Thursday, May 19, 2011

Should we Be Playing With DNA?

I read an article recently about how researchers in Singapore are looking at using modified DNA to create a faster computer. The idea is that silicon chips are reaching the limits of how fast they can get a computer to operate. Silicon also creates heat. By teasing apart DNA strands and reattaching them, early research shows that complex problems can be solved faster and more efficiently.

The thing is, we don't know a whole lot about DNA yet.  Another study showed that when several DNA samples are separated from the person, and the person then registered strong emotions,  the DNA was affected at the same time, even though separated by significant distances.  So, how do you separate the person from the DNA in a future computer motherboard?  There is also anecdotal evidence that intent can influence matter, which leads one to ask whether computer DNA could be influenced in its results by focusing on it.

The Human Genome Project found that only 3% of human DNA was coded DNA, the purpose of the other 97% is unknown, leading some biologists to label it "junk DNA". Somehow I doubt it serves no purpose, we're just not smart enough yet to know what it is. It reminds me of genetically modified food:  We don't yet know the long term effects of consuming it. I think I'm just eating real food and using a silicon chip computer until we know more about what we don't yet know.

Read more detail on building a DNA computer here.