Scientists are one step closer to making a biological computer after building basic components for digital devices out of bacteria and DNA.
Some scientists believe that, in the future, small biological computers could roam our bodies monitoring our health and correcting any problems they find.
Researchers from Imperial College London have demonstrated they can build the ‘logic gates’ which are the building blocks of today’s microprocessors out of harmless bugs and chemicals.
The biological logic gates described in Nature Communications are the most advanced ‘biological circuitry’ ever created by scientists.
Professor Richard Kitney said: ‘Logic gates are the fundamental building blocks in silicon circuitry that our entire digital age is based on. Without them, we could not process digital information.
‘Now that we have demonstrated we can replicate these parts using bacteria and DNA, we hope that our work could lead to a new generation of biological processors, whose applications in information processing could be as important as their electronic equivalents.’
Although still a long way off, the team suggests these biological logic gates could one day form the building blocks in microscopic biological computers.