The next computer: your genes

From PhysOrg:

Dna “Human beings are more or less like a computer,” Jian-Jun Shu tells “We do computing work, and our DNA can be used in computing operations.” Shu is a professor at the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the Nanyang Technical University in Singapore. “For some problems, DNA-based computing could replace silicon-based computing, offering many advantages.” “Silicon-based computing relies on a binary system,” Shu explains. “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 and his students manipulated strands of DNA at the strand level and at the test tube level. They found that they could fuse strands together, as well as cut them, and perform other operations that would affect the ability of the DNA to compute. In this model, DNA molecules are used to store information that can be used for computational purposes. “We can join strands together, creating an addition operation, or we can divide by making the DNA smaller by denaturization,” Shu says. “We expect that more complex operations can be done as well.”

More here.