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Microbial engineering often requires fine control over protein expression--for example, to connect genetic circuits or control flux through a metabolic pathway. To circumvent the need for trial and error optimization, we developed a predictive method for designing synthetic ribosome binding sites, enabling a rational control over the protein expression(More)
Genetically encodable optical reporters, such as green fluorescent protein, have revolutionized the observation and measurement of cellular states. However, the inverse challenge of using light to control precisely cellular behaviour has only recently begun to be addressed; semi-synthetic chromophore-tethered receptors and naturally occurring channel(More)
Computation underlies the organization of cells into higher-order structures, for example during development or the spatial association of bacteria in a biofilm. Each cell performs a simple computational operation, but when combined with cell-cell communication, intricate patterns emerge. Here we study this process by combining a simple genetic circuit with(More)
Borrowing concepts from the schema theory of genetic algorithms, we have developed a computational algorithm to identify the fragments of proteins, or schemas, that can be recombined without disturbing the integrity of the three-dimensional structure. When recombination leaves these schemas undisturbed, the hybrid proteins are more likely to be folded and(More)
Genetic circuits perform computational operations based on interactions between freely diffusing molecules within a cell. When transcription factors are combined to build a circuit, unintended interactions can disrupt its function. Here, we apply 'part mining' to build a library of 73 TetR-family repressors gleaned from prokaryotic genomes. The operators of(More)
Edge detection is a signal processing algorithm common in artificial intelligence and image recognition programs. We have constructed a genetically encoded edge detection algorithm that programs an isogenic community of E. coli to sense an image of light, communicate to identify the light-dark edges, and visually present the result of the computation. The(More)
Microorganisms use genetic circuits to integrate environmental information. We have constructed a synthetic AND gate in the bacterium Escherichia coli that integrates information from two promoters as inputs and activates a promoter output only when both input promoters are transcriptionally active. The integration occurs via an interaction between an mRNA(More)
Finding the minimum energy amino acid side-chain conformation is a fundamental problem in both homology modeling and protein design. To address this issue, numerous computational algorithms have been proposed. However, there have been few quantitative comparisons between methods and there is very little general understanding of the types of problems that(More)