I was amazed to hear of the newly possible DNA-based logic gates presented in this article at PopSci (world’s first DNA based logic gates could lead to injectable bio-computers). My mind is abuzz with extropic potential. Here’s my short version…
Researchers at Hebrew University recently produced a set of self-maintaining XOR logic gates built entirely out of DNA. These gates are designed to indicate the presence of specific physiological conditions and then produce an output, most likely a biochemical signal which can feed into other systems and even (eventually) trigger the release of needed chemicals, hormones, or medicines, like aspirin, for example, if a heart attack is detected.
The article states that these gates “can be wired in series, each one creating a new output that serves as the input for the next gate, the basis for complex calculations.” You certainly can’t get much more extropic than that. I was quite impressed and decided to leave my thoughts as follows on the PopSci site:
Like any new tech there are huge potential risks and benefits… I just figure it will get worked out over the years and tested thoroughly before becoming publicly available.
Imagine though, say it could detect the impact from a car crash and release some hydrogen sulfide into your blood at the same time, preserving you for the doctors to treat in the ER. Or say, make your skin turn purple if there’s too much carbon monoxide in the air, or supplement your body’s naturally-declining nightly release of melatonin to help you sleep soundly. Etc, etc.
Privacy and undetectable-assassination risks notwithstanding, in theory you get a greatly enhanced ‘portable’ healthcare package that might just grant you a few extra lives.
Leave your own comments, either there or here. ↓