Genetic Regulatory Networks
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With the discovery of DNA a full understanding of the program controlling all cells1 seemed in reach, as most researchers assumed that an organism is a direct reflection of its constituent genes2.
A gene is the basic functional unit of heredity, however often does not encode information in a direct way: Gene activation at one point can regulate expression levels of genes at other locations or even feed back to itself, and in multicellular organisms cell interactions add another level. So the genome holds compact generative information. Accordingly, knowing the sequence of the bases in an organism’s DNA is not enough - in order to understand how organisms are built and sustained we have to understand the dynamics of gene expression and regulation. However, in vivo analysis of these complex systems still poses many problems. Modelling and simulations can help understand as well as discover regulatory principles. Evolving artificial gene networks de novo can give new insights into their computational potential and the constraints that their real counterparts are subject to.
KeywordsGene Product Boolean Function Protein Type Boolean Network Protein Binding Site
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