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Self-adaptive Biosystems Through Tunable Genetic Parts and Circuits

Bartoli, Vittorio; di Berrnardo, Mario; Gorochowski, Thomas E.

Abstract

Biological systems often need to operate in complex environments where conditions can rapidly change. This is possible due to their inherent ability to sense changes and adapt their behavior in response. Here, we detail recent advances in the creation of synthetic genetic parts and circuits whose behaviors can be dynamically tuned through a variety of intra- and extra-cellular signals. We show how this capability lays the foundation for implementing control engineering schemes in living cells and allows for the creation of biological systems that are able to self-adapt, ensuring their functionality is maintained in the face of varying environmental and physiological conditions. We end by discussing some of the broader implications of this technology for the safe deployment of synthetic biology.

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