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Title: Reprogrammable in vivo architecture
Author: Blenkiron, Marc
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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So far, the large majority of in vivo computation research has been based on the detection and conditional manipulation of protein concentrations inside cells, which is the biological method of gene expression. In contrast, this thesis describes how a computational program, encoded in genetic material inside a bacterium, can be triggered by external stimuli to reassemble itself in a directed manner to create a newly arranged computational program. In order to investigate the potential utility of in vivo self-arranging programs, software was designed to explore a search space of candidate computational programs, encoded in genetic material, which are able to rearrange themselves; to simulate these candidates and to evaluate their behaviour against a set of criteria. Rearrangements were facilitated by biological catalysts which can selectively sever and rejoin genetic material in a cooperative manner. Their ability to perform compound operations was found to allow for a general purpose mechanism. As proof of concept, one of the candidate computational programs, a two-colour switch which can be set irreversibly through its rearrangement, was encoded in genetic material. Measurements of in vivo expression were observed resulting from in vitro rearrangement manipulations, to illustrate its operation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available