- Researchers at McGill University in Canada said they created a biological supercomputer powered by nanotechnology, proteins and adenosine triphosphates.
- Adenosine triphosphates is the same chemical that enables energy transfer between cells in humans and other forms of life. The scientists refer to it as "the juice of life."
- About the size of a book, the bio-computer is more efficient and runs cooler than other computers.
Dan Nicolau Sr., chairman of the Department of Bioengineering at McGill, and his son have been working on the research for more than 10 years, along with scientists from Germany, Sweden and The Netherlands.
"We've managed to create a very complex network in a very small area," said Nicolau Sr. in an interview with InfoWorld. "This started as a back-of-an-envelope idea, after too much rum I think, with drawings of what looked like small worms exploring mazes."
The work demonstrates that the bio-supercomputer works and can handle complex classical mathematical problems. But the researchers said there is still significant work to be done before it can be considered a full-scale, functional computer.
Many are looking to expand beyond the bounds of traditional computing. Companies and researchers worldwide have been putting more time, money and effort into areas like artificial intelligence and machine learning in the last year. Google recently bought DeepMind, a London-based AI startup, and Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon have all recently made plans and large investments in AI.