Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tiny computing machine fueled by DNA

25.02.2003


The device was awarded the Guinness World Record for "smallest biological computing device"



Fifty years after the discovery of the structure of DNA, a new use has been found for this celebrated molecule: fuel for molecular computation systems. The research, conducted by scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science, will appear in this week’s issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS).

Whether plugged in or battery powered, computers need energy. Around a year ago, Prof. Ehud Shapiro of the Weizmann Institute made international headlines for devising a programmable molecular computing machine composed of enzymes and DNA molecules. Now his team has made the device uniquely frugal: the single DNA molecule that provides the computer with the input data also provides all the necessary fuel.


The source of fuel of the earlier device was a molecule called ATP, the standard energy currency of all life forms. The redesigned device processes its DNA input molecule using only spontaneous, energy releasing operations. It breaks two bonds in the DNA input molecule, releasing the energy stored in these bonds as heat. This process generates sufficient energy to carry out computations to completion without any external source of energy.

A spoonful (5 milliliters) of "computer soup" can contain 15,000 trillion such computers, together performing 330 trillion operations per second with 99.9% accuracy per step. These computers need very little energy (all supplied, as mentioned, by the input molecule) and together release less than 25 millionths of a watt as heat.

The device was recently awarded the Guinness World Record for "smallest biological computing device."


###
The study was carried out by Yaakov Benenson, Dr. Rivka Adar, Dr. Tamar Paz-Elizur, Prof. Zvi Livneh and Prof. Ehud Shapiro of the Institute’s Biological Chemistry Department and the Computer Science and Applied Mathematics Department.

Prof. Ehud Shapiro’s research is supported by the Dolfi and Lola Ebner Center for Biomedical Research, Yad Hanadiv, the Robert Rees Fund for Applied Research and the Samuel R. Dweck Foundation.

Alex Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.weizmann.ac.il/udi
http://www.weizmann.ac.il/

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Waste from paper and pulp industry supplies raw material for development of new redox flow batteries
12.10.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Low-cost battery from waste graphite
11.10.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>