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Computational Modeling Approaches for Studying of Synthetic Biological Networks

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Synthetic biology is an emerging field that strives to build increasingly complex biological networks through the integration of molecular biology and engineering. The growth of the field has been supported by progress in the design and construction of synthetic genetic and protein networks. This has led to the possibility of assembling modular components to attain novel biological functions and tools. In addition, these synthetic networks give rise to insights that facilitate the investigation of interactions and phenomena in naturally-occurring networks. Integration of well-characterized biological components into higher order networks requires computational modeling approaches to rationally construct systems that are directed towards a desired outcome. A computational approach would improve the predictability of the underlying mechanisms that would otherwise be difficult to deduce through experimentation alone. The analysis and interpretation of both qualitative and quantitative models also becomes increasingly important towards taking a systems-level perspective on synthetic genetic and protein networks. This review will first discuss the analogy of synthetic networks to circuit engineering. It will then look at computational modeling approaches that can be applied to biological systems and how synthetic biology will help to develop more accurate in silico representations of these systems.

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Keywords: Synthetic biology; biological complexity; computational modeling; genetic circuits; networks; protein circuits

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2008

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  • Current Bioinformatics aims to publish all the latest and outstanding developments in bioinformatics. Each issue contains a series of timely, in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field, covering a wide range of the integration of biology with computer and information science.

    The journal focuses on reviews on advances in computational molecular/structural biology, encompassing areas such as computing in biomedicine and genomics, computational proteomics and systems biology, and metabolic pathway engineering. Developments in these fields have direct implications on key issues related to health care, medicine, genetic disorders, development of agricultural products, renewable energy, environmental protection, etc.

    Current Bioinformatics is an essential journal for all academic and industrial researchers who want expert knowledge on all major advances in bioinformatics.
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