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Cambridge University Computing and Technology Society
event / 60
Tue 10 Mar 2015, 6:15pm  |  Bateman Auditorium, Caius College
Dr Andrew Phillips (Microsoft Research) speaks on
The ability to program biological systems as effectively as we currently program digital computers could enable fundamental breakthroughs in biotechnology. Applications include the detection and treatment of disease to a level of precision that has not been possible so far, the production of clean energy in a sustainable way, and the biofabrication of new medicines, fuels and materials. In spite of this potential there are still many challenges to overcome. First and foremost, programming biological systems is complex and error-prone, and we are at a point where powerful computer software could significantly accelerate further progress. This talk presents ongoing work to develop computer software for programming biological systems. We present software for programming molecular circuits made of DNA and for characterising genetic parts that can be combined into devices for programming cell function. Just as software for programming digital computers transformed the technology landscape, software for programming biological systems could enable entirely new industries in biotechnology.

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