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Science. 2009 May 29;324(5931):1199-202. doi: 10.1126/science.1172005.

Synthetic gene networks that count.

Author information

  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Center for BioDynamics and Center for Advanced Biotechnology, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

Abstract

Synthetic gene networks can be constructed to emulate digital circuits and devices, giving one the ability to program and design cells with some of the principles of modern computing, such as counting. A cellular counter would enable complex synthetic programming and a variety of biotechnology applications. Here, we report two complementary synthetic genetic counters in Escherichia coli that can count up to three induction events: the first, a riboregulated transcriptional cascade, and the second, a recombinase-based cascade of memory units. These modular devices permit counting of varied user-defined inputs over a range of frequencies and can be expanded to count higher numbers.

Comment in

PMID:
19478183
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2690711
Free PMC Article

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