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  • Who:

  • What: Smallest biological computing device

  • Where: Israel

A team of scientists led by Ehud Shapiro of the Weizmann Istitute of Science (Israel) have adapted molecules of DNA to act as tiny molecular computing devices. Two DNA molecules and a molecule called an enzyme react together, acting as input, software, hardware, and power supply. Experiments have shown that a microlitre of salt solution, containing 3 trillion self-contained DNA computing devices can perform 66 billion operations per second, with the necessary power/fuel for the computations provided by the DNA itself as it is cleaved by the hardware enzyme. The results were announced on 24 February 2003 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The team consisted of Yaakov Benenson, Rivka Adar, Tamar Paz-Elizur, Zvi Livneh, and Ehud Shapiro (all Israel).

 

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