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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2010 Aug;21(4):392-400. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2010.05.003. Epub 2010 Jun 9.

Shaping up nucleic acid computation.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA.


Nucleic acid-based nanotechnology has always been perceived as novel, but has begun to move from theoretical demonstrations to practical applications. In particular, the large address spaces available to nucleic acids can be exploited to encode algorithms and/or act as circuits and thereby process molecular information. In this review we not only revisit several milestones in the field of nucleic acid-based computation, but also highlight how the prospects for nucleic acid computation go beyond just a large address space. Functional nucleic acid elements (aptamers, ribozymes, and deoxyribozymes) can serve as inputs and outputs to the environment, and can act as logical elements. Into the future, the chemical dynamics of nucleic acids may prove as useful as hybridization for computation.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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