Hearing loss restored through gene therapy, app-controlled hearing aids, and synthetic biology takes off.

Once upon a time, prosthetic augmentation of a failing sense of hearing took the form of devices the size of a paperback book hung around one's neck and smallish headphones pumping amplified sound into the wearer's ears. As technology progressed and the sizes of components shrank to sub-surface mount form factors (for illustration please note the sizes of the 603 and 402 components) hearing aids shrank in size until they could be custom molded to fit snugly into one's ear canal. All of the benefit with very little of the mass or weight. Hand in hand with the miniaturization …

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The line between organic and electronic continues to blur.

Long time readers are no doubt familiar with my facination with the subject of biological computing, using organic structures to process and represent information rather than silicon-hybrid substrates. When you get right down to it, DNA is an information storage and representation system, just like the tape upon which a notional Turing machine reads and writes symbols. Using this metaphor (which isn't nearly as tortured as it sounds), the ribosomes of eukaryotic cells would be the Turing machines that read the tape and carry out the operations (protein synthesis) encoded in the nucleotides.

Not too long ago the field advanced …

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Xeno-nucleic acids and biological computation.

Disclaimer: I am not a geneticist. If I got some bits wrong let me know and I'll correct my post.

It is a basic fact that DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the fundamental mechanism of complex life on this planet. DNA encodes the structure of every protein used by complex life in much the same way that a Turing machine would use a paper or magnetic tape to store data. The codon (triplet of base pairs) ATG means that the amino acid methionine goes first, the codon TCT means that serine goes next, then histidine, and so on and so forth …

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