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Biotech Science

Living Cells Turned Into Computers 34

Posted by Soulskill
from the resistance-is-futile dept.
ananyo writes "Synthetic biologists have developed DNA modules that perform logic operations in bacteria. These 'genetic circuits' could, for example, be used by scientists to track key moments in a cell's life or, in biotechnology, to turn on production of a drug at the flick of a chemical switch. The researchers have encoded 16 logic gates in modules of DNA and stored the results of logical operations. The different logic gates can be assembled into a wide variety of circuits."
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Living Cells Turned Into Computers

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  • by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex@Nos ... t-retrograde.com> on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @10:51PM (#42892029)

    These 'genetic circuits' could, for example, be used by scientists to track key moments in a cell's life or, in biotechnology, to turn on production of a drug at the flick of a chemical switch.

    Code-Monkey Translation:
    Scientists, lacking a good debugger for living organisms, have made a breakthrough: They're now able to employ the tried and true tradition of adding
    printf( "Made it here and didn't crash!" );
    and/or
    if ( DEBUG && VK_LSHIFT_DN ) { ... }
    code into bacteria.

    Despite the platform being in open beta for as long as anyone can remember and its undeniable popularity the world over, professional coders experienced with situations that require resorting to this technique in undocumented code, badly supported 3rd party plug-ins, and poorly understood niche embedded systems, are advising the scientists to wait for the more mature 1.0 release of the DNA API specification before implementing their own domain specific language on the platform.

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