Sunday, February 08, 2009
The synthetic biology paradigm. Genetic circuits are composed of interacting genes and proteins (blue shapes, top left). The pointed and blunt arrows represent positive and negative regulation, respectively. Synthetic circuits (top right) based on the natural circuit can be constructed from well-characterized components (red and orange shapes) with similar regulatory effects to form similar or simplified circuits. The dynamics of these synthetic replicas can be compared to the natural system as well as to mathematical models. Analysis of natural circuits, synthetic replicas and models together can help us understand mechanisms used by natural systems.