On the computing potential of intracellular vesicles

Mayne, R. and Adamatzky, A. (2015) On the computing potential of intracellular vesicles. PLoS ONE, 10 (10). e0139617. ISSN 1932-6203 Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/27706

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0139617

Abstract/Description

Collision-based computing (CBC) is a form of unconventional computing in which travelling localisations represent data and conditional routing of signals determines the output state; collisions between localisations represent logical operations. We investigated patterns of Ca2+-containing vesicle distribution within a live organism, slime mould Physarum polycephalum, with confocal microscopy and observed them colliding regularly. Vesicles travel down cytoskeletal ‘circuitry’ and their collisions may result in reflection, fusion or annihilation. We demonstrate through experimental observations that naturally occurring vesicle dynamics may be characterised as a computationally-universal set of Boolean logical operations and present a ‘vesicle modification’ of the archetypal CBC ‘billiard ball model’ of computation. We proceed to discuss the viability of intracellular vesicles as an unconventional computing substrate in which we delineate practical considerations for reliable vesicle ‘programming’ in both in vivo and in vitro vesicle computing architectures and present optimised designs for both single logical gates and combinatorial logic circuits based on cytoskeletal network conformations. The results presented here demonstrate the first characterisation of intracelluar phenomena as collision-based computing and hence the viability of biological substrates for computing.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:intracellular vesicles, collision-based computing, unconventional computing
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology > Department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies
ID Code:27706
Deposited By: Dr R. Mayne
Deposited On:16 Dec 2015 13:02
Last Modified:14 Dec 2016 15:31

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