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Cellular interactions are subject to random fluctuations (noise) in quantities of interacting molecules. Noise presents a major challenge for the robust function of natural and engineered cellular networks. Past studies have analyzed how noise is regulated at the intracellular level. Cell-cell communication, however, may provide a complementary strategy to(More)
Bacteria secrete a variety of public good exoproducts into their environment. These exoproducts are typically produced under the control of quorum sensing (QS), a signaling mechanism by which bacteria sense and respond to changes in their density. QS seems to provide an advantageous strategy to regulate these costly but beneficial exoproducts: it delays(More)
Programmed death is often associated with a bacterial stress response. This behavior appears paradoxical, as it offers no benefit to the individual. This paradox can be explained if the death is 'altruistic': the killing of some cells can benefit the survivors through release of 'public goods'. However, the conditions where bacterial programmed death(More)
Synthetic biology encompasses the design of new biological parts and systems as well as the modulation of existing biological networks to generate novel functions. In recent years, increasing emphasis has been placed on the engineering of population-level behaviors using cell-cell communication. From the engineering perspective, cell-cell communication(More)
Synthetic biology seeks to enable programmed control of cellular behavior though engineered biological systems. These systems typically consist of synthetic circuits that function inside, and interact with, complex host cells possessing pre-existing metabolic and regulatory networks. Nevertheless, while designing systems, a simple well-defined interface(More)
A major goal of biological research is to provide a mechanistic understanding of diverse biological processes. To this end, synthetic biology offers a powerful approach, whereby biological questions can be addressed in a well-defined framework. By constructing simple gene circuits, such studies have generated new insights into the design principles of gene(More)
During bacterial growth, a cell approximately doubles in size before division, after which it splits into two daughter cells. This process is subjected to the inherent perturbations of cellular noise and thus requires regulation for cell-size homeostasis. The mechanisms underlying the control and dynamics of cell size remain poorly understood owing to the(More)
A major flavor of synthetic biology is the creation of artificial gene circuits to perform user-defined tasks. One aspect of this area is to realize ever-increasingly more complicated circuit behavior. Such efforts have led to the identification and evaluation of design strategies that enable robust control of dynamics in single cells and in cell(More)
It is now well appreciated that programmed cell death (PCD) plays critical roles in the life cycle of diverse bacterial species. It is an apparently paradoxical behavior as it does not benefit the cells undergoing PCD. However, growing evidence suggests that PCD can be 'altruistic': the dead cells may directly or indirectly benefit survivors through(More)
Cellular processes are "noisy". In each cell, concentrations of molecules are subject to random fluctuations due to the small numbers of these molecules and to environmental perturbations. While noise varies with time, it is often measured at steady state, for example by flow cytometry. When interrogating aspects of a cellular network by such steady-state(More)