DNA Computing

DNA Computing

Traditional computing always uses silicon-based computer technologies. DNA computing, on the other hand, is a division of computing that employs the DNA, biochemistry, and molecular biology hardware. It brings a tie between computational science and life science. DNA computing has experienced rapid developments over the years as a result of its natural advantages.

DNA computing is the first example of real nanotechnology. Research on the DNA strand displacement first started in the 1970s. The application of DNA strand displacement, however, begun only recently. Logic computations like the construction of the logic gate on large-scale computing models are based on this DNA strand displacement.

Leonard Adleman, a computer scientist, came up with the idea of using DNA to find solutions to complex mathematical problems. He noted that a computer hard drive and a DNA are very similar in the way they store permanent information. His success with the DNA computing proved that DNA could be used to find solutions to complex mathematical problems (Carlson, 2009).

A team of researchers developed the DNA logic gate three years after Leonard Adleman’s experiment. DNA logic gates are the first stages of making a computer that resembles an electronic PC. The DNA logic gates depend on the DNA codes to perform the logical operation as opposed to dependence on the electrical signals like the traditional silicon-based computer technologies (Liu, 2009).

The logic gates and biochips will, however, take some more years to function in a working computer. As compared to the conventional computers, these computers will be more compact, accurate, and efficient.

In conclusion, DNA computing is still far from overtaking the traditional silicon-based computer technologies. However, with the rapid developments taking place in the DNA computing, it is just a matter of time before it surpasses the traditional silicon-based computer technologies because of their endless potential for other applications.


Carlson, R. (2009). The changing economics of DNA synthesis. Nature biotechnology, 27(12), 1091.

Liu, H., & Liu, D. (2009). DNA nanomachines and their functional evolution. Chemical Communications, (19), 2625-2636.