Programmable biology

As materials for computing, combinatory molecules such as DNA and peptides have potential for massively-parallel information processing. Research has focused increasingly on integrating molecular computing with biological systems, to monitor, process and respond to complex biochemical information. Despite advances, no molecular machine has yet been demonstrated that can compete with the computational power, efficiency, flexibility and reliability of conventional electronics. 

We are thus investigating hybrid molecular-electronic devices. These combine the highly-parallel, low-power computation of molecular machines with the fast and programmable world of silicon-electronics. In our technology, information can pass freely and in both directions across the molecular-electronic interface. The underlying electronic components interrogate the state of the surface immobilized molecular machine, apply logic processing to the data received and then act to regulate the molecular state. This technology not only enables highly-parallel and multiplexed read-out of a molecular computation but also provides an approach for cascading multiple machines via the underlying electronics.

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