How can the computer chip predict the future of gene synthesis?

How can the computer chip predict the future of gene synthesis?

Based on the advancement of computer processors, creating synthetic life could soon be within our grasp.

Gene synthesis and computer programming appear to have little in common. Andrew Steckl, an Ohio Eminent Scholar at the University of Cincinnati and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, is optimistic that large-scale gene manufacturing is possible.

Using the history of microchip development and large-scale computer software platforms as a predictive model, Steckl and his student, Joseph Riolo, were able to grasp another complicated system, synthetic biology. Eliot Gomez, a fellow student in Steckl’s group, sparked the idea for the project, according to Steckl.

Only a perfect analogy exists.” According to Riolo, the genome and software code can be compared in many respects, even though DNA does not fulfill some definitions of digital code.”

Synthetic biology has the potential to be “the next epochal technical human advancement following microelectronics and the internet,” according to research by the University of California. It can be used for everything, from developing new biofuels to the discovery of novel medical therapies.

In 2010, scientists at the J. Craig Venter Institute generated the first synthetic organism when transplanted a synthetic genome of Mycoplasma mycoides into another bacterial cell. At more than $40 million, this very simple artificial genome was developed over 15 years.

It is possible to predict how quickly and how much it will cost to produce synthetic life based on the evolution of computer chips, according to Steckl.

The article compares and contrasts natural and digital coding languages’ alphabet, words, and sentences. DNA coding, however, only provides part of the complicated tale of genes and omits aspects like epigenetics; this is why the authors stress the need to understand how genes interact with one other.

According to UC’s distinguished research professor Steckl, who holds dual appointments in electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, and materials engineering, “there are many restrictions.” However, a zero-order comparison is needed to begin down this route.

Is it possible to compare the complexity of a fighter plane’s software to the complexity of a bacteria’s DNA? Steckl inquired about the matter. Is there a major difference in complexity between the two?


When it comes to ‘programming,’ either biological organisms are far more complex and represent the most complex ‘programming’ that has ever been done, or perhaps they are on the same level as creating coding for an F-35 fighter plane or a luxury car, so it may be possible to replicate it artificially.

The advancement of computer chips can be predicted using Moore’s Law, which is a mathematical formula. Moore’s Law states that transistors on a single computer chip can grow exponentially due to technological advancements.

We are still witnessing Moore’s hypothesis at work in 3-D microchips 55 years after he first proposed it, even if the gains in performance and power reduction are fewer than the last leaps forward.

As Moore’s Law predicts, the cost of editing genes and synthesizing genomes has decreased by nearly halving every two years since 2010.

A unique bacteria, for example, maybe created for as low as $4,000, according to the study’s authors, who estimate that creating an artificial human genome will cost around $1 million.

The study’s authors concluded that “this combination of surmountable complexity and modest expense supports the academic enthusiasm for synthetic biology and will continue to spark curiosity in the rules of life.

Bioengineering might become as vital to almost every industry and scientific field as computer science has become to nearly every scientific field.

“I perceive a link between the development of computers as a field and this. Computers are being used in every scientific field, according to Steckl. Biotechnology and bioengineering are undergoing a similar transformation. The science of life can be found all around us. “It will be interesting to observe how these things evolve.”

As both Steckl and Riolo agree, the possibility to create artificial life does not necessarily imply that it should be done.

As Steckl put it, “It is not something to be taken lightly.” Even if we are capable of doing this, things are more complicated than they should be. Additionally, there are philosophical and religious ramifications to consider.”



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