The following is an edited excerpt.
In recent years, researchers in the messy world of biology have been able to build systems that function like the clean, binary switches on computer chips. Unfortunately, most of these share a significant limitation: they rely on proteins from bacteria that act as switches to turn genes on and off under specific conditions.
A paper in this week’s PNAS describes a system that may allow us to get around this limitation. The new method takes a protein from a virus that infects bacteria and cuts it in two, making a pair of genes (A and B) that each produce part of the mature protein. The two parts then act as a biological version of an AND logic gate.
Read the full article here: Wetware advances: Biological logic gate built by splitting viral gene