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Archive for the ‘Programming languages’ Category

When we look into the current trends in programming, few cornerstones dominate in modern programming languages:
• How fast they are
• How smart they are
• Few bugs

These three features were taken into consideration while preparing this article. Let’s see what programming languages share these features and are most likely to be trending in the year 2017.
 
Rust

Back in the year 2014 when Mozilla first launched Rust, it has never been on trending hiring suggests. It sounds confusing but Rust may put great influence on the programming itself. Let’s see why.

Rust is low-level language which enables developers to write kernels, operating systems, browsers, databases and more. But it doesn’t require a developer to become a programming guru on a low-level basis.

Emerged as an upgrade of C and C++, Rust outperforms these super low-level languages in the following:

• Efficiency – Rust’s language goal is to enable fast, efficient programming
• Safety – with Rust, objects are managed without access to memory locations. It is impossible to reach the locations even accidentally.
 
Crystal

Crystal comes to mind when one thinks of an easy-to-learn and expressive programming language.

It is another Ruby-like language spotless from ambiguity because its code is easy to understand. It also boasts the speed of C-like languages.

Crystal has some unique features:
• Fibers-special easy-to-create lightweight channels to achieve concurrency
• Macros to avoid boilerplate code
• Great deal of built-in tools for different purposes

The project is in alpha stage. Its releases occur fast and are interesting to follow. Whenever awaits Crystal in the year 2017, many developers see the language as a trendsetter.
 
Nim

Nim has an ambition to fill the niche of a multipurpose programming language. It has adopted distinctive features of established pros like Rust, Python and even Lisp.

Such multisource adoption of different features starts from creation of a solid standard library and excellent third-party modules. But Nim aims to succeed in both these enterprises.

Though in its alpha-stage, Nim helps get the necessary results very quickly. This language complements the fast-changing software development.
 
Kotlin

JetBrains made its new programming language for JVM and Android and launched the 1.0 version in February, 2016. The company searched for ways to replace Java in programming of JetBrains’ tools and they created it. It is interesting to see what is to become of this pragmatic, Java-like language in 2017.

Kotlin is easy to learn because it is open-source and approachable. It wasn’t created in a lab; it came out from a certain need –to complete the goals, which Java fails to cover.

 
Elixir

Seen by many as an alternative to Node.js, Elixir is likely to evolve in the next couple of years. Its ecosystem is used for building scalable and maintainable applications.

The code is run in a series of lightweight processes, which are isolated and run concurrently in the same machine. Isolation of processes has many advantages, such as:
• Pauses reduction
• Isolative garbage collection
• Efficiency

It is Ruby-like, so why not dig into it for the next year?

What are your top five promising programming languages? Do you agree or disagree with any of the choices for this list?

 

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In the rapidly changing world of IT only those people win who are developing all the time: if you stop — you will lose. Besides general philosophy of life, it’s also true for CMS. Trying to keep up with the time the developers of CMS Drupal have released a new version of Drupal 8.

Many improvements have been made in the interface by default which makes it easier for non- professional users to use CMS. There is practically everything you need to build the “mid-level” web site without using additional modules. So, let’s observe some changes:

• From the very beginning probably the most sensational news was the transfer to Symfony 2 components, which greatly simplified the usage for those developers who are already familiar with it, but probably scared off those who are used to functional programming in WordPress. However, it should be noted that every time the page is loaded in Drupal 7, all enabled modules are also uploaded, even if we don’t need some modules on certain pages, which leads to unnecessary uploading and waiting time increasing for the user who is carefully studying the website. Implementing the basic principles of Symphony, Drupal 8 downloads only those modules that you need for a particular page and nothing more. It accelerates page loading for your visitors and probably reduces memory consumption.
 

 
• The introduction of HTML5 can be attributed to a significant improvement in comparison with XHTML in Drupal 7. Sites that are made by using HTML5 have a better structure and functionality. HTML5 provides better work for a user either on a computer or on a mobile device.

• Anyone who has ever run a website knows that it is better to use a computer or a laptop as most features of the admin section would require the resources of the computer and not work on mobile devices. The Drupal 8 Mobile Initiative is a concerted effort to make Drupal 8 a first-class mobile platform. Not only the admin section works on mobile, but the templates for Drupal 8 are also adapted for devices. It’s more comfortable not only for administrators but also for visitors who use gadgets.

• One more pleasant news was the improvement of multilingualism. Multi Language Module enables its users to create phrases in many languages and display them on your website. It helps developers and users to implement a multilingual website.

• Drupal 8 contains one of the fastest and most popular template engines. Twig is a popular templating engine for PHP, which opens the door to more robust, scalable and secure themes. It should be noted that Twig is fast, secure and flexible.

Fast: Twig compiles templates into optimized PHP code. The performance losses are reduced to the minimum in comparison with an ordinary PHP code.

Secure: Twig has a sandbox mode to test untrusted template code. It makes possible to use Twig as a template language for applications where users may modify the template design.

Flexible: Twig has a flexible vocabulary and syntax. It enables developers to define their own tags and filters and create their own DSL (domain specific language).

• With Drupal 8 you have an opportunity to use the Views without your developer. Views contain a set of parameters that determine which content appears on the page and choose the fields to display, field order, etc., In Drupal 7 Views module was a separate module and depended on the CT Tools Suite module. Development of the Views for Drupal (VDC Initiative) enabled to embed Views in Drupal core 8, so that it appeared immediately after installation. It means that Views has a better integration. Besides, Drupal 8 has made the Views much easier, now a site administrator can delegate the work with the Views to technical specialists, as it does not require complex skills.

These are just some of the changes that came with Drupal 8. It’s a fantastic platform for developing a wide range of sites, from simple to extremely complex.

Remember to feed back by sharing your discoveries and creations in using Drupal 8!

 

Kate Kviatkovskaya

Kate Kviatkovskaya

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Go was created in 2007 at Google as an experimental project. It was designed to be a fun language and at the same time it is productive, practical, expressive and powerful. Google Go can be considered the result of a rather conservative language evolution from languages such as C and C++.

Node.js is an increasingly popular platform that is built on fast, JavaScript-based runtime: V8. V8 is a JS virtual machine created by Google that is designed to build scalable, networked applications. It compiles JavaScript code to native machine code, using some complex optimizations. V8 also does the memory allocation and garbage collection of JS objects.

Recently, there have been criticisms about the value of using Node.js in a high-performance, networked application environment, and some developers have moved to the Go language. Not only developers but also some well-known companies, such as Google, DropBox, Docker, DigitalOcean and more have picked up Go for some of their projects.

Certainly, Node.js is still used by a much wider audience, has more modules, is easier to use and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. However, Go is gaining more and more popularity. In this article we will take a look at the differences between Node.js and Go to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of each environment.
 
Performance

Due to JS’s dynamically-typed nature Node cannot reach the raw performance of CPU or memory bound tasks that Go can achieve in many tests. Go is about 3 times faster and more lightweight than Node.js in a production environment. Not to say that Node.js is slow, it’s fast enough for most use cases, but when you do hit a limit, Go can still go a long way.
 
Concurrency

One of the language’s peculiarities is the presence of goroutines, functions that can be executed concurrently with one another.

These can be launched simply by using a keyword. Go runtime contains a scheduler that coordinates the execution of an arbitrary number of goroutines on an arbitrary number of system threads (the M:N model). In this way it is possible to carry out rapid context switches in order to take advantage of all CPU cores. So, in a hypothetical web application written in Go a single process will be able to continue serving requests even if one of these is trying to execute a blocked operation.

Node suffers from JavaScript’s less than elegant concurrency support using the event-callback mechanism. However, for a lot of applications working with JS promises and the coming async generator support (also called “semi-coroutines”) will suffice. Something like the Koa framework is already supporting the async generator approach in Node.
 
Ease of use

Node.js is a much simpler platform to use, especially if you are already a JS developer. For Go you will need to learn some new programming concepts, such as: coroutines, channels, strict typing (with compilation), interfaces, structs, pointers, and some other differences.
 
Ecosystem

Both platforms have pretty active and growing ecosystems, but as Node.js has been around much longer and certainly it has a broader community of users and more tools that make certain software projects a lot easier and/or cheaper to implement.

Go is a younger language, however, it dynamically develops: the number of standard Go packages is growing steadily, currently at over 100, and the Go community packages can be searched easily.

In conclusion, I’d like to say that there is no ideal language/framework/tool that could be used by everyone otherwise there would be only one programming language and there wouldn’t be such debates as Go vs Node.js:) Every language is tailored to be used for specific use cases. But we need to admit that there are some things Go performs better in, at the same time it lacks some characteristics that Node.js provides.

And what advantages and disadvantages of using Node.js and Go have you come across?

 

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Internet of Things(IoT) is extremely broad phrase, and can mean a great many different things. But it does not change the fact that each day more and more devices all over the world are being connected to the Internet. At that rate, Internet of Things (IoT) development projects are gaining popularity to say the least.

It is definitely the trend. This brings up a question: what programming languages are the most popular for IoT project? Well, according to the Eclipse Foundation survey, Java, JavaScript, C, and Python are the top four programming choices for developers who are building IoT solutions. Let’s look into them!

Java

Though some people question the use of Java in IoT it is not surprising to see Java as being the most popular among developers who are working on IoT solutions. The practicality of the statement “write once, run anywhere” still predetermines the choice in a great measure.

Java advantages are apparent. It is an object-oriented and platform independent language. Thus coding and debugging can be done on desktop and moved to any chip with a Java Virtual Machine afterwards. Therefore code can be run not only on places where JVMs are common (servers and smartphones), but also on the smallest machines. Minimum hardware dependency is a huge plus. This also means that Java is great from an economic standpoint: devotion to Java coding can pay back across various platforms.

Besides, by now Java has attracted an active community of millions software developers and is being taught as one of the primary programming languages in the majority of engineering degree programs. Consequently, finding someone skilled in Java programming should not constitute a problem.

Last but not the least, maturity and stability of this language make it even more attractive. When there are devices that are going to be remotely managed and provisioned for a long period of time, Java’s stability and care about backwards compatibility become important.

It should be taken into consideration thought that your choice of IoT platform should support Java. You should make sure available hardware support libraries should have control functions according to your requirements too.

Javascript

Combining some knowledge from other languages JavaScript has not only proven itself worthy on both the client and server side of the web, but it also has a huge potential in the growing Internet of Things domain.

The main difference between Javascript and Java is that JavaScript is a scripting language that has a range of existing libraries, plugins, and APIs, and many of them can be used to create complicated IoT apps easier and faster. Instead of building a range of new libraries and plugins, developers are free to reuse and further develop existing solutions around the web for absolutely new implementations.

Remarkably, applications that listen for events and respond when events occur are a strength of a JavaScript. Effective and secure communications and interactivity are of paramount importance in the IoT, and there are great systems for dealing with requests and events. For example, Socket.io maintains an open connection between the server and the browser and thus enables the server to push updates to the browser as they happen. This gives you a chance to see the changes in the IoT network without a page refresh. By providing real time event based communication across multiple devices Socket.io really comes in handy.

Additionally, much of the Internet is built on JavaScript and huge portion of the web functionality is enabled through JavaScript. Connecting up the web to our IoT devices and using the language that web pages and web apps already speak lead to simplicity in management.

It’s important to mention however, that Javascript would be a bad choice for lightweight embedded controllers.


C

Created to program the telephone switches C programming language has almost monopolized embedded systems programming. Its proximity to machine language makes it impressively fast.

C can create compact and faster runtime code. Still it should be noted that runtime speed isn’t the primary aspect of development to consider. Development speed should also be takes into account (and other languages may be much more efficient in that).

Another vote for stems from the fact that majority of the modern languages follow the syntax of C, which means that it is easy to learn and effective in accomplishing advanced tasks.

As both completing complex tasks and finding developers with extensive experience in C is relatively easy, its applicability to IoT projects speaks for itself.

Still, there are some drawbacks of C that make it less preferred in today’s development world, e.g. poor data security and no run time checking mechanism.

Python

Although Python originally is widely chosen for Web development, it has significantly gained popularity in the IoT coding arena for the past few years. Such huge advantages as its flexibility, writability, error reduction, and readability contributed to that greatly. Distribution of compact executable code is easy. Working in programming teams is easy. Known as organized and neat, its elegant syntax is great for database arrangement. Sure, Python is a good choice for building applications that take data, convert it into any sort of a database format and draw upon the tables for control information. Python also has libraries for all 3 main IoT protocols such as TCP/IP, Bluetooth and NFC.

Additionally, IoT projects involve lots of data analytics and Python has rich modules for that.

Finally, major IoT hardware platforms and micro-controllers, e.g. Arduino, Raspberry PI, Intel Galileo, are enabled for interactive communication through Python.

Probably, the main problem for Python is its runtime speed, especially in comparison to C. Still there is a number of ways to optimize the code so it runs more efficiently.

Steady increase in popularity of Python for IoT is evident.

So which programming language is the best for IoT?

No definite answer, guys… All the above languages influence the IoT space up to an extent. However, the preference of language today depends on the end use of the app, product or service you want to create. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

 

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Alexandra Presniatsova

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We see this “Is Java out of business?” question pop up year after year. They say that Java is the least feature-rich language of the popular languages on the JVM and the slowest to move on new features in the last decade. There are also people who believe that because so many new JVM languages are being invented is proof that the Java language is lacking and that Java is no longer meeting the needs of many developers. And yet, by all external markers, Java is alive, well, and growing.

Here are several proofs for it:

1. TIOBE ranked Java as its top language of 2015 currently shows it enjoying 5% growth in use since 2014, more than any other programming language.

2. RedMonk has recently published the latest edition of its bi-annual list of the top programming languages. Compiled with the help of data obtained from GitHub and StackOverflow, this list tells us about the usage and discussion of a language on the web. Just like the previous years Java is among the top of the programming languages.

3. Further, the PYPL Index, which ranks languages based on how often language tutorials are searched on Google, shows Java clearly out in front with 23.9% of the total search volume.

Since Java first appeared it has gained enormous popularity. Its rapid ascension and wide acceptance can be traced to its design and programming features, particularly in its promise that you can write a program once, and run it anywhere. Java was chosen as the programming language for network computers (NC) and has been perceived as a universal front end for the enterprise database. As stated in Java language white paper by Sun Microsystems: “Java is a simple, object-oriented, distributed, interpreted, robust, secure, architecture neutral, portable, multithreaded, and dynamic.”

So here are the most common and significant advantages of Java that helped it to take its high position in a quite competitive environment of programming languages:

  • Java is easy to learn.
    Java was designed to be easy to use and is therefore easy to write, compile, debug, and learn than other programming languages.
  • Java is platform-independent.
    One of the most significant advantages of Java is its ability to move easily from one computer system to another. The ability to run the same program on many different systems is crucial to World Wide Web software, and Java succeeds at this by being platform-independent at both the source and binary levels.
  • Java is secure.
    Java considers security as part of its design. The Java language, compiler, interpreter, and runtime environment were each developed with security in mind.
  • Java is robust.
    Robust means reliability. Java puts a lot of emphasis on early checking for possible errors, as Java compilers are able to detect many problems that would first show up during execution time in other languages.
  • Java is multithreaded.
    Multithreaded is the capability for a program to perform several tasks simultaneously within a program. In Java, multithreaded programming has been smoothly integrated into it, while in other languages, operating system-specific procedures have to be called in order to enable multithreading.

Nonetheless things changed since the time when Java was created. In the recent years, many important languages have appeared and left an impact on the technology world. Due to their simplicity and user-friendliness, they have managed to surpass the more established languages. So we tried to make a list of reasons why Java is going to stay on the grind in the nearest future:

1. Java is time-proved.
You generally need a strong reason to switch from a language you’re currently using: it requires time to practice and learn new languages, and you have to be confident that the language you’re considering switching to will be supported in the long term. Nobody wants to build software in a language that will be obsolete in five years’ time.

2. JVM and the Java Ecosystem.
The Java Virtual Machine, or JVM. compiles programs into bytecode, which is then interpreted and run by the JVM. Because the JVM sits above your specific hardware and OS, it allows Java to be run on anything, a Windows machine, a Mac, or an obscure some flavor of Linux.

The big advantage granted by the JVM is in this increased compatibility and the stability it affords. Because your application runs in the VM instead of directly on your hardware, you can program said application once and trust that it is executable on every device with a Java VM implementation. This principle is the basis for Java’s core messaging: “Write once, run everywhere.” And it makes Java applications very resilient to underlying changes in the environment.

3. Java and the Internet of Things.
“I really think Java’s future is in IoT. I’d like to see Oracle and partners focused on a complete end-to-end storage solution for Java, from devices through gateways to enterprise back-ends. Building that story and making a success of it will help cement the next 20 years for Java. Not only is that a massive opportunity for the industry, but also one I think Java can do quite well,” said Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director of the Eclipse Foundation.

Oracle agrees. Per VP of Development Georges Saab, “Java is an excellent tech for IoT. Many of the challenges in IoT are many of the challenges of desktop and client Java helped address in the 1990s. You have many different hardware environments out there. You want to have your developers look at any part of the system, understand it and move on. Java is one of the few technologies out there that lets you do that.”
 
Thus, Java might have its detractors, and some of their arguments might even be reasonable. Nonetheless Java has evolved a lot since its inception, holds the lead in many areas of software development and has more prospects for the future. So, in our opinion, its survivability is not in doubt.

And what do you think? Is Java going to become one of the dead languages? Or it has all chances to survive? Feel free to share your thoughts in comments below!

 

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Yana Khaidukova

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“Computer programming is an art, because it applies accumulated knowledge to the world, because it requires skill and ingenuity, and especially because it produces objects of beauty.”
Donald Knuth, 1974

 

It’s better to start your journey into the career of programming by answering the question “Do you really need programming?” This question does not apply to those, who majored in computer programming or was close to it. If at school you were good at math, if you like to spend a lot of time sitting in front of the computer, if you want to learn something new, then programming is for you. What is more, this area is now in demand and highly paid in the world, job vacancies for the post of programmers are always open. Isn’t it the best time to be a programmer? 🙂

Everyone knows that the future programmer should be able to think broadly and to present the project from different perspectives before its implementation and realization. Unfortunately, the machine does not understand a human language. Of course, I’m not talking about Siri and other voice recognition — I’m talking about the creation of new software. To create the calculator, the computer needs to be given the task in the same way as the foreman explains to workers how to lay bricks. That’s why you can’t do anything without understanding the programming languages. Well, first you need to decide what kind of programming languages we should start with.

And here everyone chooses a language which will be useful for him. It depends on the kind of products you are going to develop. Most of us studied Turbo Pascal at school, and it’s no news that this language is practically not used anymore. So, if you want to join the team of programmers in the nearest future, the choice of language should be made sensibly.

Among the most popular programming languages in 2016 are Java, followed by C languages, then Python, JavaScript, PHP, Ruby, etc. It should come as no surprise that the more popular language is, the more chances you have to find work in the future. So, you’d better start with Java or C#, as these are the best paid and relatively simple learning languages of writing code. If you can’t cope with them, then you should try to learn Python. This language suits for quick and effective programming.

But if you have no programming experience at all you can start with something more simple for understanding. Good examples can be the basics of HTML and CSS.

Why? These two languages are essential for creating static web pages. HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) structures all the text, links, and other content you see on a website. CSS is the language that makes a web page look the way it does—color, layout, and other visuals we call style. Well, if you are interested in making websites, you should definitely start with HTML and CSS.

Let’s move to JavaScript. It is the first full programming language for many people. Why? It is the next logical step after learning HTML and CSS. JavaScript provides the behavior portion of a website. For example, when you see that a form field indicates an error, that’s probably JavaScript at work.

JavaScript has become increasingly popular, and it now lives outside web browsers as well. Learning JavaScript will put you in a good place as it becomes a more general-purpose language.

Some people also suggest choosing Python as the first programming language because Python’s program code is readable, first of all. You don’t even need to be a programmer to understand what is happening in the program. Due to the simple syntax of Python you will need less time for writing programs than in Java, for example. A huge base of libraries will save you a lot of strength, nerves and time. Large technology companies are working with Python: Yandex, Google, Facebook and YouTube. It is used for web applications, game development, software for servers.

Java can also be a good choice for a beginner. This language is more popular than Python, but a bit more complicated. At the same time, the development tools are much better designed. Java is one of the most popular languages for the backend development of modern enterprise web applications. It is used in Amazon, eBay, LinkedIn and Yahoo! With Java and the frameworks based on it, developers can create scaling web apps for a wide range of users. Java is also the primary language used for developing Android applications for smart phones and tablets. Moreover, after Java you will be able to work with low level programming languages.

PHP is one more popular language. The PHP language, along with databases (e.g. MySQL) is an important tool for creating modern web applications. Most of the sites developed on PHP are focused on a large amount of data. It is also a fundamental technology of powerful content management systems like WordPress. There are no normal imports in PHP, there are many solutions to one and the same problem. And it makes training more complicated.

 

 
The languages C and C# are a bit complicated for a beginner. But if you develop software for embedded systems, work with system kernels or just want to squeeze out every last drop from all available resources, C is what you need.

Ruby has begun to gain popularity since 2003, when the framework Rails appeared. Used widely among web startups and big companies alike, Ruby and Rails jobs are pretty easy to come by. Ruby and Rails make it easy to transform an idea into a working application, and they have been used to bring us Twitter, GitHub, and Treehouse.

Choosing a programming language may still seem challenging. It shouldn’t. You can’t go wrong. As long as you choose a language that is regularly used in technology today, you’re winning. When you are starting out, the goal is to become solid in the basics, and the basics are pretty similar across almost all modern programming languages.

Part of learning to code is learning a language’s syntax (its grammatical or structural rules). A much bigger part of learning to code, the part that takes longer and gives you more headaches, is learning to solve problems like a programmer. You can learn the grammatical structure of the English language pretty quickly; however, you won’t truly understand the language until you put that grammatical structure to use in a conversation. The same is true in programming. You want to learn the core concepts in order to solve problems. Doing this in one language is similar to doing it in another. Because the core concepts are similar from language to language, I recommend sticking with whichever language you choose until your understanding of the core concepts is solid. If you have a clear idea of your reasons for learning to program, and know exactly what you want to accomplish with your new coding skills, then you’ll be able to make the right choice.

How did you guys get into programming? What are the best programming languages for first-time learners?

Please, share with us your experience and opinion here below 🙂

 

Kate Kviatkovskaya

Kate Kviatkovskaya

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Programming cells may soon become as easy as programming a computer. Just as computer software designers create programming for computers, scientists have created a programming language that allows them to design DNA-encoded circuits that can give new function to living cells.

Using this language, anyone can write a program for the function they want, such as detecting and responding to certain environmental conditions. They can then generate a DNA sequence that will achieve it.

“It is literally a programming language for bacteria,” says Christopher Voigt, an MIT professor of biological engineering. “You use a text-based language, just like you’re programming a computer. Then you take that text and you compile it and it turns it into a DNA sequence that you put into the cell, and the circuit runs inside the cell.”

In the new software — called Cello — a user first specifies the kind of cell they are using and what they want it to do: for example, sense metabolic conditions in the gut and produce a drug in response. They type in commands to explain how these inputs and outputs should be logically connected, using a computing language called Verilog that electrical engineers have long relied on to design silicon circuits. Finally, Cello translates this information to design a DNA sequence that, when put into a cell, will execute the demands.

dna

The good thing about it is that it’s very simple, without many of the intricacies often encountered in programming.

“You could be completely naive as to how any of it works. That’s what’s really different about this,” Voigt says. “You could be a student in high school and go onto the Web-based server and type out the program you want, and it spits back the DNA sequence.”

For now, all these features have been customized for the E. coli bacteria, one of the most common in studies, but researchers are working on expanding the language to other strands of bacteria.

Using this language, they’ve already programmed 60 circuits with different functions, and 45 of them worked correctly the first time they were tested – which is a remarkable achievement. The circuits were also strikingly fast, and the whole process promises to revolutionize DNA engineering. Before, it could take months or years to design such a circuit. Now, it can be done in less than a day.

Dr. Voigt’s team plans to work on several different applications using this approach — bacteria that can be swallowed to aid in digestion of lactose; bacteria that can live on plant roots and produce insecticide if they sense the plant is under attack; and yeast that can be engineered to shut off when they are producing too many toxic byproducts in a fermentation reactor.

What do you think about this rapidly developing revolutionary computer industry? Can it replace drugs and medicine in future? Can it help to cure cancer and AIDS? Will it make a living cell immortal?

Please feel free to share with us your opinion and thoughts here below.

 

Kate Kviatkovskaya

Kate Kviatkovskaya

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altabel

Altabel Group

Professional Software Development

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www.altabel.com


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