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DNA Computers



>Apparently it is possible to do computing 
>problems with vials of sculpted DNA.

This _appears_ to be a very mangled story about genetic
algorithms - almost like the end result of an intellectual
version of the telephone game.  Genetic algorithms use the
same operators and principles found in living cells and DNA,
but it is not currently possible to "state a problem" in
cultured DNA and have a vial of it solve for 'x'.  Genetic
algorithms are like any other, coded in software and run on
modern digital computers.  They have been a very eddifying
check on the _mechanisms_ of evolution, showing that evolution
_as_a_concept_ is valid no matter what medium it is found in,
and, yes, genetic algorithms lend themselves to massive paral-
lelization - but nobody is building DNA computers.

The only other interpretation I can put on this is that it is
a reference to the on-going work to build computers with nano-
technology.  However, these are not DNA, nor are they even likely
to be ever built with the stuff, nor are they inherently "genetic"
since these are merely ultrasmall versions of normal Von Neuman
computers - they resemble microscopic abacuses more than any DNA
device.

One cannot "run" DNA.  If DNA is "switched on," it's going to build
proteins - it's a construction device, not a computing device.

Is this what you are referring to?

regards,
Larry Smith