Neil B. Panchal

Beyond Silicon: The Advent of Biomolecular Computing

  • Drug Discovery
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Biotechnology

ABSTRACT: Bio computing is an emerging interdisciplinary field that harnesses the information processing capabilities of biological substrates like DNA, proteins and cells to perform computational tasks. Rather than relying solely on conventional silicon-based computers, bio computing leverages the innate computational properties of biomolecules to encode, store, process and transmit information in unconventional ways. Core approaches include DNA computing, which uses DNA biochemistry to solve problems in a massively parallel fashion. Protein computing utilizes protein conformational dynamics to implement logic gates and communication modules for molecular information processing. Cellular computing focuses on engineering gene circuits and synthetic biology tools to program computational behaviours in living cells. Neural computing builds artificial neural networks inspired by biological brains. Key application areas include biomedicine, smart drug delivery systems, biosensing, hybrid organic-inorganic electronics, and biomolecular manufacturing. While still facing challenges around biocompatibility, programming complexity and ethical concerns, bio computing has achieved major technical milestones demonstrating its promise. Continued progress at the interface of biology and computing could enable future technologies like bio processors, in-vivo biocomputers, living materials and bio-intelligent systems. With responsible development, bio-inspired computation may catalyse the next revolution in human technological capabilities. This emerging field thus warrants enthusiastic attention as computation further converges with the living world.

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