DNA-based transistors will enable scientists to create biocomputers

Every year the gap between man and machine becomes more and more blurred. The latest invention of Stanford University and even threatens to nullify it: scientists have created the first true biological transistor from genetic material.

By analogy with the transistors that form the basis of modern electronics, genetically modified versions of our own building blocks, DNA and RNA, have been called transcriptors. By adding a microscopic portion of a DNA molecule to the inside of a living cell, scientists were able to control the flow of RNA that translates DNA information into the cell. Just as a transistor regulates electric currents, the transcriptor, under the control of a researcher, can control a living cell.

In practice, this means that scientists can learn how to manage cancer cells to stop their proliferation, as well as assess the general condition of the body and create the most effective medications. Of course, the biological transistor is just one piece of a complex equation. It may take a long time before we see a real biological computer.