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Engineered biological systems have been used to manipulate information, construct materials, process chemicals, produce energy, provide food, and help maintain or enhance human health and our environment. Unfortunately, our ability to quickly and reliably engineer biological systems that behave as expected remains quite limited. Foundational technologies(More)
Here we studied the quantitative behaviour and cell-to-cell variability of a prototypical eukaryotic cell-fate decision system, the mating pheromone response pathway in yeast. We dissected and measured sources of variation in system output, analysing thousands of individual, genetically identical cells. Only a small proportion of total cell-to-cell(More)
n molecular, cellular and developmental biology, compact and elegant theories of the sort familiar in physics are rare; rather, explanations of phenomena are typically couched in natural language narratives that describe the interactions of large numbers of distinct molecular entities. In this essay, we define model as any representation of a system. Models(More)
BACKGROUND The engineering of many-component, synthetic biological systems is being made easier by the development of collections of reusable, standard biological parts. However, the complexity of biology makes it difficult to predict the extent to which such efforts will succeed. As a first practical example, the Registry of Standard Biological Parts(More)
Bacteriophage lambda infection of Escherichia coli can result in distinct cell fate outcomes. For example, some cells lyse whereas others survive as lysogens. A quantitative biophysical model of lambda infection supports the hypothesis that spontaneous differences in the timing of individual molecular events during lambda infection leads to variation in the(More)
The inability to predict heterologous gene expression levels precisely hinders our ability to engineer biological systems. Using well-characterized regulatory elements offers a potential solution only if such elements behave predictably when combined. We synthesized 12,563 combinations of common promoters and ribosome binding sites and simultaneously(More)
Few developments have leapfrogged over predecessor technology as quickly and extensively as synthetic biology. Based on cutting-edge DNA synthesis technology, synthetic biology has already fueled an expansion of opportunities in biological engineering, with advanced capabilities that surpass those provided by traditional recombinant DNA technology.(More)
We created a simulation based on experimental data from bacteriophage T7 that computes the developmental cycle of the wild-type phage and also of mutants that have an altered genome order. We used the simulation to compute the fitness of more than 10(5) mutants. We tested these computations by constructing and experimentally characterizing T7 mutants in(More)
Although the proteins comprising many signaling systems are known, less is known about their numbers per cell. Existing measurements often vary by more than 10-fold. Here, we devised improved quantification methods to measure protein abundances in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae pheromone response pathway, an archetypical signaling system. These methods(More)