non coding DNA may create RNA computers and factories in nucleus

I’ve posted some examples of transcribed but untranslated RNAs role in the cell. It is reasonable then to speculate large amounts of non-coding DNAs create RNAs within the cell that perform computation and manufacturing. The amount of computational requirements needed to implement multicellular architecture may be greatly underestimated. If multi cellular creatures require large amount of computation for manufacturing and maintenance, then RNAs may be an ideal molecule to perform this given recent discoveries.

Computing with RNA
Devices that self-assemble from biological molecules could represent the future of drug delivery.

By Duncan Graham-Rowe on October 17, 2008 . Scientists in California have created molecular computers that are able to self-assemble out of strips of RNA within living cells. Eventually, such computers could be programmed to manipulate biological functions within the cell, executing different tasks under different conditions. One application could be smart drug delivery systems, says Christina Smolke, who carried out the research with Maung Nyan Win and whose results are published in the latest issue of Science.

The use of biomolecules to perform computations was first demonstrated by the University of Southern California’s Leonard Adleman in 1994, and the approach was later developed by Ehud Shapiro of the Weizmann Institute of Science, in Rehovot, Israel. But according to Shapiro, “What this new work shows for the first time is the ability to detect the presence or absence of molecules within the cell.”

That opens up the possibility of computing devices that can respond to specific conditions within the cell, he says. For example, it may be possible to develop drug delivery systems that target cancer cells from within by sensing genes used to regulate cell growth and death. “You can program it to release the drug when the conditions are just right, at the right time and in the right place,” Shapiro says.