In the news: Towards off-the-shelf networks

Nature Reviews Genetics research highlight

Synthetic biologists dream of constructing gene expression networks with predictable functions. However, they come up against a frustrating problem: because the assembly parts (ORFs and control regions) are poorly characterized and limited in number, each new circuit has to be painstakingly tweaked until it behaves as intended. To overcome this hurdle Ellis and colleagues have generated and characterized a library of components, and then used computer modelling to inform how these components — in this case, promoters — should be assembled
for particular uses.