Title: Computational models for DNA computing and DNA nanotechnology
Speaker: Thomas Hentrich
Abstract Early research in the field of DNA computing focused on laboratory-scale, human-operated computers for complex computational problems. Recently, simple molecular-scale autonomous programmable "computers" were demonstrated, allowing both input and output information to be in molecular form. Such computers, using biological molecules as input data, a self-assembling processing machinery, and again biological molecules as outputs, could produce a system for logical monitoring and/or control of biological processes.

During my rotation project, I am reviewing recent ideas in the field of DNA computations and self-assembly of nanostructures. In my presentation, I will focus on ideas from Benenson and colleagues, who understand DNA computing in the sense of logical analysis of disease-related molecular indicators. They envision molecular-scale programmable computers in an in vivo environment, as described above, which may have the potential to provide in situ medical diagnosis and cure.

In essence, my rotation project has been driven by two major question: Firstly, how powerful is Benenson~s approach in the sense of universal computing power? And, secondly, can we think of extensions to the model that go along with its envisioned purpose?