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 Junk DNA might be really, really useful for biocomputing
It has passed quite a lot of time since I studied DNA base constructs but technically, with the right sequence, you can fold it into almost any nanostrucutre.
The problem with biocomputing compared to silicon based transistor, IIRC, is more on the speed of the signals among components (which could be made of mRNA, proteins, peptides, small molecules, twisting of the same DNA) which is governed by diffusion and thus way slower than the electric field in a processor.
This if you can solve the assembling and manteinance of a DNA based chip. IIRC our 3 billion bases long genome breaks 1 million times a day and the machinery to repair it is not trivial. And for breaking I mean breaking of the chemical bonds in the double strand, then you have that pesky thing that is oxidative stress to cope with...
You also have a lot of other problems like the input-output trasducers, contamination, mutations in the DNA, etc...

Still is indeed true that the structure of the DNA and the genome allow for very fine and complex cascade signaling sequences: a single DNA gene can be influenced by enancher, silencers, promoters, DNA methilation, micro-RNA and RNA silencing in general, etc...

Quote:Biocomputing is an interesting field, it's a shame that there's not more attention to it.

From my point of view, at the moment, is already a small miracle we have a tool like the CRISPR-Cas9 to edit DNA in general with a very high fidelity (was a real pleasure sweating like a pig for the test on the techniques to manipulate DNA and having the CRISPR disclosed a few months later Big Grin Rolleyes ).

Pretty sure we will have commercial quantum computer before biocomputing, we really still can't manipulate the DNA perfectly and even if our capabilities of sequencing has gone through the roof in the last years the understanding of how the genes works has not increased at the same rate.

Last but not least: the "junk" term is quite misleading as the DNA in these sequences can be quite relevant for the cell life and was already disregarded since I graduated a few years ago. Pretty a shame reading it in a 2020 article Sad

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RE: Junk DNA might be really, really useful for biocomputing - by Vitto - 12-19-2020, 01:20 AM

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