Error Detection & Correction in Replicating Machines

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Replication with Error Working Group


Biological systems are replicating machines that make (a small number of) errors during the machine replication process. From a practical engineering standpoint, we need to understand how to design biological systems that perform as expected. We can imagine that a future biological engineer might be called upon to design an 8-bit counter that has a p(working) > 0.99 upto 256 doubling events. Or, we can imagine needing to design a metabolic pathway that has a p(failure) > 0.99 after 3000 doubling events. And so on. In other words, the evolutionary stability, or lack thereof, for our engineering biological systems should become part of the initial system specification, and our designs should be able to meet these specifications. From a scientific perspective, we suspect that learning how to solve questions of error detection and correction in replicating machines will lead to a better understanding of biological evolution.

Participating Folks

Meeting Archive

Next Meeting

  • PROPOSED 4-6p on Tuesday August 30 Room TBA
  • PM on Tuesday July 26 suggested
    • DE is OK
    • TK, GJS, JG, JK, AL, AC are pending


  1. Read/skim Hausler papers
    1. Ultraconserved Elements in the Human Genome
    2. Evolutionarily conserved elements in vertebrate, insect, worm, and yeast genomes
  1. Read/skim Kelly thesis proposal
    1. Kelly to provide PDF and point out relevant sections

Suggested Folks (not yet contacted/signed up)

  • Norm Margolus
  • Jonathan Rees

Background Reading & External Links