Silicon-based computers might soon become a thing of the past with DNA-based computers serving as a replacement. A new scientific breakthrough where DNA structure can be manipulated using copper salts and EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid). The latter is a chemical component that is usually used to make shampoo.
The study was carried out by researchers from the University of East Anglia about the findings states that positively charged copper cations convert the DNA structure into a hairpin structure. Whereas, EDTA is used to reverse the process.
The new findings open up a series of applications including a significant step towards nanotechnology.
According to the report, the DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) can be used to construct tiny machines. As for DNA-based computing, the technology can be used to replace silicon.
Researchers also claim that the technology can be used to detect copper cations in water bodies. Copper cations pose a threat to marine life because they are highly toxic.
According to the program’s lead researcher Zoe Waller, the research provided a way to alter the genetic makeup of a genetic material in a way that they had not anticipated before. Scientists were initially able to conduct a single switch, but the research findings now allow the structure to be switched twice.
Mr. Waller further added that the findings could be used to create Logic gates, one of the essential building blocks of digital circuits. The form of logic gates created using this research will be used in DNA-based computing and nanotechnology.
The conventional way of making logic gates involves the use of transistors or diodes to form electronic switches.
According to Waller, the research findings open door for DNA to be used as a switch apparatus for logic gates in the future computing fields.
The applications that could be developed from these findings will potentially overcome most of the barriers that scientists have previously faced in various fields including nanotechnology. It might even lead to better platforms for future technologies.