Programmed Mutagenesis Is a Universal Model of Computation

  • Julia Khodor
  • David K. Gifford
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2340)


Programmed mutagenesis is a DNA computing system that uses cycles of DNA annealing, ligation, and polymerization to implement programatic rewriting of DNA sequences. We report that programmed mutagenesis is theoretically universal by showing how Minsky’s 4-symbol 7-state Universal Turing Machine [11] can be implemented using a programmed mutagenesis system. Each step of the Universal Turing Machine is implemented by four cycles of programmed mutagenesis, and progress is guaranteed by the use of alternate sense strands for each rewriting cycle. The full version of the proof will appear in the special issue of TOCS.


Turing Machine Universal Model Molecular Beacon Distance Constraint Universal Turing Machine 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Khodor
    • 1
  • David K. Gifford
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Computer ScienceMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSA

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