biocomputer n.

a computer having components and circuits formed from or modelled on biological molecules or structures

In later use, as an actual scientific term: a computing device which uses the chemical properties of biological molecules (esp. DNA) to store and process information.


  • 1952 W. M. Miller Big Hunger in Astounding Science Fiction Oct. 107/2 page image Walter M. Miller, Jr. bibliography

    He crushed them, or harnessed them to his plow, or borrowed their neural circuits for his bio-computers.

  • 1961 H. Gernsback in Amazing Stories Apr. 88/2 page image Hugo Gernsback

    There will come the future amazing day…when Amazing Stories will be composed, or perhaps outlined in detail, not by human authors, but by an electronic biocomputer-menograph (menos-mind).

  • 1992 V. J. Freireich Repair Man in Aboriginal Science Fiction Summer 38/2 page image Valerie J. Freireich bibliography

    Caprice is my first experience with a biocomputer. Hardware systems have to stay on secure paths on the strings—but I think I prefer them to having a mutilated man trapped inside my ship.’…. ‘Captain, this is tissue, not a man. Don’t let shape fool you. A man is memories and purpose, but 303XT only reacts and calculates…. When it all comes together, biocomputer intuition makes them unbeatable by hardware-only systems.’

  • 2007 K. A. Goonan Bridge in Asimov’s Science Fiction Aug. 74 page image Kathleen Ann Goonan bibliography

    The dedicated interstices of their cocoons, the cables which sent the daily updates to eyelike biocomputers, ended at Frank Quick’s safe.

  • 2012 B. Crowell The Pass in Asimov’s Science Fiction Mar. 59 page image Benjamin Crowell bibliography

    They planted a new self-supporting biocomputer right here in Bristlecone, out of town next to the river where it would have plenty of water and sunlight. I guess it’s like planting a tree—you just don’t want to plant them too close together.

Research requirements

antedating 1952

Last modified 2021-01-03 18:25:30
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.