Biocomputing the future

28 Oct 2015

Yesterday

Yesterday, at the office I was eating lunch , when a co-worker walked in and asked if the forks that were lying on the table were fresh. This question brought to my mind rather rapidly a strange vision of a fork tree. It was a stupid plastic tree that would vend out forks from its branches when needed. Then I thought about it just for an inkling, and said what if we grew a fork. Took some cells and gave it characteristics and it assembled into a fork like object. This led me to recall an indigogo campaigns to fund a biolab at home called. [DNA Tinker Studio] (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dna-tinker-studio#/) and [Amino Desktop Bioengineering] (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/amino-desktop-bioengineering-for-everyone) .

I re-read the campaigns and it brought to mind , the images and stories , I had heard of people in silicon valley in the late 70s and early 80s , when people had really crappy machines they had to assemble with really fat capacitors, no ics lots of hand soldering of transistors. I look at the kits above, and immediately see the next wave of technology beginning to rise.

Biocomputing, makes me think of how radically different, the world will become, once its filled with less soldered lines, and silicon. One could imagine creating bio oscillator and there for bio transceivers for radio and wireless communication, you could possibly even if you dared use one of these biocomputers to monitor your blood stream and communicate this to a computer, all from swallowing a pill, without the side effects of swallowing tiny plastic etc… . One thing that I personally wanted for many years, and the reason why I left computer architecture track at university, was the ability to create adaptive computer architectures based on need. Imagine building a computation pipeline that consumed the least amount of energy, and gave you speed for the application that you wanted , simply by replicating cells and growing in a direction. It would be hardware , with memory and experience. DNA Storage even , seems like it could store way more data, and longer than a silicon based storage…. All these are just the tip of the iceberg. I’m only pointing out some of the limitations of traditional silicon that we’d be overcoming, but not even the new features. If we have a self replicating computer or robot or program rather, you could imagine that transmission might all be data that’s on these DNA printers that would grow or assemble into larger objects or things.

Caveats here are its, genetic manipulation what happens to these cells, when they die. What happens to us if we ingest them, I’m not suggesting we use them as anything other than tools, not to grow food. I think we wouldn’t eat a hammer, so why should we eat GMOs outside of medical purposes. That said I’m excited about the biocomputing future. So excited I’m learning about genetic engineering, and looking to join a biolab to start hacking on that future.

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