Towards molecular computation

David A. Hodgson*, Gerald G. Owenson, Martyn Amos, Alan M. Gibbons

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores the potential for the creation of a molecular computer as first suggested by Feynman in 1959. There is the major problem facing any molecular computer in that individual molecules are implicitly unpredictable. Living cells are molecular machines and have had to solve this problem. They do so by being self-repairing. Thus, a plausible Feynman molecular computer must be self-repairing. The paper describes the molecular basis of life, the central dogma, and how gene expression is controlled in bacteria. Adelman attempted to use the information storage capacity of DNA to perform computations. The problems encountered and potential solutions are explored. In the final section, we explore the possibility of generating a true molecular computer based on genetic switch circuits in bacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-165
Number of pages7
JournalElectronics Information and Planning
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


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