Most Intricate Synthetic Biology Circuit Created
October 10, 2012 10:16 PM
comment(s) - last by
New genetic circuits created using genes found in Salmonella
This circuit allows cells to find the right microenvironment through environmental changes like glucose, pH, temperature and osmolarity
A team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed the most intricate
synthetic biology circuit
Synthetic biology circuits are used to perform functions within cells, such as detecting changing environmental factors like temperature. The problem is that the components in a cell are all mashed together, and creating a complex biological circuit requires that genetic components don't interfere with one another. In other words, researchers don't want proteins that control one part of their synthetic circuit to mess with other parts of the circuit.
To get around this, the team created a synthetic circuit that doesn't interfere with other circuits. They did this by studying the bacterium that causes salmonella, which has a cellular pathway that monitors and
controls proteins in human cells
. The team then studied 60 other versions of this pathway in other bacteria, and learned that most of the proteins were different enough to not interfere with one another. Clearly, the answer was to expand the number of possible circuits to create components that won't mess with each other.
When expanding the number of circuits, the team then discovered that there was a small amount of "crosstalk" between some circuit components, so this had to be reduced for the complex circuit to work. This was achieved through directed evolution, which is a trial-and-error process that involves the mutation of a gene to create thousands like it and testing them for a desired trait. The best of these genes continue testing until the gene is perfected.
The end result is the most complex synthetic biology
circuit that uses four sensors
for different molecules. It is layered so that inputs and outputs are proteins that control the next circuit, and they're capable of monitoring the cell's changing environment.
"If a cell needs to find the right microenvironment -- glucose, pH, temperature and osmolarity -- individually they're not very specific, but getting all four of those things really narrows it down," said Christopher Voigt, study author and associate professor of biological engineering at MIT.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
10/11/2012 9:04:54 AM
the bacterium that causes salmonella
is the genus name of the group of bacteria that can cause Salmonellosis. "Salmonella" is not a disease.
10/11/2012 5:02:21 PM
Salmonellosis apparently? Huh, who knew, not me for one. If I had seen 'Salmonellosis' in the article I would have been confused (but probably would have figured it out), on the other hand I had no difficulty at all understanding what was being said as the article currently stands and since language is communication I think that's the most important part.
(Oh, also the dictionary disagrees with you. Salmonella def#2 "Food poisoning caused by infection with such a bacterium: "an outbreak of salmonella").
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
Protein Coating Tricks Cancer Cells into Accepting Chemotherapy Drugs
September 13, 2011, 4:18 PM
Researchers Make Breakthrough in Synthetic Circuits
October 5, 2009, 10:02 AM
Nail Polish May Soon be Able to Detect Date Rape Drugs
August 26, 2014, 7:57 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9-R Rocket Suffers Malfunction, Self-Destructs During Test Flight
August 23, 2014, 9:36 AM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
NASA Opportunity Rover Breaks Record for Most Miles Traveled on Another Planet
July 29, 2014, 1:38 PM
Most Popular Articles
HTC Preps Nexus 9 With Nvidia K1 64-Bit "Denver" SoC, Android L Onboard
September 10, 2014, 10:21 PM
Apple iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus Reviews Roll In
September 16, 2014, 9:13 PM
Big Media: If You Want Privacy, You're Probably a Pirate
September 18, 2014, 2:57 PM
Apple Cripples NFC in iPhone 6, 6+ With Developer Ban
September 17, 2014, 1:00 PM
"Decepticon" Driver Triumphs Over Cops in Massachusetts Court
September 5, 2014, 12:07 PM
Latest Blog Posts
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information