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|Hamiltonian Path Problem
As a part of iGEM2006, a combined team from Davidson College and Missouri Western State University reconstituted a hin/hix DNA recombination mechanism which exists in nature in Salmonella as standard biobricks for use in E. coli. The purpose of the 2006 combined team was to provide a proof of concept for a bacterial computer in using this mechanism to solve a variation of The Pancake Problem from Computer Science. This task utilized both biology and mathematics students and faculty from the two institutions.
For 2007, we continue our collaboration and our efforts to manipulate E. coli into mathematics problem solvers as we refine our efforts with the hin/hix mechanism to explore another mathematics problem, the Hamiltonian Path Problem. This problem was the subject of a groundbreaking paper by Adelman in 1994 (citation below) where a unique Hamiltonian path was found in vitro for a particular directed graph on seven nodes. We propose to make progress toward solving the particular problem in vivo.