From bioputing to bactoputing: computing with bacteria

Abstract : The relevance of certain biological materials and processes to computing or bioputing has been explored for decades. These materials include DNA, RNA, enzymes and other proteins whilst the processes include transcription and translation (as well as the control of these processes by protein and by small RNA) and signal transduction. Recently, other directions have been envisaged using bacteria themselves as living computers. Generally, these uses of bacteria fall within the classical paradigm of computing. Computer scientists, however, have a variety of problems to which they seek solutions whilst microbiologists are having new insights into the problems bacteria are solving and how they are solving them. Here, we envisage that bacteria might be used for new sorts of computing. These might be based on the capacity of bacteria to grow, move and adapt to a myriad different fickle environments as both individuals and as populations of both bacteria and bacteriophage. This new computing may extend to developing a new high level language appropriate to using populations of bacteria and bacteriophage. Such new principles might be based on the way that bacteria explore phenotype space via hyperstructure dynamics and the fundamental nature of the cell cycle. Here we offer a speculative tour of what we term bactoputing, namely the use of the natural behaviour of bacteria and other cells for calculating.
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Contributor : Frédéric Davesne <>
Submitted on : Thursday, November 20, 2008 - 11:47:00 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 5, 2019 - 1:01:36 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-00340470, version 1

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Victor Norris, Abdallah Zemirline, Patrick Amar, Pascal Ballet, Eshel Ben Jacob, et al.. From bioputing to bactoputing: computing with bacteria. Proceedings of the Lille Spring School on Modelling Complex Biological Systems in the Context of Genomics, 2008, France. ⟨hal-00340470⟩

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