IT 468 Natural Computing

In the last 50 years Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has had a great impact on our society. The most profound and accelerated impact of ICT can be seen in the last decade in the form of cell phones, connected computers and Internet. We even have a virtual currency. ICT is an interdisciplinary discipline combining IT (Information Technology) and CT (Communication Technology). IT has its root in computer science and CT has its root in theory of communication. Both the fields now can be seen as two sides of the same coin. Both deals with information, in IT we store (send information from now to then) and manipulate the information and in CT we send information from here to there (communicate). The mathematical principles of ICT lies in theoretical computer science (Turing machine) and information and coding theory (work of Shannon and Hamming). Realization of ICT is via logic gates and circuits in the area of Electronics and VLSI. If you look around the Nature many times you feel: What are the principles of Natural ICT? Can we use these principles to create Natural ICT engineering?

Natural computing is a recent branch of computer science where we are learning from the nature on how to compute with natural living things such as DNA, protein, bacteria, etc. We want to solve complex problems with the help of DNA computer or bacterial computer or chemical computer. We want to store our data on such living things. So we require molecular/natural algorithms and natural error control.

Recently in July 2009, scientists have shown that a bacterial computer can also solve simple Hamiltonian path problem. In June 2011, Erik Winfree has built the largest DNA computer for finding square root. Recently in July 2012, Martin Fussenegger's group has built single cell mammalian biocomputers.