How scientists are using nature as model and metaphor to reinvent computing: a survey of an emerging field.
Forbes, a science/technology analyst for the federal government, has advanced degrees in both physics and the humanities; this book demonstrates that she has also developed a broad familiarity with the biological sciences. Covered here are several aspects of biology and computing: the use of biology in algorithm construction, the study of how biological systems communicate and process information, and the development of information processing systems that use biological materials, are based on biological models, or both. Demonstrating how timely this work is, a recent issue of Nature (May 2004) carried a lead article on a DNA "computer" able to detect cancer. Although the "computer" had only been verified in a test tube, biomedical personnel were enthusiastic about future applications with live patients. This book details a wide variety of work at different institutions focusing on genetic algorithms, neural networks, DNA computation, biohardware and bioelectronics, and amorphous computing. Though the text is clearly written, it offers a lot of technical information. Recommended for biologists, computer scientists, multidisciplinarians, and technical thinkers ready to learn about applications in the field of biological computing.-Hilary Burton, formerly with Lawrence Livermore National Lab, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.