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Designing and Programming Living Computers

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conceptual illustration showing bacterial cells as artificial neural circuits

The fluorescence and scattering of bacterial cultures were analyzed through flow cytometry analyzer.

Credit: Technion

Scientists from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology collaborated to create genetic "devices" designed to perform computations like artificial neural circuits.

They describe their work in the journal Nature Communications.

The genetic material was inserted into the bacterial cell in the form of a plasmid. The group designed the plasmid's genetic sequence to function as a simple artificial neural network.

The team created synthetic computation circuits by combining existing engineered genes in novel ways, and implemented concepts from neuromorphic electronics into bacterial cells. The result was the creation of bacterial cells that can be trained using artificial intelligence algorithms.

From Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
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