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CRISPRi Sheds Evolutionary Light on Genes That Make Us Human
Humans split away from chimpanzees, our closest animal relatives, about seven million years ago, and formed our own branch on the evolutionary tree. In the relatively brief— from an evolutionary perspective—period since, our ancestors evolved the traits that make us human. For example, humans have evolved a much bigger brain than chimpanzees, and our bodies are better suited to walking on two feet. While these physical differences are underpinned by subtle changes at the level of our DNA, it can be difficult to determine which of the many small genetic differences between us and chimps have been significant to our evolution.
Synbio Offers Solutions for Scale Up
Synthetic biology is poised to help biologics manufacturers scale up their processes with custom-programmed cells. That’s according to Ron Weiss, PhD, professor of synthetic biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a pioneer in the field. According to Weiss, his research group is already working to genetically engineer cells that can manufacture useful products that are ordinarily toxic to the cells at an industrial scale. In the future, he says, synthetic biology (SynBio) will be used to create cells that can sense their own internal state during monoclonal antibody production, or can allow manufacturers to precisely control glycosylation. “Biomanufacturing is an area where synthetic biology has great potential in terms of what it [has to] offer,” says Weiss.
The Startup Bringing Home The $400B Bacon…Minus The Pig
With 30 million dollars worth of series A funding, cultivated meat startup Uncommon plans to take pork to sustainable and healthy new heights. The stakes couldn’t be higher. Our insatiable appetite for meat is putting tremendous strain on the environment. Water resources are rapidly drained. Rainforests are ravaged for grain. Rivers run thick with effluent. Antibiotics used on farm animals put our health at grave risk. That’s why Benjamina Bollag, CEO of UK startup Uncommon—formerly Higher Steaks—is determined to get a 5% slice of the global pork market by 2035.
Synthetic vs Conventional DNA: Scientists Investigate Which Has More Potential in Supporting Darwinian Evolution
As a molecule that carries the genetic information of an organism, DNA plays a crucial role in the construction of cells and proteins. Vast amounts of information in DNA in sequences of molecules called bases. The conventional model of DNA used today was proposed by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953 following the suggestion that the structure should be able to store information and undergo Darwinian evolution. Watson and Crick (WC) developed a model where the four bases are made of molecules adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), and guanine (G), which come in pair to form the double helix structure. The WC model of DNA successfully shows DNA's ability to carry the genetic information of all life on Earth. However, it fails to answer why DNA bases are limited to four and why they are made of specific molecules. In situations where active DNA is not possible or not preferred, laboratory-made or synthetic DNA is used by researchers. They are designed and controlled using computer-aided design software. The process involves advanced DNA sequencing to simulate reactions in the human body. It provides the key to advancements in various industries in medicine and biotechnology, such as vaccination and gene therapy.
GS벤처스, 美 합성생물학 스타트업 투자…로레알도 가세
GS그룹 기업주도형 벤처캐피탈(CVC) GS벤처스가 합성생물학 스타트업에 투자했다. 이번 투자에는 세계적인 뷰티기업 로레알도 가세해 눈길을 끌고 있다. 데뷔(Debut)는 1일(현지시간) 로레알의 벤처캐피탈 볼드(BOLD)가 주도한 시리즈B 투자 라운드를 통해 3400만 달러(약 450억원)를 조달했다고 밝혔다. 이번 펀딩에는 GS벤처스를 비롯해 파인 스트럭처 벤처스, 머터리얼 임팩트, 카발로 벤처스, 컬티비안 새드박스 벤처스, ACVC 파트너스 등이 참여했다. 데뷔는 볼드와의 전략적 파트너십의 일환으로 독자적인 무세포, 생명공학 모델을 활용해 다양한 신소재와 미용, 퍼스널 케어 제품을 개발한 예정이다.
This Record Breaking Dutch Startup Just Made Cultivated Meat In 8 Days
Cultivated meat is closer than ever to your dinner table, with a massive increase in efficiency that means pork meat can be grown in just one week. When I reported on Meatable earlier this year, they told me they could make pork meat in a few weeks. That was already a lot quicker than on the farm, where a pig is reared for eight months before being slaughtered. But at SynBioBeta this week, Meatable announced that they have smashed their own record. “Last year it would take us three weeks to differentiate cells, and now we’ve brought that down to only a few days,” said Daan Luining, co-founder and CTO of Meatable. “We expect to continue to reduce this time period further.
Quantum Biology: Unlocking the Mysteries of How Life Works
Quantum biology explores how quantum effects influence biological processes, potentially leading to breakthroughs in medicine and biotechnology. Despite the assumption that quantum effects rapidly disappear in biological systems, research suggests these effects play a key role in physiological processes. This opens up the possibility of manipulating these processes to create non-invasive, remote-controlled therapeutic devices. However, achieving this requires a new, interdisciplinary approach to scientific research. Imagine using your cell phone to control the activity of your own cells to treat injuries and diseases. It sounds like something from the imagination of an overly optimistic science fiction writer. But this may one day be a possibility through the emerging field of quantum biology.
New cell-like transport system could pave the way for development of artificial cells
Biophysicists have designed a new cell-like transport system that represents an important milestone on the road to artificial cells. Creating artificial cells with life-like characteristics out of a minimal set of components is a major goal of synthetic biology. Autonomous motion is a key capability here, and one that is difficult to reproduce in the test tube. A team led by physicist Erwin Frey, Professor of Statistical and Biological Physics at LMU, and Petra Schwille from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, has now made an important advance in this area, as the researchers report in the journal Nature Physics.
Artificial intelligence catalyzes gene activation research and uncovers rare DNA sequences
Artificial intelligence has exploded across our news feeds, with ChatGPT and related AI technologies becoming the focus of broad public scrutiny. Beyond popular chatbots, biologists are finding ways to leverage AI to probe the core functions of our genes. Previously, University of California San Diego researchers who investigate DNA sequences that switch genes on used artificial intelligence to identify an enigmatic puzzle piece tied to gene activation, a fundamental process involved in growth, development and disease. Using machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence, School of Biological Sciences Professor James T. Kadonaga and his colleagues discovered the downstream core promoter region (DPR), a "gateway" DNA activation code that's involved in the operation of up to a third of our genes.
Synthetic Biology and the Future of CRISPR-Based Technologies
Synthetic biology has made great strides in recent years, and the introduction of CRISPR technologies has had a major impact on the research that is being conducted in this field. CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is a powerful gene-editing tool that allows scientists to make precise changes to DNA. This technology has enabled scientists to modify genes more quickly and accurately than ever before, and it has transformed the way that synthetic biology research is being conducted. CRISPR technology can be used to insert, delete, or modify specific genes in a cell. This allows scientists to create customized organisms with desired traits, such as disease resistance or improved yields. It also enables them to study the function of individual genes and their interactions with other genes in order to better understand how the cell works.