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Computer Chips on DNA at IBM

At IBM, scientists have been experimenting with using DNA molecules as a way to create miniscule circuits that could then form the basis of smaller, more powerful computer chips. DNA can arrange itself into patterns on the surface of a chip, and then act as a kind of scaffolding on to which millions of tiny carbon nanotubes and nanoparticles are deposited. IBM thinks that network of nanotubes and nanoparticles could serve as the wires and transistors on future computer chips. Chip manufacturers have been etching smaller patterns onto the surface of chips to speed performance for decades, and this seems like the next logical step.This new technique builds on work done by Paul Rothmund several years ago, when the scientist at the California Institute of Technology descovered that DNA molecules can be made to “self-assemble” into tiny forms such as triangles, squares and stars. IBM’s approach takes advantage of DNA’s natural ability to incorporate large amounts of complex information.

A paper describing the scientists’ achievements was published Sunday in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. Courtesy of infoworld.com

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