DiSCUS: A Simulation Platform for Conjugation Computing
In bacterial populations, cells are able to cooperate in order to yield complex collective functionalities. Interest in population-level cellular behaviour is increasing, due to both our expanding knowledge of the underlying biological principles, and the growing range of possible applications for engineered microbial consortia. The ability of cells to interact through small signalling molecules (a mechanism known as quorum sensing) is the basis for the majority of existing engineered systems. However, horizontal gene transfer (or conjugation) offers the possibility of cells exchanging messages (using DNA) that are much more information-rich. The potential of engineering this conjugation mechanism to suit specific goals will guide future developments in this area. Motivated by a lack of computational models for examining the specific dynamics of conjugation, we present a simulation framework for its further study.
(This paper was first presented at the Spatial Computing Workshop of the 13th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS), Paris, France, May 5–9 2014. There were no published proceedings).
KeywordsGraphic Processing Unit Horizontal Gene Transfer Microbial Consortium Simulation Platform Modular Fashion
This work was supported by the European Commission FP7 Future and Emerging Technologies Proactive initiative: Bio-chemistry-based Information Technology (CHEM-IT, ICT-2009.8.3), project reference 248919 (BACTOCOM).
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