Imagine having a computer that can replicate itself as the need arise. Computers have changed the way we live and do things. They are available in our homes, offices, cars, kitchen and even our pockets. Scientist are already thinking of taking computing to a whole new level by having them incorporated with DNA.
The human DNA is a wonderful dynamic part of the human body. At the University of Manchester, a team of researchers are already working on incorporating strands of DNA into computing. Already, scientists have developed a DNA-based computing device that expands and grows as it operates. Present computers have defined limits to their computing capacity, but with DNA computers, would be able to replicate storage space as the need arises. There are computers with storage space of a couple of terabytes, but with DNA-computers, they can operate and create up to 100 billion terabytes if needed. What is most impressive is that all this storage can be achieved from just a gram of DNA.
Creating unlimited storage is not the only expected advantage to be gained from DNA computing. Another advantage would be instantaneous computing power and speed. As illustrated by Professor Ross D King when interviewed by Popular Mechanics, present computers when faced with an option of two paths would have to calculate and chose a path to take first. With a DNA computer, such choice would not be necessary as it can simply replicate itself and take both paths instantly and at the same time. This would mean more computing power and computer speed.
There are a number of individuals and pioneer firms already working to perfect the system. The only snag is that it costs about $12,500 to code a megabyte of data onto a DNA. Most information would contain at least thousands of information, which makes that the cost of the endeavor very expensive to pursue. Experts however expect the costs to drastically drop very soon, just like the cost of sequencing a genome dropped to a relatively mere $280 from $2.7 billion after a few years.
Scientist are looking forward to a time when it would be cheaper to code information on DNA, because DNA presently offers the most reliable resource to store information and the best means to duplicate information.