Synthetic Biology Comes into Its Own

June 2, 2016

(The Scientist) – Stripped back to its most basic components, a synthetic or natural biological network consists of a gene that either switches another gene on (activation) or turns it off (repression). By assembling networks from components found in nature, and harnessing these simple activation and repression interactions, synthetic biologists can engineer oscillators, sensors, counters, and computations of Boolean logic that can be expressed in bacteria, yeast, or mammalian cells, with applications ranging from biological computation to medical diagnostics and biofuel production.