab for the first time. Although I am a mathematician and computer scientist, I had done a bit of AIDS research, which I believed and still believe to be of importance [see “Balanced Immunity,” by John...
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