The rapid accumulation of genetic information and advancement of experimental techniques have opened a new frontier in biomedical engineering. With the availability of well-characterized components from natural gene networks, the stage has been set for the engineering of artificial gene regulatory networks with sophisticated computational and functional capabilities. In these efforts, the ability to construct, analyze, and interpret qualitative and quantitative models is becoming increasingly important. In this review, we consider the current state of gene network engineering from a combined experimental and modeling perspective. We discuss how networks with increased complexity are being constructed from simple modular components and how quantitative deterministic and stochastic modeling of these modules may provide the foundation for accurate in silico representations of gene regulatory network function in vivo.
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