A new supercomputer powered by biological components created by a team of engineers from around the globe is being unveiled to the world. Dan Nicolau, a computer scientist from McGill University, Canada, pioneered the idea of creating a supercomputer that operates on biochemical substance, providing energy to the computer with similar energy that provides human cells with their energy - in the human body.
According to the press release from the university, the supercomputer would run on Adenosine triphosphate - the currency of life - which uses proteins present in all living cells, like the human body.
The bio-supercomputer is smaller than the colossal sizes of supercomputers in the world today, employing less energy from cells that the computer operates on. According to ExaminerGazette, the biological computer would use "up less than 1 percent of the power a current supercomputer does" and is the size of a book.
Nicolau, along with his son and engineering colleagues banded together and built the supercomputer out of "a combination of geometrical modelling and engineering know how" to create a system of protein strings travelling around a circuit with the assistance of ATP.
The model that they have built, however, is not a full proof working prototype but leaves some space for invention on top of the team's discoveries. "“It’s hard to say how soon it will be before we see a full-scale bio super-computer. One option for dealing with larger and more complex problems may be to combine our device with a conventional computer to form a hybrid device. Right now we’re working on a variety of ways to push the research further," Nicolau said.
For more technical information on the first, working, biological supercomputer here are the results of the study: Parallel computation with molecular-motor-propelled agents in nanofabricated networks.
For a visual representation of how this works CLICK HERE
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