“We’ve managed to create a very complex network in a very small area,” said the older Nicolau. The computer has been described as a “roadmap on the nano scale” in which biological agents, powered by ATP, move around the circuit in a controlled manner to solve practice problems and functions.
In the video above, you can see the proteins moving through the circuit, all of which takes place within a 1.5 cm square microchip. Given current predictions, this efficient size could mean that future bio-supercomputers could be the size of a book and equally as effective as today’s massive, electric machines.
In spite of its small size, the model bio-supercomputer has been effective at solving complex mathematical problems. Even better, since the computer only relies partially on electricity and otherwise functions biologically, it barely heats up, making it far more energy-efficient and sustainable than current supercomputers.
Of course, this model is only the first important step in showing that a biological supercomputer can work and drastically change the way scientists approach these problem-solving machines at the moment.
The team of researchers behind it is now working on improving the model and plans to begin testing with new biological agents or even building a hybrid supercomputer that would combine the biological and electronic models.
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