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Microbial engineering often requires fine control over protein expression; for example, to connect genetic circuits 1-7 or control flux through a metabolic pathway 8-13. We have developed a predictive design method for synthetic ribosome binding sites that enables the rational control of a protein's production rate on a proportional scale. Experimental(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)
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)
The computational algorithm SCHEMA was developed to estimate the disruption caused when amino acid residues that interact in the three-dimensional structure of a protein are inherited from different parents upon recombination. To evaluate how well SCHEMA predicts disruption, we have shuffled the distantly-related beta-lactamases PSE-4 and TEM-1 at 13 sites(More)
Synthetic genetic sensors and circuits enable programmable control over the timing and conditions of gene expression. They are being increasingly incorporated into the control of complex, multigene pathways and cellular functions. Here, we propose a design strategy to genetically separate the sensing/circuitry functions from the pathway to be controlled.(More)
Genetic memory enables the recording of information in the DNA of living cells. Memory can record a transient environmental signal or cell state that is then recalled at a later time. Permanent memory is implemented using irreversible recombinases that invert the orientation of a unit of DNA, corresponding to the [0,1] state of a bit. To expand the memory(More)
We have designed a bacterial system that is switched between different states by red light. The system consists of a synthetic sensor kinase that allows a lawn of bacteria to function as a biological film, such that the projection of a pattern of light on to the bacteria produces a high-definition (about 100 megapixels per square inch), two-dimensional(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)