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4

DNA is not analogous to computer code which renders your search for similar constructs in it meaningless. To give a couple of simple examples why this is: Computer code has a sequential order of execution; DNA acts in parallel and out of sequence, it is not "executed". Computer code has a strict and consistent meaning so the line if x==4 : x=7 always does ...


4

This phenomenon of being insensitive to certain fluctuations is called robustness. The fluctuations can be of two kinds for an input-output device such as a gene that is activated by a signal: Fluctuations in the signal Fluctuations in the intrinsic parameters Signal fluctuations can be temporal but parameter fluctuations are not (parameters are supposed ...


6

Just to add to previous answers, but transcriptional interference (see e.g. Shearwin et al., 2005) can be seen as a form of IF-statement (or WHILE) in the sense that: if(x transcribed){not y transcribed} The interference does not have to be binary though, and more common are graded responses. Transcriptional interference can also take place at the RNA ...


3

As WYSIWYG said there is no equivalent for function calls, as there will always be some interference. However one could argue that some modular pathways (eg. apoptosis signalling) can be seen as a "code block" where a certain input will (almost) certainly lead to a certain effect. The analogy with function calls is that, in describing many different ...


46

Biological examples similar to programming statements: IF : Transcriptional activator; when present a gene will be transcribed. In general there is no termination of events unless the signal is gone; the program ends only with the death of the cell. So the IF statement is always a part of a loop. WHILE : Transcriptional repressor; gene will be transcribed ...


9

There are certainly some comparisons that could be made between the way genes are expressed from DNA and logic functions, but they aren't great. But synthetic Biology is really a blossoming new field that is attempting to integrate logic functions into biology, see e.g. Siuti et al (2013). The above paper is a brilliant example of a group using using ...



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