"The researchers said one day it would be possible to scale up the computing power in the cockroach to that of an 8-bit machine."
New York, April 13 - Cockroaches, those all-pervasive pests, may have some use after all. Bio-engineers have found some use for them in their research.
Researchers have successfully injected living cockroaches with nanorobots made from DNA that open up to dispense drugs.
This is the first time that biological therapy has been able to match how a computer processor works, Ido Bachelet from Bar Ilan University in Israel was quoted as saying.
The nanoscale robots were made using DNA strands that fold and unfold like origami. They can function like mini-computers, carrying out simple tasks, said the study.
The researchers believe that one day similar nanorobots could be programmed to seek out diseases inside humans and treat them at the site, with medical precision.
The researchers programmed the DNA nanorobots to interact with each other and move around inside a living cockroach.
The programmes were simple, logical operations that directed the DNA to unfold and release a molecule, for example, when it encountered a specific protein.
The researchers said one day it would be possible to scale up the computing power in the cockroach to that of an 8-bit machine.
The findings of the study appeared in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.