During the past two decades, researchers have been able to engineer simple RNA-based genetic circuits in bacteria. They still, however, have difficulty with more complex circuits. More complex circuits are necessary for the next generation of "smart" bacteria that can produce an enhanced level of chemicals on demand.
Toward this end, the National Science Foundation has awarded a $664,519 grant to Tae Seok Moon, associate professor of energy, environmental & chemical engineering at the McKelvey School of Engineering.
The multidisciplinary project will utilize biophysics, biochemistry, molecular biology and engineering to understand generalizable design principles by which simple RNA-based genetic circuits can be combined to generate complex ones.