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Cells turned into “complex biocomputers”?

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From BeauHD at Slashdot:

Computer hardware is getting a softer side. A research team has come up with a way of genetically engineering the DNA of mammalian cells to carry out complex computations, in effect turning the cells into biocomputers. The group hasn’t put those modified cells to work in useful ways yet, but down the road researchers hope the new programming techniques will help improve everything from cancer therapy to on-demand tissues that can replace worn-out body parts. More.

No, they were not “turned into” complex biocomputers. They always were that. The researchers found a way to potentially make them work for us instead of just themselves, somewhat like milking cows.

See also: Cells communicate to navigate a crowded embryo Yet another new system that just somehow evolved, coordinated with dozens of others.

and

Cells poll their neighbours before moving around

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9 Replies to “Cells turned into “complex biocomputers”?

  1. 1
    Dionisio says:

    No, they were not “turned into” complex biocomputers. They always were that. The researchers found a way to potentially make them work for us instead of just themselves, somewhat like milking cows.

    Excellent point. Thanks.

    Actually, they want to make the cells do things that are much simpler than what they already do.
    It’s like asking a rocket scientist to take a pocket calculator and add a few numbers.

    Articles like that confirm that we are flooded with nonsense everywhere we look at. It’s pathetic.

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    News, have these researchers been pondering the implications of processing digitally coded algorithmically functional, textual — yes, textual — information in DNA during protein synthesis? KF

  3. 3
    Dionisio says:

    KF,

    That’s a very good question. Thank you.
    However, sometimes one gets the impression that some researchers don’t have a clue about what they are looking at.
    Maybe that’s why we read so many times expressions like “surprisingly”, “unexpectedly”, “shockingly”, and so on in the research papers?

    That’s the pathetic reality we see around.

    Some of us know -by God’s grace- the explanation for that kind of attitude and behavior. It’s been written for us since many centuries ago. But many folks don’t want to take it seriously. Been there, done that too.

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    D, maybe they should attend a course in Digital Electronics then? KF

  5. 5
    Dionisio says:

    KF,

    You’ve brought up a very interesting point. Thank you.

    Perhaps all university undergrad majors should require mathematical logic (including set theory) in the first semester.

    Please, note that by “all university undergrad majors” I mean that even the non-STEM careers should require that course. But definitely all the STEM-related careers MUST require that course right at the start. A rigorous test should be scheduled at the end of the course in order to determine that it was well understood.

    Perhaps I’d consider requiring courses on cybernetics and systems analysis too, but only for the STEM-related careers.

    That should help to improve the communication between members of interdisciplinary research teams.

    This is open for discussion before the next session of the parliament. 🙂

  6. 6

    Where is BornAgain77?

  7. 7
    Dionisio says:

    ayearningforpublius,

    Good question. Haven’t seen his informative posts here lately.

  8. 8

    I was just thinking the same thing. Where is BA77? Anybody in touch with him?

  9. 9
    Eric Anderson says:

    And every time more progress is made on the engineering side of biology, it puts the lie to the old materialist fallback argument about why they won’t accept design in biology: “Well, we haven’t seen anyone design a living organism yet, so we can’t consider design in biology.”

    Yes, Liddle, and others, you know who you are.

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