Reconstruction of genetic circuits
The complex genetic circuits found in cells are ordinarily studied by analysis of genetic and biochemical perturbations. The inherent modularity of biological components like genes and proteins enables a complementary approach: one can construct and analyse synthetic genetic circuits based on their natural counterparts. Such synthetic circuits can be used as simple in vivo models to explore the relation between the structure and function of a genetic circuit. Here we describe recent progress in this area of synthetic biology, highlighting newly developed genetic components and biological lessons learned from this approach.