Programming cellular networks and community behavi.. (RiboNets)
Programming cellular networks and community behaviour with synthetic RNA-based devices
Start date: Sep 1, 2013,
End date: Aug 31, 2016
RiboNets aims at programming cellular networks and community behaviour using newly engineered logical gates that transmit and process information within cells in an innovative way, namely via RNA-based devices.RiboNets wants to develop a newly designed RNA-based toolbox for cellular computing. RNA has three major advantages: (a) RNA turnover is fast thus efficient computing is possible with RNA networks, (b) RNA folding and RNA-RNA interactions can be well predicted, thus, a large number of novel devices can be build, (c) RNA production is energetically cheap, therefore the host cell is not affected by computing. The RiboNet toolbox will be created following a three-step process: (i) rational design and analysis of RNA-based devices on a computer, (ii) selecting best performers in vitro within highly parallel microfluidic reactors and, finally, (iii) integrating and testing them in living cells. The combination of all three layers of analysis, in silico, in vitro and in vivo, is a major point of this proposal. It will allow us to deal with complex regulatory networks and to examine the underlying mechanisms of information transmission and processing within cells.The toolbox developed by RiboNets will provide an outstanding prerequisite for novel designs in synthetic biology and life sciences. The usage of the RiboNet toolbox will result in the creation of RNA-based sensors and RNA-based devices with efficient regulation of engineered metabolic and signalling pathways that will have potential applications in white biotechnology and medicine. For example, RNA-based antibiotics would improve human condition in technological applications, as well as in health, in the future. With RiboNets, a new territory will be explored, shedding light on how RNA networks contribute to cell-to-cell information processing and communication.
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