Synthetic gene circuits allow programming in DNA the expression of a phenotype at a given environmental condition. The recent integration of memory systems with gene circuits opens the door to their adaptation to new conditions and their re-programming. This lays the foundation to emulate neuromorphic behaviour and solve complex problems similarly to artificial neural networks. Cellular products such as DNA or proteins can be used to store memory in both digital and analog formats, allowing cells to be turned into living computing devices able to record information regarding their previous states. In particular, synthetic gene circuits with memory can be engineered into living systems to allow their adaptation through reinforcement learning. The development of gene circuits able to adapt through reinforcement learning moves Sciences towards the ambitious goal: the bottom-up creation of a fully fledged living artificial intelligence.
Review Article| August 05 2020
Reinforcement learning in synthetic gene circuits
Alfonso Jaramillo *
1Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Centre (WISB) and School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, CV4 7AL Coventry, U.K.
2Institute for Integrative Systems Biology (I2SysBio), University of Valencia-CSIC, 46980 Paterna, Spain
Correspondence: Alfonso Jaramillo (Alfonso.Jaramillo@synth-bio.org)
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Adrian Racovita, Alfonso Jaramillo; Reinforcement learning in synthetic gene circuits. Biochem Soc Trans 28 August 2020; 48 (4): 1637–1643. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/BST20200008
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