DNA Computing: A Review of Promises and Potential
Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) computing is prospectively an enabler to solve complex problems. It is based on a blend of computing and biology. The silicon based computers follow a set of instructions with implied meaning to achieve the goal. They are becoming smaller and faster, but the question is how long this trend can sustain. Currently each silicon chip of personal computers has 50 to 60 million transistors on a small sized integrated circuit (IC). According to quantum physics, if the silicon chip continues to decrease in size, the effective transmission of signals will be reduced. Silicon chips are made of toxic substances such as arsenic which can cause damage to nerve cells and immune system, especially in children. Silicon chips consume lots of energy and dissipate heat. To deal issues resulting from the limitations of silicon chips, DNA computing is emerging as a promising alternative. It has the potentials of parallel and distributed processing, massive storage of data, scalability, adaptability (through learning or evolution) and flexibility to minimize costs. It also promises to solve complex NP problems that are difficult to solve by current computability. The goal of this paper is to explore technical dimensions of DNA computing by identifying the new uses of nucleic acids, problems, right questions and DNA molecule potentials.
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