Luddites watch out! New research indicates that DNA could be used as the backbone of the next generation of computer circuits. From a FOX News article:
Instead of conventional circuits built of silicon that use electrical current, computer engineers could take advantage of the unique properties of DNA, the double-helix molecule that carries life’s information.
“Conventional technology has reached its physical limits,” said Chris Dwyer, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering. Dwyer recently demonstrated that by simply mixing customized snippets of DNA and other molecules, he could create billions of identical, tiny, waffle-looking structures. These nanostructures can then be used as the building blocks for a variety of circuit-based applications, ranging from the biomedical to the computational.
Sound eerily familiar? Maybe you remember it from my earlier post on the technological singularity and Ray Kurzweil’s book The Singularity is Near:
The Singularity will represent the culmination of the merger of our biological thinking and existence with our technology, resulting in a world that is still human but transcends our biological roots. There will be no distinction, post-Singularity, between human and machine or between physical and virtual reality. If you wonder what will remain unequivocally human in such a world, it’s simply this: ours is the species that inherently seeks to extend it’s physical and mental reach beyond current limitations.
Kurzweil’s pinned the date at roughly 2050–here’s to that!