DNA, RNA, Chromosomes, and Genes


What was a recent connection between computers and human DNA?

In 2013, researchers developed a biological computer—all with the help of human DNA. Essentially making a biological transistor—called a transcriptor— from DNA, they created a living computer. The transcriptor used a group of natural proteins that controlled how the enzyme (RNA polymerase) flowed along a DNA molecule, similar to how electrons are controlled inside an electrical wire. From there, they used something similar to a computer’s language—of 0s and 1s—to open and close logic gates, but biologically. They hope to eventually develop this living computer to take on such tasks as sensing when a cell has been exposed to a material, such as sugar—or even to tell cells to start or stop dividing depending on the stimuli in their surrounding environment.


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