News of the WeekMOLECULAR COMPUTING

RNA Works Out Knight Moves

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Science  18 Feb 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5456, pp. 1182-1183
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5456.1182

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Summary

In the 15 February Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, biologists and computer scientists report using RNA to solve the "knights problem" on a 3 x 3 chessboard: finding all the ways to place a collection of knight pieces (which move in an L-shaped pattern) so that no knight can attack another. The feat, the most difficult problem ever solved by molecular computing, marks the first time RNA has been used as a molecule for computation and may point the way to powerful techniques for solving other mathematical puzzles.