I. Future Developmenta. Nanotechnology
“Current biomolecular computing technology is still far from overtaking the silicon chip. However, DNA computing seems to be the first example of true nanotechnology, forging a link between computational science and life science. Solutions take multidisciplinary teams employing molecular biologists, mathematicians, computer scientists, biochemists, and material engineers” (Ellison).
Moreover, If researchers are able to control the molecular devices, including DNA, inside every cell, they will be able to engineer devices more complicated and more efficient than current microelectromechanical systems. For example, DNA computers could be used to “time-release medications, bolster organ function, or provide medical feedback” (Srivastava).
b. Change in the direction of the current progress
Other than developing a DNA computer to perform computer operations, there can also be applications making use of the "natural" capabilities of DNA, including informational storage abilities and interacting with existing and emerging biotechnology. One example would be using the DNA technology inside cells (Amos).
Further potential applications might make use of the error rates and instability of DNA based computation methods as a means of simulating and predicting the emergent behavior of complex systems. This could pertain to weather forecasting, economics, and lead to more a scientific analysis of social science and the humanities (Adams).
c. Complement (but not replace) today’s computers
DNA computers can specialize in large computational problems in which the number of possible answers is enormous (Bergquist).
d. Implications to Biology, Chemistry, and Medicine
It is essential for the progress in DNA computing to have high levels of collaboration between different academic disciplines such as computer science, mathematics, natural science, and engineering. Other than continuing the development of a practical DNA computer, this collaboration can contribute to an increased understanding of DNA and other biological mechanisms (Adams).
e. DNA's Role in Computer Science
DNA has the potential of being a natural storage medium and a tool of computation. Despite the high error rates encountered in DNA computing, in nature DNA has little understood but resilient mechanisms for maintaining data integrity. An increased understanding about the limitations of computation with come with the advent of DNA computational paradigms directed towards improved methods of solving NP-complete problems. Additionally, “DNA based computers may postpone certain expected thermodynamic obstacles to computation as well as exploring the limitations of Turing machines and questioning theories of computation based on electronic and mechanical models” (Adams).
f. Biomolecular computation
For example, enabling a computing system to read and decode natural DNA directly. Such a computer also might be able to perform DNA fingerprinting—matching a sample of DNA, such as that in blood found at a crime scene, with the person from whom it came. The DNA computer might also be a cost-effective way to decode the genetic material of humans and other living things. This would eliminate the time-consuming task of translating DNA to store electronically and create wet-data-bases of DNA for research purposes (Ellison).
“While most research is taking place at universities, some companies are probing the potential of DNA computers. NEC Corp.'s Research Institute in Princeton, N.J., for instance, has several scientists working on DNA computing. Hewlett-Packard Co., in Palo Alto, Calif., is keeping tabs on 6 to 10 major projects” (Ellison).
DNA computing is so exciting because of the collaboration of chemists, biologists, mathematicians, and computer scientists to understand and simulate fundamental biological processes and algorithms taking place within cells. Although DNA computers might not replace conventional computers in the near future, they still have endless potentials for other applications.