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June 02, 2006

Costs in synthetic genetics and computer simulation of a ribosome

A new sequencer produced by 454 Life Sciences Corporation can sequence the genome (3.165 billion base pairs) for $2.2M. Making a hypothetical biological Intel 8088 (3500 transistor. A DNA transistor should take up 450 base pairs. 450 base pairs * 3500 transistors = 1.575M base pairs. 1.575M bp * $1.23 per bp = a total cost of ~$1.94M. the parts in the registry of biological parts tend to be 900 base pairs long (as of the end of 2005).

A computer simulation of the ribosome undertaken at Los Alamos National Lab involving 2.64M atoms was done in 2005. This type of simulation is a very important step towards understanding the ribosome, and then re-engineering it.

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