Engineers Have Implanted Computer Circuits in a Body Cell

These biological computational circuits holds a better future for the DNA in not just merely storing data.


Computer Circuits Implants

Engineers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have devised biological computational circuits, or synthetic machines, that allow storage and response to input data. This serves as a one major step forward in building large computational systems from biological components, which will further program complex biological functions.


Source: Tumblr

MIT’s Synthetic Biology Group developed a computer within a living cell called state machine, which is an abstract mathematical model describing computation as a list of distinct internal states paired with an associated list of operations (or machine inputs) required to transition from state to state. State machines can describe a lot of things, including natural language processing algorithms to neurological systems.

By essence, DNA stores information. What the engineers did was create a framework for chemically manipulating DNA in order for the states to be encoded in DNA sequences. The states can further be used in linking cellular behaviour.


Source: MIT News

The experiment involved programmed E. coli bacteria which had to react to common biological laboratory substances like antibiotic tetracycline, a sugar called arabinose, and a chemical called DAPG; the output should be different fluorescent proteins representing different colors, which they got. They were able to produce 16 different combinations of colors out of the three inputs.

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Suad Alkhoury

Suad Alkhoury Speaks French, Arabic and English fluently. TV Host at GineersNow TV. Social media geek. Based in Dubai & Beirut. Follow me on Linkedin

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Engineers Have Implanted Computer Circuits in a Body Cell

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