DIMACS 1997-1999 Special Focus on DNA Computing: Overview
February 1997 to August 1999

The field of DNA computing is concerned with the possibility of performing computations using biological molecules. It is also concerned with understanding how complex biological molecules process information in an attempt to gain insight into new models of computation. Cells and nature compute by reading and ``rewriting'' DNA by processes that modify sequence at the DNA or RNA level. DNA computing is interested in applying computer science methods and models to understand such biological phenomena and gain insight into early molecular evolution and the original of biological information procesing.

DNA computing presents great challenges both to computer science and molecular biology in such areas as using parallelism, designing new algorithms, and dealing with errors in molecular processes. The Special Focus is concerned with all areas that relate to computing with DNA including (but not limited to): algorithms and applications, analysis of laboratory techniques, error correction, sequence design and simulation software, useful DNA chemistry and motifs, computation by molecules other than DNA, computational processes in vivo, and fundamental limits to computation. The Focus attempts to introduce researchers in discrete mathematics and theoretical computer science to parts of molecular biology relevant to computation. Molecular Biology is an area that is increasingly dependent on dm and tcs competencies and a field that has elements of being fundamentally an ``information science,'' and so it is natural to explore connections between it and computing. DNA Computing has attracted interest from researchers from areas such as molecular biology, genetics, supercomputing, and parallel computing, to collaborate with scientists working in DIMACS core areas, on new models of computation, and we seek to enhance these collaborations.



DIMACS has allocated funds for visitors to the center to collaborate with scientists at DIMACS sites (Princeton, Rutgers, AT&T Labs - Research, Bell Labs, and Bellcore). Visits can be combined with workshop participation. Interested scientists are encouraged to contact Richard Lipton.


AMS DIMACS Series in Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science

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Document last modified on January 12, 2000.