First, a cell’s components can be re-configured in response to external stimuli, allowing a variety of outputs. They function in the presence of noise, and thus do not require inputs that are clean representations of data — indeed, in some cases they even exploit the natural messiness found in biological systems. There are multiple signal pathways within the cell, enabling the components to engage in concurrent, massively-parallel information processing.8 The communication pathways that exist between biological cells allow for new forms of distributed computation.9 There is no requirement to use only digital signals in inputs and outputs of cellular processes; the cell mechanisms are able to function as analogue computers.
Finally, at a population level, they use their naturally inherent variety to evolve solutions to problems over time. All of these properties suggest that there will be a rich array of computing strategies available to us as the field of biocomputing matures.