26 March 2008
Adleman's method of using DNA's computing power to solve a 7-node Travelling Salesman Problem in a Petrie dish
TOP: Hopefully larger and clearer version of the image in the last post, Leonard Adleman's scheme for using the digital computational power of DNA to solve a 7-node Travelling Salesman Problem (TSP). Adleman is a mathematician and (silicon) computer scientist who quickly hosed up the rudiments of molecular biolochemistry so he could use DNA to compute the solution to an important mathematical problem.
The graphic was filched from an article about digital computing using DNA in the journal of EMBO, the European Molecular Biology Organization, headquartered on Meyerhofstrasse in Heidelberg DE.
BOTTOM: Three of the most famous computer scientists on Earth when they were students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1980. From Right: Leonard Adleman, Ronald Rivest and Adi Shamir. As the research company knows as RSA, they pioneered the computer communications encryption scheme on which almost all Internet commerce relies to assure the security of transactions from unauthorized eavesdroppers.
RSA publishes code text problems and offers large cash prizes for their solution. The puzzles are encrypted in the encryption schemes corporations, banks and governments use for their secure communications. These puzzles are attacked using Brute Force Computing by people all over the world linked together via the Internet. The technique of using 1000s of PCs to solve massively intensive computation problems is called Distributed or Cooperative Computing.