DNA computerA nanocomputer that uses DNA (deoxyribonucleic acids) to store information and perform complex calculations.
In 1994, University of Southern California computer scientist Leonard Adelman suggested that DNA could be used to solve complex mathematical problems. Adelman found a way to harness the power of DNA to solve the Hamiltonian path problem (the traveling salesman problem), whose solution required finding a path from start to end going through all the points (cities) only once.
Each city was encoded as its own DNA sequence (DNA sequence consists of a series of nucleotides represented by the letters A, T, G, C).
The DNA sequences were set to replicate and create trillions of new sequences based on the initial input sequences in a matter of seconds (called DNA hybridization). The theory holds that the solution to the problem was one of the new sequence strands. By process of elimination, the correct solution would be obtained.
Adelman's experiment is regarded as the first example of true nanotechnology.
The main benefit of using DNA computers to solve complex problems is that different possible solutions are created all at once. This is known as parallel processing. Humans and most electronic computers must attempt to solve the problem one process at a time (linear processing). DNA itself provides the added benefits of being a cheap, energy-efficient resource.
In a different perspective, more than 10 trillion DNA molecules can fit into an area no larger than 1 cubic centimeter. With this, a DNA computer could hold 10 terabytes of data and perform 10 trillion calculations at a time.
IT Solutions Builder TOP IT RESOURCES TO MOVE YOUR BUSINESS FORWARD
Which topic are you interested in?
What is your company size?
What is your job title?
What is your job function?
Searching our resource database to find your matches...
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
The following facts and statistics capture the changing landscape of cloud computing and how service providers and customers are keeping up with... Read More »SEO Dictionary
From keyword analysis to backlinks and Google search engine algorithm updates, our search engine optimization glossary lists 85 SEO terms you need... Read More »Texting & Chat Abbreviations
From A3 to ZZZ this guide lists 1,500 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Read More »
Java is a high-level programming language. This guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of syntax, variables, data types and... Read More »Java Basics, Part 2
This second Study Guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of operators, modifiers and control Structures. Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »