Researchers at Arizona State University (ASU) have developed a method for harnessing living cells to perform computations using self-assembling designer RNA circuits.
"We're using very predictable and programmable RNA-RNA interactions to define what these circuits can do," says ASU professor Alex Green.
"That means we can use computer software to design RNA sequences that behave the way we want them to in a cell. It makes the design process a lot faster."
Green's team developed specialized logic gates and integrated them with cells. The circuit switches are triggered when RNA fragments bind to their complementary RNA sequences in the cellular circuit. The switches can be configured into various combinations to build more complex logic gates for assessing and responding to multiple inputs.
Green says the method's wide-ranging potential resides in its ability to simultaneously conduct many operations, enabling faster and more refined computation while making efficient use of the limited resources of the cell.
From ASU Now
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