If I understand it, can I build it?

February 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

It depends on your definition of “understand”… and possibly your definition of “build”.  Thanks to Pam Silver, I’ve belatedly become aware of the CAGEN competition.  CAGEN, which somehow trips off the tongue less elegantly than iGEM (but perhaps I’m just not used to it yet) stands for Critical Assessment of Genetically Engineered Networks, and the competition sets challenges for the synthetic biology community that “if achieved, would imply that significant improvements in the state of the art have been made”.  This year, the challenge is to design a circuit that provides a robust gene response: rapid expression of a fluorescent protein at a controlled level (moving rapidly from 1x to 10x) upon the introduction of a chemical inducer, with minimal variation in expression between cells.  It should work both in E. coli and S. cerevisiae, be sustained over time, and have minimal temperature-dependent variation.  Specifics, including the metrics to be used, are on the Challenge page.

Think you have a design that will work?  You have until June 15 to submit it.

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