Seeing that there are 10 times as many foreign cells for each human cell, this might open a pathway for custom engineering of metabolism among other things. How many gates can one fit in a bacterium?
To date, a number of synthetic gene circuits11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 have been constructed to perform various digital logic functions and have demonstrated the great potential of using biological computational circuits10, 22, 23, 24 to customize cell signalling. However, most of these gene circuits are not modular (that is, they are limited by having to use specific inputs and outputs) or are not insulated from their host chassis (that is, they are limited by having to operate in a specific genetic background to avoid potential cross-talk or at the cost of affecting the host genetic machinery). These limitations prevent their reuse and rapid incorporation into larger biological systems to achieve more complex logic functions. Ideally, a genetic logic device should be modular and orthogonal to their host chassis to facilitate its reuse and reliability in different contexts.