Breakthrough in biological computing

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A new breakthrough could one day see the power of the world's biggest supercomputers concentrated in a single drop of water, it was claimed yesterday. Scientists in the United States have succeeded in creating logic gates mimicking those found in computers from short sequences of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid), the chemical constituent of genes.

Logic gates are at the heart of computer processing, filtering coded information in the form of voltage levels representing ones and zeros or the states "true" and "false".The researchers, from the University of Rochester, New York, used cut and spliced strands of DNA, the chemical containing an organism's genetic information, to do the processing instead of electronic transistor circuits.