Dec. 23, 1947. John Bardeen and Walter Brattain show the first working transistor. Sep. 1958. Jack Kilby builds the first integrated circuit. Dec. 24, 2009. Working transistor made of a single molecule. <10 iterations of Moore’s Law left! The race is on for molecular scale integrated circuits.
By programmed self-assembly
We need a magical material where the pieces are pre-programmed to fit into to each other.
At the molecular scale many such materials exist; let’s pick one…
DNA in each human cell: 3 billion base pairs 2 meters long, 2nm thick folded into a 6mm ball 750 MegaBytes
A huge amount for a cell Every time a cell replicates it has tocopy 2 meters of DNA reliably. To get a feeling for the scale disparity, compute: DNA in human body 10 trillion cells 133 Astronomical Units long 7.5 OctaBytes
Sensing Reacting to forces Binding to molecules Actuating Releasing molecules Producing forces Constructing Chassis Growth Computing Signal Processing Decision Making
Nucleic Acids can do all this and interface to biology
Visual DSD - A Strand Displacement SimulatorMatthew Lakin, Simon Youssef, Andrew Phillips, Microsoft Research
Design and simulate a DNA sequence ‘in silico’
MSRC has pioneered new tools that allow researchers to write DNA code. They can design the program they wish to run, simulate the effect it will have and debug the design.
Web sites can take DNA specifications and get them synthesized. Vials can arrive on your doorstep by mail order in as little as 24 hours.
Arrives dried, add water, do experiments.
DNA Programming in the kitchen sink, no special tools required.
An automaton sequentially reading the string PPAP2B, GSTP1, PIM1, HPS (known cancer indicators) and sequentially cutting the DNA hairpin until a ssDNA drug (Vitravene) is released.
Just one of many areas scientists are working on intensively. With molecular programming, a cure for cancer may be reality in the very near future!
Andrew Herbert's presentation
DR ANDREW HERBERT OBE FRENG
MICROSOFT DISTINGUISHED ENGINEER &
MANAGING DIRECTOR, MICROSOFT RESEARCH
SMALLER AND SMALLER
H Song et al. Nature 462, 1039-1043 (2009)
Placement and orientation of individual DNA
shapes on lithographically patterned surfaces.
Nature Nanotechnology 4, 557 - 561 (2009).
BUILDING THE SMALLEST THINGS
How do we build structures that are by
definition smaller than our tools?
Basic answer: We can’t. Structures (and
tools) should build themselves!
Nature can self-assemble.
“Dear Furniture Shop,
please send me a table
that assembles itself.”
THE FUTURE: COMPUTATIONAL DRUGS
Simplified (omitting the “no” pathway)
Nature 429, 423-429 An autonomous molecular computer for logical control of gene expression
Yaakov Benenson1,2, Binyamin Gil2, Uri Ben-Dor1, Rivka Adar2 & Ehud Shapiro1,2
1 - Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel
2 - Department of Biological Chemistry, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel
Acknowledgement: Luca Cardelli, Microsoft Research