January 18th, 2012 | Category: Computing, Papers | Leave a comment

Computer aided synthetic biology

This is another quick post to draw attention to a new paper in Science. There is a précis in Nature Reviews Genetics to get you started: Synthetic biology: Simplifying design.

An advance is presented in a paper that demonstrates a computer-aided approach for designing RNA-based devices with predictable functional properties in Escherichia coli.

The design process used biochemical and biophysical modelling to take into account the many variables — such as rates of RNA folding or catalysis — that can alter the functional output of the device. Importantly, the authors showed that devices that achieved a wide range of expression levels could be obtained by tuning just a few of the design variables.

The authors tested the predicted output from their designed devices by using them to control the production of red fluorescent protein in E. coli; the predicted and observed expression levels were closely matched.

Sorry for the rushed cut-and-paste job, follow the links to the précis and the original paper for more information.

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