Since our ability to engineer biological systems is directly related to our ability to control gene expression, a central focus of synthetic biology has been to develop programmable genetic regulatory systems. Researchers are increasingly turning to RNA regulators for this task because of their versatility, and the emergence of new powerful RNA design principles. Here we review advances that are transforming the way we use RNAs to engineer biological systems. First, we examine new designable RNA mechanisms that are enabling large libraries of regulators with protein-like dynamic ranges. Next, we review emerging applications, from RNA genetic circuits to molecular diagnostics. Finally, we describe new experimental and computational tools that promise to accelerate our understanding of RNA folding, function and design.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry