Flexible DNA computer finds square roots

New digital circuit designed to use molecules to crunch a wider variety of complex math problems

By Daniel Strain, 13:39 PM June 2, 2011

DNA, the molecule of life, turns mathlete.

Using the natural zipping and unzipping behavior of DNA strands, researchers at Caltech have developed a new and adaptable method for turning the molecules into calculators. The design opens up a range of possible circuits built entirely from DNA, capable of crunching basic math problems, the team reports in the June 3 Science.

“This is way beyond cool,” says Andrew Ellington, a biotechnologist at the University of Texas at Austin. “This is complex and...

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