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Are synthetic biology, vertical farming the answer?
EVERY year, world leaders would converge at the World Economic Forum in Davos to find solutions to some of the world's most challenging problems. A few years ago, the meeting deliberated on how leaders across sectors could work together to make our global food systems more inclusive, sustainable, efficient and nutritious. It is undeniable that our food systems face many challenges. We have seen how the Russia-Ukraine conflict has disrupted the world supply of grains and cooking oil.
Tiling mechanisms of the Drosophila compound eye through geometrical tessellation
In developmental biology, synthetic biology, regenerative medicine, etc., it is important to understand the mechanisms that control the morphology of cells and tissues. The results of this study indicate that geometrical patterns based on the growth of concentric circles play an important role in pattern formation in living organisms. Since similar tiling patterns are also found in the columnar structures of the brain, the hepatic lobules of the liver and the auditory epithelium of the inner ear, similar mechanisms may play important roles in a wide variety of tissues as well. Additionally, the optical properties of the visual systems of living organisms are being utilized in new technologies such as artificial compound eyes, for example. It is expected that the results of this study will be applied to bioengineering-related research such as artificial tissues and organs in coming years.
Synthetic Biology in Our Future from a One Health Perspective
Synthetic biology is the term used to define an emerging field of science involving the redesign of organisms, including at the gene level, to solve problems in everything from medicine to manufacturing and agriculture. There are great opportunities in this new field of science but there are also serious risks that cannot be ignored and need to be addressed. Let us peak inside the synthetic biology window from a One Health perspective, and see what might be – focusing here on the positive side, looking at some of the global public health, animal, and environmental problems synthetic biology can help solve.
A new perfume revives the scents of extinct flora
The team have revived previously lost scents by extracting small amounts of DNA from floral specimens, allowing them to predict the gene sequences that encode the enzymes and create smell molecules. Specimens have been taken from the herbaria of London’s Natural History Museum and other historical collections. This innovative use of synthetic biology can not only have lasting implications for the perfume industry, but for the beauty industry as a whole. As Gregory explains, ‘engineering scents can sound unnatural and this may deter people, as synthetic is now seen as a cheap alternative with negative connotations. But this type of engineered scent is in fact produced in a natural way, with a little bit of help along the way for a more sustainable outcome. Once people learn more about this type of offering, we could see these types of innovations in all sectors.
From months to weeks: Gene delivery method improved with new 'one-step' system
Delivered using adenovirus (Ad) vectors, therapeutic genes address the cause of disease—not just the symptoms. However, while advances in the understanding of human diseases and the genome have led to an increasing number of targeted gene therapies, gene delivery remains a significant challenge. "The evolution of the adenoviral vector as a tool for transfer of genetic material has revolutionized the way physicians and scientists can approach treating even the most debilitating diseases." These vectors are the most efficient gene delivery system and compared with other options, offer significant advantages.
Evonetix Granted Patent for Binary Assembly Method for Gene Synthesis
EVONETIX LTD (‘Evonetix’), the synthetic biology company bringing semiconductor technology to DNA synthesis, today announced it has been granted a European patent covering its unique Binary Assembly method for gene synthesis. The patent (EP 3688189 B1) further strengthens Evonetix’s IP portfolio and is a key milestone in the Company’s strategy to simplify gene synthesis for users and enable a new generation of in-lab DNA synthesis platforms.
Synthetic biology and the future of food. In conversation with ‘biology by design’ co Ginkgo Bioworks
When Ginkgo Bioworks’ head of codebase Dr Patrick Boyle was working on his doctoral research between 2006-12, he was “basically ordering DNA one gene at a time,” he recalls. “I think I ordered less than six total genes for my entire PhD.” Today, the Boston-based biotech co is synthesizing tens of thousands of genes a month, and reading (sequencing) and writing (synthesizing) DNA is cheaper than ever. So what does all this mean for the food industry?
Yeast-Cyanobacterial-Created Hybrids Expected to Advance Synthetic Biology
Researchers have long theorized that the evolution of complex life forms began when one cell engulfed another and the two formed a single entity. In a new study “Engineering artificial photosynthetic life-forms through endosymbiosis” published in the journal Nature Communications, scientists reported that they have recapitulated this early event, called endosymbiosis, in yeast, and they foresee applications in synthetic biology.
Turning Carbon Dioxide Into Sustainable Fuel: United and Oxy Low Carbon Ventures Announce Collaboration With Biotech Firm to Create New Fuel Sources
Ventures (UAV) and Oxy Low Carbon Ventures (OLCV) announced a collaboration with Houston-based biotech firm Cemvita Factory to commercialize the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) intended to be developed through a revolutionary new process using carbon dioxide (CO2) and synthetic microbes. UAV also announced an equity investment in Cemvita Factory. OLCV, a subsidiary of Occidental (Oxy), is a founding investor in Cemvita Factory.
Twist Bioscience Launches High Throughput Antibody Production Platform
Twist Bioscience Corporation (NASDAQ: TWST), a company enabling customers to succeed through its offering of synthetic DNA using its silicon platform, today announced the launch of the Twist High Throughput Antibody Production, a gene-to-antibody production platform that enables customers to turn candidate DNA sequences into purified antibodies for therapeutic discovery and screening applications.