Calgary/evoGEM introduction


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Some Background...

Evolutionary design has been a tool that was used for many accomplishments. In this project the power of evolutionary programming is harnessed to produce viable genetic circuits. That is, strings of DNA that, like a program encoded in a cell, dictate a novel behavior for a bacterium. The application developed, EvoGEM, will be built upon in an attempt to create a more powerful tool that would capture the behavior that can fountain from a swarm based design. Swarm de- sign and evolutionary design are used in this model in order to create an application that can find genetic circuits that would produce a desired behavior before these are tested in a lab. Not only will such a tool be a stepping stone in developing more powerful models that can test designs in silico (virtually) before they are tested in vivo (in a living orgranism), but it will also allow for development of such designs.

Our Goals For EvoGEM

The main goal for this project will be to develop EvoGEM to use evolutionary design,effecient mutation operators on these circuits and an effecient fitness function that can solve the relatively simple problem of synthesizing a requested molecule considering the existing iGEM bio-bricks. The problem can be easy or more challenging depending on whether or not the molecule is the result of a pathway. The system would be designed to solve both possibilities.

Why This Could Be Important

It is important to notice that with such a problem being investigated, it is easy for a human to find a solution if given a small number of components and a simple prededefined behavior that is guaranteed to lie in a certain permutation of these components. However, as the number of available bio- bricks increases, and the potential grows, it becomes harder and harder to think of several different designs that would work. With thousands of bio-bricks in the iGEM registry disposal the possibilities are endless, but such a vast number is impossible for people to consider and the advantage of automating this process is self-evident.