Database: Large collection of data, typically stored on computers. Also refers to Database Management Systems software, which organizes information on computers for storage and retrieval.
Data Structure: The way data is organized within software programs. Data structures and algorithms are the two basic elements of software.
Digital: Pertaining to devices that manipulate and store information encoded as numbers. Today's digital systems use binary numbers but devices that use other numbering systems are theoretically possible.
Distributed Computing: Using more than one computer connected by a network to solve a problem or perform a function. Distributed computing allows people to aggregate the processing power of multiple computers in different places, including across the Internet. Distributed computing is slower but less costly than using parallel systems.
DNA Computing: The experimental field of computing that aims to manipulate strands of DNA to solve mathematical problems. Particular DNA strands are selected to represent components of a problem and are then combined in massive quantities, yielding every possible combination including the correct answer. Using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), strands matching a characteristic of the correct result are "amplified." After successive amplifications for different characteristics, the incorrect combinations are weeded out. DNA computing has the potential to solve brute-force problems, like code breaking, much faster than today's supercomputers.
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