Section: Research Program
Computer-Aided Design of CRNs for Synthetic Biology
The continuous nature of many protein interactions leads us to consider models of analog computation, and in particular, the recent results in the theory of analog computability and complexity obtained by Amaury Pouly (Amaury Pouly, “Continuous models of computation: from computability to complexity”, PhD Thesis, Ecole Polytechnique, Nov. 2015.) and Olivier Bournez, establish fundamental links with digital computation. In a paper published last year (Fages, François, Le Guludec, Guillaume and Bournez, Olivier, Pouly, Amaury. Strong Turing Completeness of Continuous Chemical Reaction Networks and Compilation of Mixed Analog-Digital Programs. In CMSB'17: Proceedings of the fiveteen international conference on Computational Methods in Systems Biology, pages 108–127, volume 10545 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer-Verlag, 2017.) we have derived from these results the Turing completeness result of elementary CRNs (without polymerization) under the differential semantics, closing a long-standing open problem in CRN theory. The proof of this result shows how computable function over the reals, described by Ordinary Differential Equations, namely by Polynomial Initial Value Problems (PIVP), can be compiled into elementary biochemical reactions, furthermore with a notion of analog computation complexity defined as the length of the trajectory to reach a given precision on the result. This opens a whole research avenue to analyze biochemical circuits in Systems Biology, transform behavioural specifications into biochemical reactions for Synthetic Biology, and compare artificial circuits with natural circuits acquired through evolution, from the novel point of view of analog computation and complexity.