Biological Supercomputer Created By Scientists At McGill University

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Biological Supercomputer Created By Scientists At McGill University Empty Biological Supercomputer Created By Scientists At McGill University

Post by Cr6 on Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:42 pm

This is a few years back. I wonder if they are still working on this... Question
February 28, 2016
Biological Supercomputer Created By Scientists At McGill University

Stephen Jordan

A supercomputer that runs on biological processes, much like the ones that allow all living cells to thrive, has been built by researchers at McGill University, reports Tech Times. Electronic computers are still not able to handle really large problems, and can’t handle more than one problem at a time. This new and potentially revolutionary biological supercomputer, powered by adenosine triphosphate protein strings, can solve complex mathematical problems while it uses very little energy.

The core of this biocomputer/supercomputer model consists of a 1.5 square-centimetre microchip that uses myosin, molecular motors which execute mechanical tasks that are in living cells, in order to drive protein filaments down artificial paths. This isn’t the way more traditional computers work. They instead have electrons being fired through a chip, which is being triggered by an electrical charge.

But in the biological supercomputer, the short strings of proteins are activated by adenosine triphosphate, which is the chemical that allows the transfer of energy inside of the cells in our bodies. ATP is sometimes referred to as “molecular unit of currency.”

This research is applying parallel computing, and Nicolau and his team are not the first to take that and apply it to more complex problem-solving. DNA computing, which uses DNA, biochemistry, and molecular biology hardware, is handled in a similar fashion.

Biological Supercomputer Created By Canadian Scientists [Image via Shutterstock]“A biocomputer requires less than one per cent of the energy an electronic transistor needs to carry out one calculation step,” according to the study’s co-ordinator Heiner Linke, director of nanoscience at Lund University in Sweden.

This supercomputer is run on biological agents, which means it rarely rises in temperature and overheats. It also doesn’t use as much energy as standard electronic supercomputers do, which it makes it more sustainable. More traditional supercomputers require a process for them to operate, having to be cooled down periodically so they don’t overheat. This is why they are built and operate inside their own power plants, this allows them to function.

Now, as previously stated, the Nicolau biological supercomputer is just a model and not the end goal they are intending to reach. There is a lot more work and research that is going to be required in order to take this beta-like biocomputer/supercomputer from a model to a full-size functional supercomputer.


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