Circuits with broken fibration symmetries perform core logic computations in biological networks

by Ian Leifer, Flaviano Morone, Saulo D. S. Reis, José S. Andrade Jr., Mariano Sigman, Hernán A. Makse

We show that logic computational circuits in gene regulatory networks arise from a fibration symmetry breaking in the network structure. From this idea we implement a constructive procedure that reveals a hierarchy of genetic circuits, ubiquitous across species, that are surprising analogues to the emblematic circuits of solid-state electronics: starting from the transistor and progressing to ring oscillators, current-mirror circuits to toggle switches and flip-flops. These canonical variants serve fundamental operations of synchronization and clocks (in their symmetric states) and memory storage (in their broken symmetry states). These conclusions introduce a theoretically principled strategy to search for computational building blocks in biological networks, and present a systematic route to design synthetic biological circuits.

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Paper source
Plos Journal

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