World Science Scholars
1.2 From Biology to Computer Science Summary
  • Humans have been altering biology for thousands of years through artificial selection.
    • Genetically engineered products are now contributing US$400 billion to the GDP.
    • Examples include E. Coli engineered to produce hydrocodone and papaya engineered to resist the ringspot virus.
  • Professor Endy researches how to engineer living matter and what impact it could have.
    • To systematically improve at engineering something, we go through iterative Design-Build-Test cycles.
    • To make this process more efficient, Endy used DNA synthesis to separate design and construction, set technical standards, and developed ways to manage the complexity of biology.
  • Professor Endy’s group created the “flipee,” the first synthetic biological logic gate that flips DNA.
  • The flipee design process took three years and 700 design attempts.

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