Bioessays 37 (1):95-102 (2015)

Antoine Danchin
University of Hong Kong
The emphasis of systems and synthetic biology on quantitative understanding of biological objects and their eventual re-design has raised the question of whether description and construction standards that are commonplace in electric and mechanical engineering are applicable to live systems. The tuning of genetic devices to deliver a given activity is generally context-dependent, thereby undermining the re-usability of parts, and predictability of function, necessary for manufacturing new biological objects. Tolerance and allowance are key aspects of standardization that need to be brought to biological design. These should endow functional building blocks with a pre-specified level of confidence for bespoke biosystems engineering. However, in the absence of more fundamental knowledge, fine-tuning necessarily relies on evolutionary/combinatorial gravitation toward a fixed objective.
Keywords allowance  standardization  synthetic biology  tolerance
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DOI 10.1002/bies.201400091
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The Logic of Metabolism and its Fuzzy Consequences.A. Danchin - 2014 - Environmental Microbiology 16 (1):19-28.

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