Talk:CH391L/S12/Toggle Switches, Repressilators, and Counters

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  • Adam Meyer 15:55, 2 April 2012 (EDT):the repressilator in real life. "useless" is analogous to an auto-repressor. "useless2" is analogous to a repressilator. Actually, it is not exactly analogous, as each components turns itself off and the other on (instead of each turning the other off), but the oscillatory behavior is the same.
  • Midhat Patel 12:58, 3 April 2012 (EDT): Are toggle switches used to detect pollution levels? It seems as though they can be used as detectors for the presence of specific molecules that would induce production of some indicator when a threshold level of the pollutant is surpassed.
    • Jeffrey E. Barrick 12:25, 6 April 2012 (EDT):This sounds familiar. Here's an older paper talking about that application of cells as sensors, but it doesn't mention using toggle switches [1]. Maybe a newer review would. Definitely an interesting idea for environmental modeling. It would mean that you don't just get a readout of current levels of a pollutant, but the largest fluctuations that have ever been seen in the history of the cell population.
      • Jeffrey E. Barrick 12:55, 6 April 2012 (EDT):Oh, looks like the Smolke perspective talks about this very application?
    • Razan Alnahhas 20:44, 8 April 2012 (EDT): The Smolke article talks about the possible application, so here's an article that actually applies a toggle switch to detect the presence of cadmium and another toxic metals by gfp fluorescence.[2]
  • Jeffrey E. Barrick 12:55, 6 April 2012 (EDT):I don't think you cite the Smolke review anywhere in your article. Maybe add an introduction to your article that gives background of why circuits are interesting and their uses and cite that?
    • Razan Alnahhas 20:44, 8 April 2012 (EDT): I've added an introduction with information from that and another source as well.
  • Jeffrey E. Barrick 12:55, 6 April 2012 (EDT):For some of these complex figures, I'd recommend just including the key panel, instead of the whole thing.
    • Razan Alnahhas 20:44, 8 April 2012 (EDT): I edited the counter images to only include the key point.


  1. Belkin S. Microbial whole-cell sensing systems of environmental pollutants. Curr Opin Microbiol. 2003 Jun;6(3):206-12. DOI:10.1016/s1369-5274(03)00059-6 | PubMed ID:12831895 | HubMed [Belkin2003]

    Microbial whole-cell sensing systems of environmental pollutants

  2. Wu CH, Le D, Mulchandani A, and Chen W. Optimization of a whole-cell cadmium sensor with a toggle gene circuit. Biotechnol Prog. 2009 May-Jun;25(3):898-903. DOI:10.1002/btpr.203 | PubMed ID:19507257 | HubMed [Wu2009]

    Optimization of a Whole-Cell Cadmium Sensor with a Toggle Gene Circuit

All Medline abstracts: PubMed | HubMed