Molecular computer circuit diagram for a NOR gate made
from one repressor protein blocking two different activator
proteins. Fis Flip Flop - two adjacent Fis protein binding sites
compete for Fis protein binding Molecular Computing Elements:
Gates and Flip-Flops


Licensing Opportunity
CRADA Opportunity

TD Schneider, PN Hengen (NCI)

Informal Description of the Invention:
A completely molecular computer can be constructed using designed DNA and DNA binding proteins. Several versions of the device are possible. In the simplest device, bacteria or other cells are programmed with DNA sequences and DNA binding proteins that execute logical Boolean operations. It is also possible to construct molecular computers outside cells, but in this case special attention must be paid to providing energy to run the computer. The technology is based on the concept of a molecular flip-flop in which one or more proteins compete for binding to binding sites that overlap. Because only one protein can bind at a time but there are two ways for it to bind, the method can also be used to double the sensitivity of diagnostic assays.

Formal Description of the Invention:
The present invention is a method and apparatus for molecular computing which provides for molecular logic devices analogous to those of electronic computers, such as flip-flops, AND gates, etc. Coupling of the gates allows for molecular computing. The method allows data storage, the transformation of binary information and signal readout. Possible applications include encoding ``read only'' memory for microscopic identifiers, digital control of gene expression, and quantification of analytes. The computing elements also provide means for complex regulation of gene expression.

European Patent No: 1057118 (PDF)
Granted 2003 May 28.

United States Patent 6,774,222
Granted August 10, 2004

United States Patent 6,774,222 at the US patent office
United States Patent 6,774,222 at www.freepatentsonline.com

Fis Flip Flop - two adjacent Fis protein binding sites
compete for Fis protein bindingMolecular Flip-Flops Formed by Overlapping Fis Sites is a paper describing the biology behind the idea.

This technology is available for license. For more information please contact us!
A cartoon.  A fellow enters a lab where a woman is sitting at a table with a graduated cylinder, an Erlenmeyer flask and she is holding a round bottom flask.  He says 'I've done it!!' I've created the world's first fully-operational molecular computer ..!!' She is puzzled and then says 'Amazing!!  How did you account for quantum interference effects..?' He says 'I incorpporated them into the design rather than trying to eliminate them!' She responds 'But how did you link up all those tiny circuits?' 'No problem-I modified a few enzyme-linking tricks borrowed from the molecular biologists!' 'And can it do real calculations?' 'Can it!?  So far it's come up with 15 alternate proofs for Fermat's last theorem ..!!' 'Speed?' 'I'm estimating it runs at several trillion computations per second'.  They both stop and smile.  He then says 'In fact, at the moment I'm only having one small problem with my molecular computer...' 'Which is..?' He is holds a magnifying glass and says 'I can't find it again...'
From http://www.lab-initio.com/ (the cartoon may have been removed). Reproduced with permission since this is a research/educational site.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
National Institutes of Health
Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing
AGENCY: National Institutes of Health, Public Health Service, DHHS.

DHHS Reference No. E-170-97/0 filed Feb. 20, 1998

SUMMARY: The invention listed above is owned by agencies of the U.S. Government and is available for licensing in the U.S. in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 207 to achieve expeditious commercialization of results of federally-funded research and development. Foreign patent applications are filed on selected inventions to extend market coverage for companies and may also be available for licensing.

ADDRESSES: Licensing information and copies of the U.S. patent application listed above may be obtained by writing to the indicated licensing contact at the Office of Technology Transfer, National Institutes of Health, 6011 Executive Boulevard, Suite 325, Rockville, Maryland 20852-3804; telephone 301/496-7057; fax: 301/402-0220. A signed Confidential Disclosure Agreement will be required to receive copies of the patent applications.

Dated: May 7, 1998. Jack Spiegel, Director, Division of Technology Development and Transfer, Office of Technology Transfer. [FR Doc. 98-13011 Filed 5-14-98; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-M


Federal Register: May 15, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 94) Page 27095-27097
Federal Register announcement vol 63, no. 94, page 27095, Friday, May 16, 1998, in pdf format

color bar Small icon for Theory of Molecular Machines: physics,
chemistry, biology, molecular biology, evolutionary theory,
genetic engineering, sequence logos, information theory,
electrical engineering, thermodynamics, statistical
mechanics, hypersphere packing, gumball machines, Maxwell's
Daemon, limits of computers


Schneider Lab

origin: 1998 June 16
updated: 2013 Apr 30
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