Biological Computation: From DNA to Cells

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


DNA computing still labors under a preponderance of theory. Laboratory experiments have only explored the initial problems of the field. Computation is a formal property of matter. It does not depend on the properties of the particular substance, but only upon its organization. Computation does not require wires, electrons or magnetic particles. Computation with DNA was preceded by experiments in solving problems with RNA. The initial experiments to breed RNA molecules for a particular task bear a number of similarities to the later work in DNA computation. Both RNA and DNA computational techniques are based on a "generate and test" algorithm. The experimenter first generates a large set of possible solutions, and then manipulates this set to filter out a good solution. In the case of the RNA selection experiments this process typically involves the repeated selection of RNA molecules for some desired catalytic activity. The experimenter first generates a random set of RNA strands. She/he then tests the strands for the desired activity and must isolate the molecules that are better able to perform the task from the others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvanced Semiconductor and Organic Nano-Techniques
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages35
ISBN (Electronic)9780080526461
ISBN (Print)9780125070607
StatePublished - Dec 19 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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