Bio-hacking Helping Researchers To Turn Cells Into Mini Computers

The multidisciplinary center of biology and engineering that is known as the scientific biology (Bio-hacking) is developing at a neck breaking pace and is opening new views that could hardly be imagined by anyone of us. In the new research, a professor of ASU’s Biodesign Institute, Alex Green, demonstrated how living cells can be induced for accomplishing the computations in the manner of computers or tiny robots.

The conclusion of this new discovery has significant implications for intelligent drug design and a smart drug delivery, low-cost diagnostic technologies, green energy production, and the development of futuristic nano machines is capable of hunting down the cancer cells.

Green states that “We’re using very predictable and programmable RNA-RNA interactions to define what these circuits can do”. This means that we can use the computer software developments for designing the RNA sequences than could behave the way we want them to in a cell. This enables the process of design faster.

Designer RNA 

RNA

The study described uses the circuits that are composed of RNA or ribonucleic acid. These circuits designs self-assemble the bacterial cells by allowing them to sense incoming messages and responding them by generating computational responses.

In the new approaches, some specialized circuits popularly known as the logic gates that later were incorporated into living cells. During the procedure, tiny switch circuits are tripped when messages attach themselves to their integral RNA sequences in the cellular circuit. This activates the logic gate and produces a desired output.

The Logical Results

Later, in the latest study, logic gates like AND, OR, and NOT were designed. The AND gate is responsible for producing an output in the cell only when there are two RNA messages, say A AND B, are present. Whereas the OR gate responds to both either A or B and NOT gate blocks the output if RNA input is present. On combining these gates, the desired complex logic can be produced that would be capable of responding to multiple inputs.
The basic rule of using RNA based devices is to regulate the protein protection that can be applied virtually to any RNA input, attending a new generation of low cost and accurate diagnostics for a wide range of diseases.

The Bio-hacking

Green says that the next stage of research will be focussing on the use of the RNA toehold technology that will help in producing neural networks in the living cells.

 

Vineeta Sharma Written by:

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *