Swiss scientists have used tools for genome editing by CRISPR method for creating biocomputers. They started from the idea that a living cell – ready computer system is able to receive data from the outside and process them. And all the human body can be regarded as a supercomputer with a fantastic opportunity at a symbolic power – so he could work, a bowl of soup.

The use of natural metabolism processes for building logic circuits is a key goal of synthetic biology. Scientists from Zurich have used a modified version of the CRISPR to build a special version of the Cas9 enzyme. It works like a simple processor – can “count” information of the RNA molecules, is activated in response to the expression of certain genes, leading to synthesis of proteins that are easy to detect.

It works as a basic logic element, which designed the scheme on the binary code. Scientists have managed to cram into a single conditional cell two processing cores and got a functional computing module. If you apply to the input information in the form of biomarkers, it will produce calculations and present a Yes or no answer, or one substance for which it is programmed or the other.

In fact, for the analysis of complex biomarkers of one module is not enough, but combine thousands and even billions of modules into a single architecture – this is a task that PCB was solved half a century ago. Now, scientists have had a chance to repeat the success in the form of living cells and learn how to literally “grow in vitro” supercomputers arbitrary power, which we will need only a spoon of sugar.
Source — ETH Zurich