“Living” Biocomputing Device Is Based on RNA.

In AI-Artificial Intelligence, Bioelectronics, Brain Science, Brain Technology, Genetics, RNA by Brainy Days Ahead

A “living”programmable device based on self-assembling RNA (ribonucleic acid) has been created by scientists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. RNAs can sense multiple biosignals and make logical decisions to control protein production with high precision. Scientists anticipate that the device’s synthetic biological circuits could be used to produce drugs, refine chemicals and biofuels, and possibly detect disease-causing agents and respond by releasing therapeutic molecules inside the body. The research was performed with E. coli bacteria, which regulate the expression of a fluorescent (glowing) reporter protein when the bacteria encounter a specific complex set of intra-cellular stimuli. But the researchers believe ribocomputing devices can work with other host organisms or in extracellular settings. The scientists believe that brain-like neural networks will be next, with the technology being used to produce neural networks within living cells. Ultimately, the researchers hope to induce cells to communicate with one another via programmable molecular signals, forming a “truly interactive, brain-like network.”