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DNA computing, also known as molecular computing, is a new approach to massively parallel computation.The latest computer to come out of the University of Southern California isn‟t newsworthy for its small size or computational power. It‟s notable because it is made from DNA, the microscopic acids that reside in every cell and are responsible for all life. The DNA computer, which more closely resembles a biochemistry lab than a PC, was the first nonelectronic device-including the human mind to solve a logic problem with more than 1 million possible answers.
Computers today all use binary codes - 1‟s and 0‟s or on‟s and off‟s. These codes are the basis for all possible calculations a computer is able to perform. DNA is actually quite similar to binary code. Each DNA strand is made up of some combination of A‟s, T‟s, C‟s and G‟s that act just like a computer‟s 1‟s and 0‟s. Furthermore, DNA copies, stores and parses information like a human hard drive and processor. “Inside the cell you have all the basic tools,” says Adleman. “It‟s just a matter of carrying out the computation.In November of 1994, Dr. Leonard Adleman wrote the first paper on DNA computing. In this paper, he found a way to solve the “Hamiltonian path problem,” which involves finding all the possible paths between a certain number of vertices. It is also known as the “traveling salesman problem.”