We’ve been making some very impressive technological advances over the past few years. Things that we once but dreamed of are now a reality. Science fiction is no longer all that fictitious, as we found ways to make even the most outlandish dreams a reality. But sometimes, a field ends up developing so much and so quickly that we need something new in order to keep moving on. In a potentially huge breakthrough for biotechnology, a team of researchers develops biological supercomputer.
Energy transfers and ATP
ATP, or adenosine triphosphate is a chemical found in our bodies that allows the transfer of internal energy at cellular levels. It is also referred to as the molecular unit of currency due to its ability to enable energy to be transferred between cells.
In their attempts to come up with this new biological supercomputer, computer scientist Dan Nicolau from the McGill University, along with his son Dan Jr., thought they should use the biochemical in their work instead of the regular practice of using a microchip underneath synthetic semi conductive circuitry.
By using protein strings powered by adenosine triphosphate, the team of scientists that initially consisted of just Nicolau and his son but was joined by scientists from Canada, Germany, Norway, and Sweden managed to create a biological supercomputer that can solve complex problems with a far reduced energy usage.
Being powered by biological agents, the supercomputer uses far less energy, so it doesn’t overheat. Despite being able to replicate the basic mathematical functions that can be performed by most supercomputers, the new biotechnological creation is about the size of a book.
According to descriptions, the circuit of the tiny wonder of technology looks pretty much like the aerial view of a very well structured city. About 0.23 square inches in diameter (1.5 cm), the circuit also looks like it has tiny automobiles moving through channels built especially for them. These “automobiles” are powered by the ATP as they move through the channels engraved into the circuitry.
While most supercomputers require a dedicated power plant in order to keep them running, the new biological model doesn’t need nearly as much energy. But that doesn’t mean that the device is perfect. It’s still pretty much only a prototype, designed only to show that it’s possible.
The team behind it is confident that the model has a vast potential, and is currently working on ways to push their project further. They are now considering combining the device with a conventional computer in order to form a hybrid device, which is pretty much how the bad guy in “John Dies at the End” was created.
Image source: Wikimedia