From the bulky supercomputer-sized machines to palm-sized computer devices, technology has adopted the smaller route along with more sophistication. However, what if computer becomes smaller than a cell and acts as a salvation force by sitting inside the plasma fluid? From diseases to poison to the lysosomes that can potentially massacre a cell, the computer can actually warn about any eminent danger.
Potentially, a step to immortality, where cells die as the organism dies, the Nano computer is a result of 10 years extreme hard work and dedicated research. Published in Science, researcher Drew Endy of Stanford declares, “We’re going to be able to put computers inside any living cell you want.” A claim so tall has opened up new windows of synthetic biology. Cyber organisms that are formed by mixing the ingredients of memory, computation and logic can give rise to beasts created by human that human has never laid eyes upon.
A cell function is mediated by its central nucleus and a chemical signal which behaves like yes or no. The computer acts as the decision-taking signal to any biological question thrown upon the cell. Suppose we have introduced heavy metal like mercury in our food. The cell will normally react in a way to the metal. The detector computer will assess the presence causing the cell to change its smell or color.
Not only such simple changes, but in cases of unlimited proliferations of cells, which is an usual characteristic of cancer cells, the computers now can be used as a detection tool. It can be programmed, as when the cell count reaches a benchmark, the cell is annihilated. Jay Keasling, director of the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center who supported this research remarked that it’s like electronics where a transcriptor controls electron flow. This revolutionary technology are biological “logic gates”, which control protein flow along the helices of DNA creating impossible wonders we are yet to realize.
However, with such stunning technological revolutions, one may assume the unexpected, the unimaginable. Hence, technology has definitely taken a new, innovative and aspiring course.