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Nat Rev Genet. 2009 Dec;10(12):859-71. doi: 10.1038/nrg2697. Epub 2009 Nov 10.

Synthetic biology: understanding biological design from synthetic circuits.

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1
Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.

Abstract

An important aim of synthetic biology is to uncover the design principles of natural biological systems through the rational design of gene and protein circuits. Here, we highlight how the process of engineering biological systems - from synthetic promoters to the control of cell-cell interactions - has contributed to our understanding of how endogenous systems are put together and function. Synthetic biological devices allow us to grasp intuitively the ranges of behaviour generated by simple biological circuits, such as linear cascades and interlocking feedback loops, as well as to exert control over natural processes, such as gene expression and population dynamics.

PMID:
19898500
PMCID:
PMC3138802
DOI:
10.1038/nrg2697
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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