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Nat Biotechnol. 2003 Sep;21(9):1069-74. Epub 2003 Aug 17.

A deoxyribozyme-based molecular automaton.

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Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Department of Medicine, Columbia University, Box 84, 650W 168th Street, New York, New York 10032, USA.


We describe a molecular automaton, called MAYA, which encodes a version of the game of tic-tac-toe and interactively competes against a human opponent. The automaton is a Boolean network of deoxyribozymes that incorporates 23 molecular-scale logic gates and one constitutively active deoxyribozyme arrayed in nine wells (3x3) corresponding to the game board. To make a move, MAYA carries out an analysis of the input oligonucleotide keyed to a particular move by the human opponent and indicates a move by fluorescence signaling in a response well. The cycle of human player input and automaton response continues until there is a draw or a victory for the automaton. The automaton cannot be defeated because it implements a perfect strategy.

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