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340 기술 ‘Mirror-image’ protein factories could one day make durable drugs the body can’t break down

All of life exists on just one side of a mirror. To put it more technically, the biomolecules that comprise living things—DNA, RNA, and proteins—are all “chiral.” Their building blocks have two possible mirror-image shapes, but in every case, life chooses just one. At least so far. Today in Science, researchers report they’ve made strides toward exploring the other side of the mirror. They re-engineered a workhorse enzyme that synthesizes RNA so it makes the mirror-image form. They then used that enzyme to construct all the RNAs needed to make a ribosome, the cellular machine responsible for constructing proteins. Other components still need to be added, but once completed, a mirror-image ribosome might be able to churn out proteins that could serve as novel drugs and diagnostics and cant readily be broken down in the body. It also sets the stage for a grander goal: making mirror-image life, a prospect that has fired the imagination of scientists ever since Louis Pasteur discovered mirror-image compounds in 1848.

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science
339 기술 Hair-loss from chemotherapy? The Technion has a new way to stop it

A team of synthetic biology students at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa left on Tuesday for a competition in which they will present a new way to stop hair loss caused by chemotherapy. The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition will be held in Paris on Wednesday and Thursday. The Technion team members are working on proving the feasibility of lab production of Decursin, a hair-loss deterrent, and its possible incorporation into preparations including shampoo, cream and more. Decursin is a major component of Angelica gigas nakai (AGN) root extract. Today, the molecule is produced from this rare seasonal flower grown in Korea in an expensive and inefficient process; the students are engineering special bacteria to produce Decursin industrially.The natural substance has many beneficial properties including the ability to suppress inflammation, repress cancer, and prevent apoptosis – or programmed cell death, which includes hair cells.

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The Jerusalem Post
338 정책 Is the stigma of ‘frankenfood’ lifting? Investigating attitudes to GMOs, genetic engineering and synbio in food

perceptions of genetically modified and genetically engineered foods could be easing, promoting some to suggest that consumers in Europe are ready to move on from debates about so-called ‘Frankenfood’ and embrace the sustainability benefits that synthetic biology can deliver to the food system. When the possibility of genetically modified food was first mooted in the 1990s, European public opinion was firmly opposed. Tabloid splashed linked gMOs to everything from meningits to a corporate plot to seize control of food supply.

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Food Navigator
337 기술 Brain Cells Cultured in a Lab Learn to Play a "Pong" Game

A new neuroscience study published this week in Neuron shows how a brain cell system grown in a laboratory dish called “DishBrain” learns to play in a computer game-world inspired by the classic arcade game of “Pong.” “Harnessing the computational power of living neurons to create synthetic biological intelligence (SBI), previously confined to the realm of science fiction, may now be within reach of human innovation,” wrote researchers affiliated with Cortical Labs, Monash University, The University of Melbourne, RMIT University, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and University College London who conducted the study.

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Psychology Today
336 기술 Advanced genomic approaches hold promise for marine conservation

enetic and genomic technologies have tremendous potential for protecting marine life, but are currently being underutilized, argue Madeleine van Oppen of the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the University of Melbourne and Melinda Coleman with the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Australia in an essay publishing on October 17 in the open access journal PLOS Biology. No part of our oceans is left untouched by humans, with vital ecosystems such as coral reefs, seagrass meadows and kelp forests all declining due to climate change and other human disturbances. In their essay, van Oppen and Coleman propose that the use of genetic and genomic approaches holds huge promise in advancing marine conservation and restoration, through both traditional strategies, and more recent developments, such as assisted evolution.

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Science Daily
335 기술 REBUILDING PLANTS’ DEFENSES

Researchers from the University of Delaware, Iowa State University and University of Nebraska-Lincoln are working to bioengineer a plants’ defense mechanism to protect against environmental stresses. The goal is to identify the genetic regulation of a plant cuticle and create a roadmap for breeding plants with cuticles that can respond to changing climates. The work also has potential biorenewable applications for developing value-added chemicals with industrial functions. “This discipline of research is synthetic biology — an emerging field,” said Erin Sparks, UD assistant professor of plant molecular biology and the study’s principal investigator. “The idea is to rebuild a biological process from scratch where it doesn’t exist. If you really want to understand something, you must be able to successfully build it from the ground up.”

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UDaily
334 기술 Harnessing bioengineered microbes as a versatile platform for space nutrition

Human enterprises through the solar system will entail long-duration voyages and habitation creating challenges in maintaining healthy diets. We discuss consolidating multiple sensory and nutritional attributes into microorganisms to develop customizable food production systems with minimal inputs, physical footprint, and waste. We envisage that a yeast collection bioengineered for one-carbon metabolism, optimal nutrition, and diverse textures, tastes, aromas, and colors could serve as a flexible food-production platform. Beyond its potential for supporting humans in space, bioengineered microbial-based food could lead to a new paradigm for Earth’s food manufacturing that provides greater self-sufficiency and removes pressure from natural ecosystems.

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Nature Communications
333 산업 Consumers ‘cautiously open’ to lab-grown dairy, suggests research: ‘It’s far from a done deal in terms of consumer perceptions’

What do potential early adopters think about animal-free dairy? Researchers – including one from precision fermentation start-up Formo – have sought to find out. As the next-gen dairy sector - whether that be cell-based or precision fermetation-derived dairy - nears maturity, significant questions remain around consumer understanding and interest.

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Food Navigator
332 기술 Bacteria and catalysts recycle waste plastic into useful chemicals

A combination of chemical catalysts and engineered bacteria has been used to convert a mix of common plastic rubbish into a useful product. The technique could be adapted for other plastics or to make different materials. Processes that convert plastic waste into useful chemicals tend to focus only on a single plastic, so it is difficult to design facilities that can cope with a mixture of plastic waste – which would be needed for a truly circular economy. Gregg Beckham at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado and his colleagues have designed a two-step process that uses readily available catalysts and a modified soil bacterium, Pseudomonas putida, to treat mixtures of some of the most common plastic waste materials.

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NewScientist
331 기술 Can cultured meat replace real meat? Yes, if governments and scientists step up

At around 7 p.m. on Dec. 19, 2020, three young adults and their teacher gathered for dinner at the restaurant of the swank 1880 club in Singapore. They ordered chicken and waffles and, on the side, chicken baos. "History Made," proclaimed the menus, because those diners had eaten the world’s first portions of chicken meat manufactured from cells, rather than slain birds. The location was unlikely, but no accident. After a California-based start-up, Eat Just, succeeded in cultivating chicken meat from cells, it chose Esco Aster, a Singapore-based synthetic biology (syn-bio) contract manufacturing company, to manufacture cultivated chicken nuggets and breasts as well as shredded chicken. Then the Singapore Food Authority (SFA) gave Eat Just permission to produce small batches of cultured cells in Esco Aster’s food-safe bioreactors, and to sell the products locally once they had met its stringent food safety criteria. Thus, the SFA became the world’s first regulatory authority to approve the sale of cultured chicken meat.

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Yahoo Finance