It appears scientists are now able to attach genes in particular spots on genechips using a new “daisy” molecule. This allows them to place genes onto the chip in a sequential–that is, ordered–fashion. The first purpose of this breakthrough is to produce certain proteins in an extra-cellular manner. But, as the quote below shows, they also have plans to put together a logical chain of these chips for “information processing”. Is that right? Do cells carry on “information processing”, just like this computer I’m working at? So, using an analogy to Sir Fred Hoyle’s quip about evolution, I suppose if a tornado passed through the components section of a Fry’s Electronics store, out would pop a computer. You have to really hand it to chance mechanisms!
More complex artificial gene circuits can be envisioned by extending this protocol, and thus the biochips may be able to carry out complex cascaded information-processing functions, mimicking those in living organisms. . . . placing genes close to one another on a surface provides opportunities not available in bulk solution by allowing communication between individual gene sequences in these artificial cells.
Here’s the full link.