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BACKGROUND Standard biological parts, such as BioBricks parts, provide the foundation for a new engineering discipline that enables the design and construction of synthetic biological systems with a variety of applications in bioenergy, new materials, therapeutics, and environmental remediation. Although the original BioBricks assembly standard has found(More)
An immense array of naturally occurring biological systems have evolved that convert simple substrates into the products that cells need for growth and persistence. Through the careful application of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology, this biotransformation potential can be harnessed to produce chemicals that address unmet clinical and industrial(More)
The models and simulation tools available to design functionally complex synthetic biological devices are very limited. We formulated a design-driven approach that used mechanistic modeling and kinetic RNA folding simulations to engineer RNA-regulated genetic devices that control gene expression. Ribozyme and metabolite-controlled, aptazyme-regulated(More)
Genetic engineering has developed around technologies enabling the targeted in vitro recombination of DNA molecules found in living organisms. As a result, the development of new DNA molecules has been primarily focused on cloning strategies that allow their assembly from existing DNA fragments. As chemical gene synthesis matures, the design of synthetic(More)
The ability to generate RNA aptamers for synthetic biology using in vitro selection depends on the informational complexity (IC) needed to specify functional structures that bind target ligands with desired affinities in physiological concentrations of magnesium. We investigate how selection for high-affinity aptamers is constrained by chemical properties(More)
A multidisciplinary , collaborative project of Abstract: This study shows how ballot interfaces variably affect the voting performance of people with different abilities. An interface with all information viewable simultaneously might either help orient or overwhelm a voter, depending on his/her skill-set. Voters with diagnosed reading disabilities(More)
Reading disabled (RD) voters represent approximately 1 in 7 voters. Current electronic voting technologies exhibit substantially different error rates between RD voters and non-RD voters. These error rates are not consistent. For example, full-faced voting systems are better suited for RD individuals, while page-by-page systems are better for non-RD voters.(More)
Both synthetic biology and metabolic engineering are aided by the development of genetic control parts. One class of riboswitch parts that has great potential for sensing and regulation of protein levels is aptamer-coupled ribozymes (aptazymes). These devices are comprised of an aptamer domain selected to bind a particular ligand, a ribozyme domain, and a(More)
The goal of this project is to show that a general system of smart cells can be designed to cooperate to perform an arbitrarily complex, sequential, producer−consumer process that automatically performs adaptive load balancing. In more plain terms, a bunch of mobile agents can be programmed so that they can automatically turn themselves into an assembly(More)