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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2009 Aug;20(4):479-85. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2009.08.007. Epub 2009 Sep 14.

Computational design tools for synthetic biology.

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  • 1Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering, ETH Zurich, Basel 4058, Switzerland.


Computer-aided design, pervasive in other engineering disciplines, is currently developing in synthetic biology. Concepts for standardization and hierarchies of parts, devices and systems provide a basis for efficient engineering in biology. Recently developed computational tools, for instance, enable rational (and graphical) composition of genetic circuits from standard parts, and subsequent simulation for testing the predicted functions in silico. The computational design of DNA and proteins with predetermined quantitative functions has made similar advances. The biggest challenge, however, is the integration of tools and methods into powerful and intuitively usable workflows-and the field is only starting to address it.

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