Biosynthetic Computer Finds its Way into Human Cells

Biosynthetic Computer Finds its Way into Human Cells

Welcome to a world where a computer the size of a cell is made up of purely biological components! Yes, researchers at ETH Zurich have found a solution that helps combine engineered biological components into scalable circuits. Firstly, the new development comes under the area of synthetic biology. This branch of science is a branch of biological engineering, designing new biological parts, systems or devices for a purpose.

With synthetic biology taking new strides each passing day, the complete programming of mammalian cell behavior is not far. Using advanced logic gates to control gene expression is a key aim in synthetic biology. However, till date, biotechnologists could find no solution to create a flexible, complex processor from bio-components.

Generation of circuits that perform adder function in a biological environment was a challenge so far. However, the introduction of CRSIPR/Cas9 technology solves this problem.

Emergence of CRISPR/Cas9

CRISPR/Cas9 is a technology that allows genome editing by removal, alteration or addition of DNA sequences. A core processor based on CRISPR/Cas9 enables a wide range of bitwise, Boolean, and arithmetic operations. The scientists combine two orthogonal core processors in a single cell, providing greater capacities. The researchers suggest that this system has potential application in therapeutics.

Further analysis will lead to a full ‘biocomputing core’. The cell, loaded with custom-programmed circuits will perform unique functions. Consequently, millions or billions of cells realized in this way can enable multicore bioprocessing.

Disease Relevant Inputs Possible

Such a circuit can use biomedical markers as input to the CRISPR/Cas9 gene expression system, and produce therapeutic output. As a result, even endogenous genes can be input which is disease-relevant. This will be a stepping stone towards realizing a complete CRIPSR CPU technology in mammalian synthetic biology.

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Rohit Bhisey

Rohit Bhisey

An AVP at the Marketing department at Transparency Market Research, Rohit has his fingers firmly placed on the pulse of the business world. He has a keen eye for any new development that could rock our world. He is adept at strategizing to boost web traffic and generate new leads. He is also an expert in Google Analytics, something which he feels could go a long way in getting sites more traction by providing necessary insights. Rohit is a Bachelor in Computer Science from the Pandit Ravishankar Shukla University and takes keen interest in writing news articles on technology, business, and healthcare.

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