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310 기술 Most Complex, Well-Defined Synthetic Microbiome Could Help Scientists Study Which Molecules Are Linked to Certain Diseases

Studies on the gut microbiome showed that the collection of hundreds of bacteria inside the human digestive system could influence cancer immunotherapies, neural development, and many aspects of a person's health. Stanford University researchers created the most complex, well-defined synthetic microbiome to know the exact cells and molecules linked with certain diseases. Phys.org reported that the team's synthetic microbiome is a community of over 100 bacterial species successfully transplanted into mice. Scientists will be able to better understand the links between the microbiome and health through this and eventually create first-in-class microbiome therapies.

The team had to ensure that the final mixture was stable to maintain balance without any species overpowering other species and also ensure that it was functional in performing the actions of a natural microbiome. Also, they noted that it is challenging to select which species to include in their synthetic microbiome since each person could not have the same microbiome components.

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The Science Times
309 기술 Engineered yeast produces complex cancer drug, saving tons of flowers

A commonly used cancer drug called vinblastine is sourced from certain flowers, but unfortunately it takes literally tons of plant matter to make each gram of the drug. To find an alternative source, scientists have now engineered yeast to produce the precursors of vinblastine, which could help make this vital drug more available and affordable. Madagascar periwinkle (C. roseus) is a flowering plant that’s been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years, and as a source of chemotherapy drugs vinblastine and vincristine since the 1950s. Vinblastine interferes with cell division and is used to treat lymphoma, breast, bladder and lung cancers, among others, while vincristine can be used to treat leukemia thanks to its ability to inhibit the production of white blood cells. Both are listed on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, but frustratingly they can be subject to shortages. That’s because of the huge amounts of the plant required to produce usable quantities of the drug – it takes 500 kg (0.5 tons) of dried leaves to make one gram of vinblastine, and as much as 2,000 kg (2.2 tons) for vincristine.

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New Atlas
308 기술 Biosensor Protein Could Be Used To Detect Deadly Nerve Agent

A team that includes Rutgers scientists has designed a synthetic protein that quickly detects molecules of a deadly nerve agent that has been classified by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction and could be used in a chemical warfare attack. This development could pave the way for a new generation of tailor-made biosensors and treatments that could be deployed against the chemical warfare agent, VX, scientists said.

As described in Science Advances, the team created the protein through a special design on high-speed computers in Rutgers laboratories.

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Technology Networks
307 기술 That time astronauts on the International Space Station printed beef in space

Didier Toubia, the head of the Israeli startup Aleph Farms which provided cells for the tests, said that the technology can help make “long-term travel possible and renew space exploration,” to far-away places such as Mars. However, he added that the company’s main goal is to provide such animal-free meat to markets on Earth, and that it is just a matter of time before these products arrive in supermarkets. The idea “is not to replace traditional agriculture,” Toubia says. “It’s about being a better alternative to factory farming.” Mark Post, a Dutch scientist from Maastricht University, created and presented the first cow-stem-cell-derived burger in 2013. Since then, there has been quite a lot of interest from both industry and consumers to bring lab-grown meat to the market. However, production costs are still high, which prevented such products from hitting shelves near you. Nevertheless, as research progresses and production is scaled, the price of lab-grown meat could soon become competitive.

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ZME Science
306 기술 Synthetic biology: Potential game changer for climate change adaptation in Africa

While the rapid expansion of synthetic biology has to date mainly focused on the microbial sciences and human health, it has capacity to impact diverse sectors of science including agriculture, climate change and the environment. This article focuses on examples of ongoing synbio innovations that could potentially contribute to improving the climate change adaptive capacity of communities in Africa.The climate context

The need for novel approaches to facilitate climate change adaptation in Africa has never been more urgent. The Inter-government Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II Sixth Assessment Report puts a spotlight on countries in Africa as predicted “…to enter unprecedented high temperature climates earlier in this century than higher latitude countries…with the ability of adaptation responses to offset risk substantially reduced. Crop yield losses, even after adaptation, are projected to rise rapidly…limits to adaptation are already being reached in coral reef ecosystems… and many face more net losses than net gains in biodiversity.”

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Alliance for Science
305 기술 The rising spectre of bio-crimes

How newly emerging ‘synthetic biology’ enables wrongdoings — from illegal gene editing to home-cooked drugs and neuro-hacking You cannot make a nuclear bomb in your garage lab, but you can make other things that are equally devastating. If a scientific criminal cannot use physics for his deviousness, there is biology at hand.

Some might remember the 2001 ‘anthrax attacks’ — people received letters laced with anthrax, a killer bacterium; five died and several fell sick, and it was not until years later that the letters were traced to Dr Bruce Ivins, an American microbiologist, who took his life just before he was about to be arrested.

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The Hindu BusinessLine
304 기술 Synthetic Biologists Use Novel Tool to “See” Signal Processing in Real Time

Synthetic biologists at Rice University say they have developed the first method for observing the real-time activity of some of most common signal-processing circuits in bacteria, including deadly pathogens that use the circuits to increase their virulence as well as to develop antibiotic drug resistance.

Two-component systems are sensory circuits bacteria use to react to their surroundings and survive. Bacteria use the circuits, which are also known as signal transduction pathways, to sense an “unrivaled range of stimuli” from light and metal ions to pH and even messages from their friends and neighbors, said Rice bioengineering professor Jeffrey Tabor, PhD.

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GEN
303 기술 Would you eat meat and milk made in a lab? The Australian companies turning science-fiction into reality

Throwing a lamb chop on the barbie is about as Australian as it gets, but many are seeking out alternative sources of protein amid growing concerns over food security, animal welfare and the environment. So what if you could sink your teeth into a juicy lamb rump that had been grown in a lab? Melbourne start-up Magic Valley has managed to cultivate meat using a small sample of skin cells taken from, Lucy the Lamb, whom the company assures is still roaming happily in her paddock. Lucy's cells were placed in a mixture of water, amino acids and other nutrients and grown in a large container called a bioreactor, before being harvested and formed into meat.

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ABC News
302 기술 Anti-Cancer Drug Produced by Reprogrammed Yeast

A cross-disciplinary international team of scientists led by DTU researchers has genetically engineered yeast to produce vindoline and catharanthine. They have also managed to purify and couple the two precursors to form vinblastine. Thus, a new, synthetic approach to making these drugs has been discovered.

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Technology Networks
301 기술 Phage resistant Escherichia coli strains developed to reduce fermentation failure

A genome engineering-based systematic strategy for developing phage resistant Escherichia coli strains has been successfully developed through the collaborative efforts of a team led by Professor Sang Yup Lee, Professor Shi Chen, and Professor Lianrong Wang. This study by Xuan Zou et al. was published in Nature Communications in August 2022 and featured in Nature Communications Editors' Highlights. The collaboration by the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Wuhan University, the First Affiliated Hospital of Shenzhen University, and the KAIST Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering has made an important advance in the metabolic engineering and fermentation industry as it solves a big problem of phage infection causing fermentation failure.

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ScienceDaily