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Bacterial Cells as Model Factories

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Journal: American Journal of Operations Research
ISSN 2160-8830

Volume: 03;
Issue: 01;
Start page: 81;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Complex Systems | Control Theory | Synthetic Biology | Metabolic Engineering

ABSTRACT
Bacteria, like industrial engineers, must manage processes that convert low value inputs into high value outputs. Bacteria are not intelligent, so they utilize self-organizing production systems to accelerate life-sustaining chemical processes. Here I explore two questions. First, can businesses apply the principles of self-organization? Second, can operations researchers contribute to our understanding of biological systems? I explain biochemical concepts in plain terms, illustrated with a few informative laboratory evolution experiments, and describe the organizing principles that underlie complex biological systems. I describe the new disciplines of synthetic biology and metabolic engineering, which offer opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration between life scientists and operations researchers.
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Tango Rapperswil
Tango Rapperswil