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PAPER: A DNA-based system for selecting and displaying the combined result of two input variables

Screenshot from the article "A DNA-based system for selecting and displaying the combined result of two input variables" published in Nature Communications

Nat. Commun., 2015, doi:10.1038/ncomms10089

Liu H, Wang J, Song S, Fan C, Gothelf KV

Division of Physical Biology and Bioimaging Center, Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility, CAS Key Laboratory of Interfacial Physics and Technology, Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 201800, China

Department of Chemistry and iNANO, Center for DNA Nanotechnology, Aarhus University, Aarhus 8000, Denmark

School of Life Science and Technology, ShanghaiTech University, Shanghai 200031, China


Oligonucleotide-based technologies for biosensing or bio-regulation produce huge amounts of rich high-dimensional information. There is a consequent need for flexible means to combine diverse pieces of such information to form useful derivative outputs, and to display those immediately. Here we demonstrate this capability in a DNA-based system that takes two input numbers, represented in DNA strands, and returns the result of their multiplication, writing this as a number in a display. Unlike a conventional calculator, this system operates by selecting the result from a library of solutions rather than through logic operations. The multiplicative example demonstrated here illustrates a much more general capability—to generate a unique output for any distinct pair of DNA inputs. The system thereby functions as a lookup table and could be a key component in future, more powerful data-processing systems for diagnostics and sensing.