The Slovenia Times

Slovenian Scientists Building Cell Computer


The invention, which could be used above all for medicinal and diagnostic purposes, has earned the team an article in the prestigious science magazine Nature Chemical Biology.

The seven researchers, working for the Institute of Chemistry, the EN-FIST centre of excellence and the Ljubljana Faculty of Computer and Information Science, based the find on the use of proteins that can be designed so as to recognise almost any selected DNA sequence, the three institutions said on Monday.

Cells of living organisms constantly process a number of signals from the environment and transform them into appropriate reactions.

If the cells are to be transformed for specific purposes, for instance for therapy or for sensors that will monitor a body's condition, it is necessary to secure that logic operations are conducted within them that are independent of existing cell processes, the press release says.

While other researchers have so far been executing selected logical operations in cells with the help of natural cell proteins, the Slovenian scientists have managed to set up so called universal NOR logic gates, which can in principle be used to execute any logic operation in cells.

The scientists who authored the paper, published in Nature Chemical Biology on Sunday, are Rok Gaber, Tina Lebar, Andreja Majerle, Andrej Dobnikar, Branko Šter, Mojca Benčina and Roman Jerala.


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