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Synthetic biology and microbial electrosynthesis
Microbial electrosynthesis (MES) describes the synthetic biology approach to the conversion of CO2 to various carbon compounds via the electrochemical interactions of electrographic biocatalysts and an electrode Through extracellular electron uptake (EEU) from electrodes, these biocatalysts convert CO2 to products such as renewable biofuels and bioplastics in a carbon-negative process. Biofuel and bioplastic synthesis via MES requires minimal inputs, anchoring its standing as a highly sustainable potential mode of production. The identification of biocatalyst electron uptake mechanisms and the engineering of biocatalysts comprise an important part of the synthetic biology approach to MES, as well as the mechanics of scalability and increasing product formation.
Study uncovers how bacteria use ancient mechanisms to self-repair
A new study led by UNSW Sydney scientists unveils how nature's oldest wheel, found within bacteria, can fix itself when times get tough. The findings, published today in Science Advances, show how the flagellar—the ancient motor that powers the swimming ability of bacteria—can also help these tiny organisms adjust to conditions where their motility is impaired. Bacteria are one of Earths' oldest living organisms. They are tiny single-celled organisms found across every habitat, including the human body—where there are more bacterial cells than human cells.
Researchers Work to Boost Cell-Line Production with Synthetic Biology
Researchers from the U.K. are working to boost protein secretion in a common biomanufacturing cell type by changing how the proteins are regulated. Mauro Torres, PhD, a research associate from the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, is modifying regulatory transcription factors to help increase the amount of protein product produced in a bioreactor by Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells. According to Torres, “During the last twenty or thirty years, there’s been a major improvement in how you can modify the [cell] culture, such as […] the nutrients, [and increase] the gene copy number within the cells, but one thing that’s lacking is how the cellular machinery can handle these improvements.”
Programmable Biology Puts Biotech on the Geopolitical Agenda
In September, Jake Sullivan—President Biden’s national security adviser—announced that the U.S. government expects biotechnology to play an “outsized importance over the coming decade” in the context of geopolitical competition, because of the ability to “read, write, and edit genetic code, which has rendered biology programmable. Sullivan’s remarks came just days after senior security, economic, and science and technology officials gathered at the White House for a summit on biotechnology and biomanufacturing. The summit marked the release of an ambitious strategy that recognizes new abilities to “program biology” and featured commitments to grow the domestic bioeconomy and strengthen the biotech-related defense industrial base, including by using biology to manufacture products for the defense supply chain.
Synthetische Biologie anerkennen und als Schlüsseltechnologie fördern
Die EU und Deutschland müssen Synthetische Biologie endlich als Schlüsseltechnologie erkennen und für diese eine Roadmap entwerfen und umsetzen. Diese muss ganzheitlich angegangen werden, wobei Punkte wie Bildung, Forschungsförderung, Infrastruktur, Start-up und Biosicherheit aufgeführt werden sollten, um diese Zukunftstechnologie in Europa zu etablieren. Die Synthetische Biologie (SynBio) hat zum Ziel, die Biowissenschaften in eine Ingenieursdisziplin zu transformieren. Hierfür bedarf es der Integration von Digitalisierungs-, Automatisierungs- und Informationstechnologien in die Biologie. Dies gewährleistet die Charakterisierung genetischer Informationen und deren anschließenden Einsatz in biologischen Systemen.
How Synthetic Medicine Could Impact The Future Of Healthcare
Oscar Segurado, MD, Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer at ASC Therapeutics, focuses on clinical development of gene therapies for rare diseases. We are at the dawn of synthetic medicine, which will forever change how doctors and patients approach healthcare. In fact, simply understanding the basics of synthetic medicine could help many doctors and patients make informed medical decisions. With this in mind, this article will look at the ways that synthetic medicine could transform healthcare and how those in the biopharmaceutical and healthcare industries can help ensure that it reaches its potential.
Cambridge scientists use synthetic biology approach to destroy SARS-CoV-2 virus
Cambridge scientists have used synthetic biology to create artificial enzymes programmed to target the genetic code of SARS-CoV-2 and destroy the virus, an approach that could be used to develop a new generation of antiviral drugs. Enzymes are naturally occurring biological catalysts, which enable the chemical transformations required for our bodies to function - from translating the genetic code into proteins, right through to digesting food. Although most enzymes are proteins, some of these crucial reactions are catalyzed by RNA, a chemical cousin of DNA, which can fold into enzymes known as ribozymes. Some classes of ribozyme are able to target specific sequences in other RNA molecules and cut them precisely.
Bioengineered yeast: the future of space food
Take a common form of yeast, a 3D printer and some clever science, and what do you have? A versatile and nutritious food system for tomorrow’s discerning space traveller. In a new Nature Communications paper, researchers from Macquarie University and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology outlined a vision for a customisable food system that provides dishes with the taste, texture and nutrients of their Earth-bound counterparts.
Scientists Tap Into Biology’s ‘Mirror Dimension’ to Create Ultra-Strong Synthetic RNA
I get frustrated every time I grab a glove and realize it’s for the opposite hand. But to synthetic biologists, this annoyance is a biological quirk that could help transform medicine. Think long-lasting medications that can be taken once a month rather than three times a day. Or biomolecule-based diagnostic tools that linger inside the body to keep a watchful eye on emerging cancers or other chronic illnesses, without fear of being prematurely cleared out by the body’s metabolism. Even more daring, biology’s “mirror dimension” may be a springboard to engineer synthetic life forms that exist outside of nature, but are literal reflections of ourselves. To rephrase: building a mirror-image version of biology means rewriting the fundamental operating system of life.
Lab introduces groundbreaking bioelectronic devices: Bacterial sensors send a jolt of electricity when triggered
When you hit your finger with a hammer, you feel the pain immediately. And you react immediately. But what if the pain comes 20 minutes after the hit? By then, the injury might be harder to heal. Scientists and engineers at Rice University say the same is true for the environment. If a chemical spill in a river goes unnoticed for 20 minutes, it might be too late to remediate. Their living bioelectronic sensors can help. A team led by Rice synthetic biologists Caroline Ajo-Franklin and Jonathan (Joff) Silberg and lead authors Josh Atkinson and Lin Su, both Rice alumni, have engineered bacteria to quickly sense and report on the presence of a variety of contaminants.