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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2014 Oct;29:146-55. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2014.04.009. Epub 2014 May 8.

Synthetic analog and digital circuits for cellular computation and memory.

Author information

1
MIT Synthetic Biology Center, 500 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.
2
MIT Synthetic Biology Center, 500 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Electronic address: timlu@mit.edu.

Abstract

Biological computation is a major area of focus in synthetic biology because it has the potential to enable a wide range of applications. Synthetic biologists have applied engineering concepts to biological systems in order to construct progressively more complex gene circuits capable of processing information in living cells. Here, we review the current state of computational genetic circuits and describe artificial gene circuits that perform digital and analog computation. We then discuss recent progress in designing gene networks that exhibit memory, and how memory and computation have been integrated to yield more complex systems that can both process and record information. Finally, we suggest new directions for engineering biological circuits capable of computation.

PMID:
24794536
PMCID:
PMC4237220
DOI:
10.1016/j.copbio.2014.04.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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