DNA synthesis and DNA sequencing are major, complementary capabilities that enable exquisite control and new understanding of biological systems. The cost of sequencing/synthesis, per base pair, continues to drop at a remarkable rate. The new discipline of synthetic biology intends to exploit both DNA synthesis and DNA sequencing toward practical ends; simultaneously, the success of synthetic biology will accelerate the deployment of both DNA synthesis and DNA sequencing.
Multiplex DNA synthesis and some applications
The current resurgence in systems biology - a discipline which combines experiment and theory towards understanding biological processes as whole systems instead of isolated parts - results from high-throughput advances in molecular biology and biotechnology. Such advances have produced volumes of data sets on the behavior of systems, which provide information on the underlying molecules. Processing such information into a systems-level understanding requires advanced computational methods and further biotechnology development. In this regard, recent advances in accurate, scalable and cost-effective DNA synthesis technologies should prove invaluable in further progress in systems and synthetic biology. In the emerging field of synthetic biology, researchers are reassembling well-characterized genetic components and designing new ones into artificial networks that perform prescribed functions in vivo. Together, these fields offer the potential to enhance our understanding of cell function and empower the ability to engineer novel or improved biological function. In this talk, I will provide an overview of multiplex DNA synthesis technology and show its utility in the design of an E. coli genetic counter, demonstrating an exciting and powerful interface between new synthesis technologies, systems and synthetic biology.
- Tian J, Gong H, Sheng N, Zhou X, Gulari E, Gao X, & Church GM (2004) Accurate Multiplex Gene Synthesis from Programmable DNA Chips. Nature 432: 1050-4. Image:Tian04.pdf