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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2006 Oct;17(5):548-57. Epub 2006 Sep 15.

Genetic parts to program bacteria.

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  • 1Biophysics and Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California San Francisco, QB3 Box 2540, 1700 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA. cavoigt@picasso.ucsf.edu

Abstract

Genetic engineering is entering a new era, where microorganisms can be programmed using synthetic constructs of DNA encoding logic and operational commands. A toolbox of modular genetic parts is being developed, comprised of cell-based environmental sensors and genetic circuits. Systems have already been designed to be interconnected with each other and interfaced with the control of cellular processes. Engineering theory will provide a predictive framework to design operational multicomponent systems. On the basis of these developments, increasingly complex cellular machines are being constructed to build specialty chemicals, weave biomaterials, and to deliver therapeutics.

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