Researchers from Stanford make genetic transistors, pave way for Bio-Computing
Researchers from the Genetic engineering department at Stanford University have developed a new genetic transistor, called the transcriptor. These Transcriptors substitute DNA for semiconductors and RNA for the electrons in traditional transistors, the transcriptor then controls the flow of a specific RNA protein along a DNA strand using tailored combinations of enzymes.
These transcripts were then used to create logic gates, and answer true and false to questions then posed within the cells. The bio cells can tell cancerous cells to stop dividing after they reach a certain number, or turn plant cells into sensors for monitoring the environment. This could be a brilliant break through in cancer research.
The researchers released some of their blueprints under a public domain license, which they hope will be used by other scientists to help speed up work on the overall goal of building a complete biocomputer.
However, In February, a separate team at the University of Massachusetts published details on their own version of this transistor. Although the development of such transistors for real world applications is still years away, one can only hope that this technology relieves mankind from the illnesses of today.