Foundations for engineering biomolecular circuits

by Jacob Beal (Raytheon / MIT)

16:00 (40 min) in USB 3.032

Biomolecular circuits in living cells have vast potential for applications across many domains, including medical diagnosis and therapeutics, manufacturing, and environmental sensing. A major impediment to realizing this potential for any but the simplest computations, however, has been the lack of accurate and comparable characterization of biological devices and their interactions. In this talk, I will argue that this is largely due to inadequacies in how circuits and components are typically measured. This discussion will include process vs. experimental controls, statistical analysis of biomolecular circuits, reliable unit calibration, and precision requirements. When such metrological foundations are provided, however, we find that this enables precision prediction of biological circuit behavior, development of high-performance biological computing devices, and combination of data across different studies and laboratories.