“…a team of researchers at MIT has developed a technique to integrate both analogue and digital computation in living cells, allowing them to form gene circuits capable of carrying out complex processing operations.”
We tend to make a distinction between wet organic brains and dry silicon brains. People readily accept that psychological states can exist in animals with their sloppy wet-ware, but not in huge humming data centres running simulations of the same neural circuits.
By running algorithms on different substrates, e.g. neural, silicon or on the protein machinery within cells, we will blur the distinction between organic and artificial.
It is very Blood Music. With the correct programming blooms of bacteria may be coaxed to self organize into distributed swarm intelligences…