Computing with Biological Circuits
The remarkable ability of biology to create patterns, perform specialized tasks, and adapt to changing environments is made possible with biological circuits — networks of interacting genes that perform computation. Our capability to sequence DNA to get a deeper understanding of the inner workings of living systems, as well as the capability to write DNA from scratch, have created new biotechnologies which allows us to engineer biological circuits. This holds a vision to create intelligent therapeutics programmed to sense disease in the human body and trigger a therapeutic response. To create living materials that can heal and react to their surroundings and smart plants that can modify their physiology to withstand extreme cold or drought. Current state of art of biological circuit design resembles that of the early days of the silicon circuit design of the semiconductor industry – and likewise, it has started the transition from artisanal to automated design. The point isn’t to compete with silicon — the point is to program biology with completely new functions. This talk will explain how biological circuits work, what kind of circuits can build and what are the challenges, as well as giving examples of biological circuits.
Jan Madsen is Full Professor in Computer-Based Systems and leads the Embedded Systems Engineering, and is Deputy Director in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science (DTU Compute). He holds a MSc in Electrical Engineering (1986, DTU) and a PhD in Computer Science (1992, DTU). His research interests are in the intersection between computer science and biotechnology, with a special focus on design, modelling, and construction of microelectronic (MPSoC and IoT), microfluidic (Lab-on-Chip) and microbiological (molecular) computing systems, including the development of design automation tools and design methodologies. In these fields, he has co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers, 3 books, 13 book chapters, and 3 patents. He has co-supervised 47 PhDs. He was the General Chair of DATE 2018, NOCS 2012, CODES 2001 and the Technical Program Chair of DATE 2007, CODES+ISSS 2011, CODES 2000. Dr. Madsen is a board member of EDAA, member of the Academy of Technical Sciences and its Council for Technology and Society. He was National ICT Expert for EU Horizon 2020. He is member of IEEE and ACM.
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