Cellular Computing and Synthetic Biology

Amos, Martyn and Goñi-Moreno, Angel (2018) Cellular Computing and Synthetic Biology. In: Computational Matter. Springer, pp. 93-110. ISBN 978-3-319-65824-7

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-65826-1_7


Synthetic biology is an emerging, rapidly growing research field in which engineering principles are applied to natural, living systems. A major goal of synthetic biology is to harness the inherent “biological nanotechnology” of living cells for a number of applications, including computation, production, and diagnosis. In its infancy, synthetic biology was mainly concerned with the construction of small-scale, proof-of-principle computational devices (cellular computing), along the lines of simple logic gates and circuits, but the state-of-the-art now uses multicellular complexes and engineered cell-cell communication. From its practical origins around the turn of the century, the field has grown into a global scientific market predicted to be worth tens of billions of dollars by 2020. Anticipated applications include tissue engineering, environmental remediation, in situ disease detection and treatment, and even the development of the first fully-synthetic organism. In this chapter we review the timeline of synthetic biology, describe its alignment with unconventional computation, and, drawing on quotations from leading researchers in the field, describe its main challenges and opportunities.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: C900 Others in Biological Sciences
G400 Computer Science
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Computer and Information Sciences
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2019 15:05
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2019 23:31
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/38117

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