The ribosome is the cellular complex of proteins and RNA molecules that synthesizes proteins. An artificial ribosome in which the two main subunits are tethered together creates opportunities for engineering this process.
UC Irvine has put out a call for artists who want to manipulate the building blocks of life as we know it to create art as we’ve never known it – works made of living organisms that owe their existence to biological engineering rather...
"We report on a novel microfluidic strategy for the continuous fabrication of monodisperse asymmetric vesicles with customized membrane composition, size, and luminal content. The microfluidic device encompasses a triangular post region and two flow-focusing regions. The major steps involved in the vesicle fabrication process include: (1) forming highly uniform water emulsions in an oil/inner-leaflet-lipid solution, (2) replacing the inner-leaflet-lipid solution with an outer-leaflet-lipid solution inside the microchannel network, (3) forming water-in-oil-in-water double emulsions, and (4) extracting excess oil/outer-leaflet-lipid solution from the double emulsions. Bilayer membrane asymmetry and unilamellarity are evaluated using a fluorescence quenching assay and a transmembrane protein insertion assay, respectively. Our approach addresses many of the deficiencies found in existing technologies for building vesicles, and yields strong membrane asymmetry. The ability to create and sustain membrane asymmetry is an important feature, as it is a characteristic of nearly all natural membranes. Over 80% of the vesicles remain stable for at least 6 weeks and the membrane asymmetry is maintained for over 30 hours. The asymmetric vesicles built using this strategy are collected off-chip and hold the potential to be used as model systems in membrane biology or as vehicles for drug delivery.'
by James Hemphill, Erin K. Borchardt, Kalyn Brown, Aravind Asokan, and Alexander Deiters
"The CRISPR/Cas9 system has emerged as an important tool in biomedical research for a wide range of applications, with significant potential for genome engineering and gene therapy. In order to achieve conditional control of the CRISPR/Cas9 system, a genetically encoded light-activated Cas9 was engineered through the site-specific installation of a caged lysine amino acid. Several potential lysine residues were identified as viable caging sites that can be modified to optically control Cas9 function, as demonstrated through optical activation and deactivation of both exogenous and endogenous gene function." http://bit.ly/1Mn2lOh
A platonic idea is an archetype, a blueprint, the essence of various phenomena of the same thing.
Systemics and systems biology are such ideas, describing data processing systems in nature in terms of mathematics and formal logic. Systemic ideas have been used as a blueprint for silicon computing. Ideas derived from the observation of nature have also inspired computer models of nature.
Engineering ideas behind silicon computer (such as standardized parts, switches, logic gates, input /output device, arithmetic logic unit, control unit, memory, and busses) have been used by synthetic biologists to build computers with biological parts, with the ultimate goal to control data processing in nature.
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Review - THE BIOLOGICAL MICROPROCESSOR, OR HOW TO BUILD A COMPUTER WITH BIOLOGICAL PARTS http://bit.ly/YI13bF
View the article's original source Author: Megan Fellman-Northwestern Scientists have engineered a tethered ribosome that works nearly as well as the real thing—an organelle that produces all the proteins and enzymes within the cell.
Nature.com Synthetic biology: Ribosomal ties that bind Nature.com Biochemists have been engineering biomolecules for decades — proteins with new folds and functions, and nucleic acids that control gene expression or form complex architectures.
"The researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have successfully programmed the friendly bacteria inside our body to detect diseases like colon cancer and immune disorder- and treat them. They have unveiled sensors, circuits, and memory switches to be encoded in bacterium Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, found in human gut system."
"The possibility to design proteins whose activities can be switched on and off by unrelated effector molecules would enable applications in various research areas, ranging from biosensing to synthetic biology. We describe here a general method to modulate the activity of a protein in response to the concentration of a specific effector. The approach is based on synthetic ligands that possess two mutually exclusive binding sites, one for the protein of interest and one for the effector. Tethering such a ligand to the protein of interest results in an intramolecular ligand–protein interaction that can be disrupted through the presence of the effector. Specifically, we introduce a luciferase controlled by another protein, a human carbonic anhydrase whose activity can be controlled by proteins or small molecules in vitro and on living cells, and novel fluorescent and bioluminescent biosensors."
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