Looking at the genetics as modular parts and devices, assemble the biological parts in a
standardized technique, using engineering tools to model biological behaviours. All of these ideas are the background
of synthetic biology. This new approximation to biology works with abstraction, trying to avoid the genetic complexity.
We aim at building systems in growing complexity that have emerging properties.
In this context, our group participates in the iGEM competition hosted by MIT. Annually we make
a team composed of undergraduate students of different backgrounds (engineering, physics, chemistry, biology) that work
on summer time to build an engineered and modelled bacteria with a specific functionality. Genetic parts and devices
that mainly come from the MIT registry of parts (http://parts.mit.edu/registry/index.php/Main_Page) are used.
In synthetic biology, a critical issue is to know the behaviour of the systems and their possible response.
Describing the biochemical reactions inside the biological system is the first step to achieve a model that reflects that behaviour.
This is essential to proceed to the modularity of the different parts and devices. Modelling makes easier the analysis of how a system
responds to the clustering of a new device, it also gives information about the potential modularization of different wild parts.
The group is investing big efforts developing a model of cyanobacterial metabolism, focusing in the pathways
involved in hydrogen production. This work is part of the BioModularH2 project.