from the sicken-you-or-solve-your-problems dept.
Rob writes "A team of US scientists has engineered bacteria that can solve complex mathematical problems faster than anything made from silicon. The research, published today in the Journal of Biological Engineering (abstract and provisional PDF), proves that bacteria can be used to solve a puzzle known as the Hamiltonian Path Problem, a special case of the traveling salesman problem. The researchers say that this proof-of-concept experiment demonstrates that bacterial computing is a new way to address NP-complete problems using the inherent advantages of genetic systems."
The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland";
but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.