Synthetic DNA can perform logic operations such as
“NAND” and give out the answer by lighting up the
cell with green fluorescent protein, or GFP. REF. 1

NATURE | NEWS

How to turn living cells into computers

Genetic system performs logic operations and stores data in DNA.

Roland Pease
13 February 2013

Synthetic biologists have developed DNA modules that perform logic operations in living cells. These ‘genetic circuits’ could be used to track key moments in a cell’s life or, at the flick of a chemical switch, change a cell’s fate, the researchers say. Their results are described this week in Nature Biotechnology1.

Synthetic biology seeks to bring concepts from electronic engineering to cell biology, treating gene functions as components in a circuit. To that end, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge have devised a set of simple genetic modules that respond to inputs much like the Boolean logic gates used in computers.

Read more: How to turn living cells into computers : Nature News & Comment.

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