Oh no, not the DNA computer again

18 July 2008

Ruchi Mallya, an analyst at Datamonitor has pored over a paper on the creation of the first long chains of DNA made using artificial bases in place of good old guanine, adenine, thymine and cytosine. And come to the conclusion that it might be the future of computing.

The answer is no, it isn't. While writing the long answer, I felt I just had to point to this paragraph:

"In addition, unlike today's personal computers, DNA computers require minimal or no external power sources, as they run on internal energy produced during cellular reactions."

Yes, processes involving DNA don't involve a lot of energy. But cells don't produce energy, they only convert energy they have managed to store. If they did produce energy, who needs oil? We could run the world on adenosine triphosphate. It's good stuff, you get through kilos of it every day. But it just happens to be a good way of delivering energy, not creating it.