BladeRunner Cometh

By Derek Sooman on August 18, 2003, 3:59 PM
I've often believed that computers will eventually evolve into forms of life, since I've also often believed that the secrets of DNA will eventually unveil a system that is totally perfect and knowledgeable - the ultimate programming language, to which the modern languages of today such as Java and C# are but a pale shadow.

What is more, when you look at binary, it stores information in strings of 0s and 1s. 010101010001010001010101010101 on and on through terabytes of data. And interestingly, DNA stores information in strings of letters A, T, C and G. And from that simple, basic comparison, comes a whole universe of similarities between computing and genetics.

In the future, will tiny DNA programs store information in quads, gigaquads, teraquads, and so forth? Will we be growing computers in labs?

University of Southern California computer scientist Leonard Adleman believes its a scientific certainty.
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"They call their creations "machines" and "devices." Really, they are nothing more than test tubes of DNA-laden water, and yet this liquid has been coaxed to crunch algorithms and spit out data.

The problems solved by DNA computers to date are rudimentary. Children could come up with the answers more quickly with a pencil and paper.

But the researchers hope to someday inject tiny computers into humans to zap viruses, fix good cells gone bad and otherwise keep us healthy."[/COLOR]

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