DNA Computing

What Does DNA Computing Mean?

DNA computing is the use of biomolecular components rather than standard artificial hardware (such as silicon chips) in computer technology. In place of traditional code (such as the common binary variety), DNA computing utilizes the four-character genetic alphabet, which consists of:

  • A – Adenine
  • G – Guanine
  • C – Cytosine
  • T – Thymine

Techopedia Explains DNA Computing

American physicist Richard Feynman introduced the idea of biomolecular computation in 1959 when presenting research on nanotechnology. However DNA computing was not put into practice until 1994, when American computer scientist Leonard Adleman created a system of algorithmic processes in DNA sets.

Although the practice has inspired a great deal of interest among science and technology circles, DNA computing has never been implemented on any broad scale, as its processing is considerably less efficient than that of standard hardware configuration.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.