New DNA-based chip might be programmed to unravel advanced math issues


Sep 15, 2021

(Nanowerk News) The time period ‘DNA’ instantly calls to thoughts the double-stranded helix that comprises all our genetic info. But the person items of its two strands are pairs of molecules bonded with one another in a selective, complementary vogue. Turns out, one can make the most of this pairing property to carry out advanced mathematical calculations, and this varieties the premise of DNA nanotechnology and DNA computing. Since DNA has solely two strands, performing even a easy calculation requires a number of chemical reactions utilizing completely different units of DNA. In most present analysis, the DNA for every response are added manually, one after the other, right into a single response tube, which makes the method very cumbersome. Microfluidic chips, which include slender channels etched onto a cloth like plastic, supply a technique to automate the method. But regardless of their promise, using microfluidic chips for DNA computing stays underexplored. In a latest article in ACS Nano (“Programmable DNA-Based Boolean Logic Microfluidic Processing Unit”), a crew of scientists from Incheon National University (INU), Korea, current a programmable DNA-based microfluidic chip that may be managed by a private pc to carry out DNA calculations. “Our hope is that DNA-based CPUs will replace electronic CPUs in the future because they consume less power, which will help with global warming. DNA-based CPUs also provide a platform for complex calculations like deep learning solutions and mathematical modelling,” says Dr. Youngjun Song from INU, who led the examine. Dr. Song and crew used 3D printing to manufacture their microfluidic chip, which might execute Boolean logic, one of many elementary logics of pc programming. Boolean logic is a sort of true-or-false logic that compares inputs and returns a worth of ‘true’ or ‘false’ relying on the kind of operation, or ‘logic gate,’ used. The logic gate on this experiment consisted of a single-stranded DNA template. Different single-stranded DNA had been then used as inputs. If a part of an enter DNA had a complementary Watson-Crick sequence to the template DNA, it paired to type double-stranded DNA. The output was thought-about true or false primarily based on the dimensions of the ultimate DNA. What makes the designed chip extraordinary is a motor-operated valve system that may be operated utilizing a PC or smartphone. The chip and software program set-up collectively type a microfluidic processing unit (MPU). Thanks to the valve system, the MPU might carry out a collection of reactions to execute a mixture of logic operations in a fast and handy method. This distinctive valve system of the programmable DNA-based MPU paves the way in which for extra advanced cascades of reactions that may code for prolonged features. “Future research will focus on a total DNA computing solution with DNA algorithms and DNA storage systems,” says Dr. Song.

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