Synthetic gene networks that count

Ari E. Friedland, Timothy K. Lu, Xiao Wang, David Shi, George Church, James J. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

370 Scopus citations

Abstract

Synthetic gene networks can be constructed to emulate digital circuits and devices, giving one the ability to program and design cells with some of the principles of modern computing, such as counting. A cellular counter would enable complex synthetic programming and a variety of biotechnology applications. Here, we report two complementary synthetic genetic counters in Escherichia coli that can count up to three induction events: the first, a riboregulated transcriptional cascade, and the second, a recombinase-based cascade of memory units. These modular devices permit counting of varied user-defined inputs over a range of frequencies and can be expanded to count higher numbers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1199-1202
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume324
Issue number5931
DOIs
StatePublished - May 29 2009
Externally publishedYes

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Cite this

Friedland, A. E., Lu, T. K., Wang, X., Shi, D., Church, G., & Collins, J. J. (2009). Synthetic gene networks that count. Science, 324(5931), 1199-1202. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1172005