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Semantics of a DNA Strand Displacement Model

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Peter Sewell.

DNA strand displacement techniques have significant promise in the fields of medicine, bioengineering, etc. They are used to create biological circuits supporting a range of devices, including logic gates, architectures for universal computation, and chemical reaction networks. However a major challenge in the construction of these devices has been to enable sound automated analysis of high-level designs for complex devices.

The MSR Biology research group has been addressing these problems with a programming language and modeling tool to specify DNA circuits, simulate their chemical reactions, and analyze the designs. This talk presents the operational semantics for our language, which models the chemical reactions involved in DNA strand displacement circuits. We will begin with the basic reductions and structures, as well as present areas we are exploring to represent increasingly complex designs.

No knowledge of biology is expected.

This talk is part of the Semantics Lunch (Computer Laboratory) series.

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