Task switching in engineered bacteria

The engineering of bio-computations in cells usually follow a one-device-one-function strategy. That is, an engineered system will only perform one pre-defined function – no matter how complex this is. In this paper, we present a design for engineering systems capable of task switching, thus moving between a number of pre-programmed functions (or “tasks”). Within our system, multiple genetic circuits coexist and control strategies select which one is functional (i.e., which task runs) at a given time. The possibility of embedding different tasks into a cellular population is considered, for which we dynamically allocate resources to ensure that cells do not become over-burdened. Our mathematical model explicitly simulates plasmid transfer (both horizontal and vertical), which is the key for successful task-switching.

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Source: Goñi-Moreno, A.; de la Cruz, F.; Rodríguez-Patón, A.; Amos, M. Dynamical Task Switching in Cellular Computers. Life 2019, 9, 14. Link:

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