PerspectiveBiochemistry

Scaling Up DNA Computation

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Science  03 Jun 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6034, pp. 1156-1157
DOI: 10.1126/science.1208068

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Summary

Computation is increasingly pervasive. Silicon-based computing devices are embedded in a wide variety of manufactured goods and appliances, increasing functionality, communication, and control. An analogous development of molecular-scale computing devices could allow similar advantages at vastly smaller scale. For example, embedding molecular-scale computing devices in biological materials such as serum, cells, or tissues could be used to detect, and possibly treat, disease. On page 1196 of this issue, Qian and Winfree (1) show how such molecular-scale computing devices might be engineered.