A thousand different ways have been proposed for how humans and computers will someday become one: chips installed in our heads, people's minds uploaded to the internet, you name it. But computers might be perfectly content with just our DNA.

That's the argument made by Professor Jian-Jian Shu and his team at Nanyang Technical University in Singapore. Their idea is that DNA strands could present a far more powerful alternative to binary code.


They explain:

"No matter how fast tomorrow's conventional silicon-based computer can become, in order to solve specific classes of problems, it may take the fastest silicon-based computer months or even years to process the calculations. This is mainly due to the serial computing nature of the conventional silicon-based computer...Silicon-based computing relies on a binary system. With DNA-based computing, you can do more than have ones and zeroes. DNA is made up of A, G, C, T, which gives it more range. DNA-based computing has the potential to deal with fuzzy data, going beyond digital data."

Shu is referring to adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine, the four chemical bases of DNA. While this DNA-based computing is a long ways off, Shu and his team have already had a few initial successes with manipulating DNA to improve its ability to store information.


Via Discovery News. Image via.