I'm a computer science guy, recently crossing over to do some research in computational biology on RNA secondary structure prediction. While looking through the materials I got a crazy idea, what if you could design a synthetic ribosome that acts as a Turing Machine on strings of RNA? (you could do similar things with DNA enzymes)
The immediate applications could be stuff like correcting mutations in RNA to cure genetic diseases, which is a relatively simple computation:
- Check if a string is bad.
- If so, fix bad letter.
Another could be "shredding" DNA/RNA of viruses:
- Check if a string is a virus.
- If so, shred it.
I'm not sure the status of the literature on this is, or synthetic biology's ability to create something like that. Do you think it is a good idea to pursue this idea or not?
I realize this is a soft question. Perhaps a better one would be, is this possible?