Navigation Links
'Noise' tunes logic circuit made from virus genes

In the world of engineering, "noise" random fluctuations from environmental sources such as heat is generally a bad thing. In electronic circuits, it is unavoidable, and as circuits get smaller and smaller, noise has a greater and more detrimental effect on a circuit's performance. Now some scientists are saying: if you can't beat it, use it. Engineers from Arizona State University in Tempe and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR) in San Diego, Calif., are exploiting noise to control the basic element of a computer a logic gate that can be switched back and forth between two different logic functions, such as AND\OR using a genetically engineered system derived from virus DNA. In a paper accepted to the AIP's journal Chaos, the team has demonstrated, theoretically, that by exploiting sources of external noise, they can make the network switch between different logic functions in a stable and reliable way.

The scientists focused on a single-gene network in a bacteriophage λ (lamda). The gene they use regulates the production of a particular protein in the virus. Normally, there are biological reactions that regulate the creation and destruction of this protein; upsetting that balance results in a protein concentration that is either too high or too low. The scientists assigned a "1" to one concentration and a "0" to the other. By manipulating the protein concentration, the team could encode the logic gate input values and obtain the desired output values.

Researchers modeled the system as two potential energy "wells" separated by a hump, corresponding to an energy barrier. In the presence of too much noise, the system never relaxes into one of the two wells, making the output unpredictable. Too little noise, on the other hand, does not provide the boost necessary for the system to reach a high enough protein concentration to overcome the energy barrier; in this case, there is also a high probability that the biological logic gate will fail to achieve its predicted computation. But an optimal amount of noise stabilizes the circuit, causing the system to jump into the "correct well" and stay there. This proof-of-concept work offers the possibility of exploiting noise in biologic circuits instead of regarding it as a laboratory curiosity or a nuisance, the researchers say.


Contact: Jennifer Lauren Lee
American Institute of Physics

Related biology news :

1. Noise pollution negatively affects woodland bird communities, says CU-Boulder study
2. Precise trace gas analysis, without the noise
3. Lone whales shout to overcome noise
4. University of Maryland co-sponsors International Conference on the Effects of Noise on Aquatic Life
5. Noise distracts fish from their dinner
6. Cephalopods experience massive acoustic trauma from noise pollution in the oceans
7. Noise research to combat wind turbine syndrome
8. Unexpected role of noise in spine formation
9. Human genes sing different tunes in different tissues
10. Songbirds tweak their tunes in different ways to cope with clamor
11. NIST tunes metasurface with fluid in new concept for sensing and chemistry
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... -- Connected health pioneer, Joseph C. Kvedar , MD, ... and wellness, and the business opportunities that arise from ... of Healthy Things . Long before health and ... Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, Partners HealthCare, was creating ... from the hospital or doctor,s office into the day-to-day ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... , October 27, 2015 ... Semantic Gaze Mapping technology (ASGM) automatically maps data from ... Tracking Glasses , so that they can be ... --> Munich, Germany , October 28-29, ... maps data from mobile eye tracking videos created with ...
(Date:10/26/2015)...  Delta ID Inc., a company focused on bringing ... devices, announced its ActiveIRIS® technology powers the iris recognition ... by NTT DOCOMO, INC in Japan ... to include iris recognition technology, after a very successful ... May 2015, world,s first smartphone to have this capability. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... , November 27, 2015 ... Growing popularity of companion diagnostics is ... cancer biomarkers market with pharmaceutical companies and ... companion diagnostic tests. . ... Complete report on global cancer biomarkers ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... India , November 26, 2015 ... The Global Biobanking Market 2016 - 2020 report ... by maintaining integrity and quality in long-term samples, ... enabling long-term cost-effectiveness. Automation minimizes manual errors such ... the technical efficiency. Further, it plays a vital ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Studies reveal the differences in species of ... way for more effective treatment for one of the most ... --> --> Gum disease is ... yet relatively little was understood about the bacteria associated with ... by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition together ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris ... that its business and prospects remain fundamentally strong ... Zoptrex™ (zoptarelin doxorubicin) recently received DSMB recommendation to ... completion following review of the final interim efficacy ... 2 Primary Endpoint in men with heavily pretreated ...
Breaking Biology Technology: