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Engineering for the 21st Century: Synthetic Biology

Engineering for the 21st Century: Synthetic Biology | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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Kevin Munnelly 

"For years, scientists have hoped that biology would find its engineering counterpart – a series of principles that could be used as reliably as chemical engineering is for chemistry. Thanks to major advances in synthetic biology, those hopes may soon be realized.

 As long as there have been efforts to understand biology and how organisms and particular biological mechanisms function, there have been parallel efforts to alter biology to better suit a specific need. Even before these organisms were understood on a genetic level, people were breeding animals to make stronger oxen or faster horses, mixing crop strains for higher yield or better flavor, or crossing flowers to create new colors.But the tremendous complexity of biology has, in some ways, kept these approaches more art than science. The goal of using engineering principles to allow scientists to perturb known biological systems and either alter them slightly or even design completely new biological systems still remains a fundamental need in order to cure disease, produce biofuels, and improve crop yield.Today, synthetic biology shows more promise than any previous attempt at creating a biobased engineering discipline. In the past 15 years, the nascent field of synthetic biology has made tremendous advances, beginning with the very first custom-built biological components and gradually progressing to a fully functioning synthetic genome. One of the latest achievements in this scientific field is a new approach to producing synthetic DNA at much higher capacity and far lower cost than current standards, which offers the opportunity for even more innovation.Thanks to synthetic biology initiatives such as the International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition, young researchers coming out of academic programs today are the first generation to grow up with a portfolio of biological building blocks at their disposal, making them the first to truly look at biology as a field to which standard engineering principles can be applied.Synthetic bio is more than just an academic endeavor; by expert estimates, the opportunity for biosynthesizable approaches in the chemical development industry is $50 billion, while the same category in biofuels is expected to be a $500 billion market. Considering the potential for synthetic genes to revolutionize these and many other industries, the business opportunities for synthetic biology-based solutions go well into the trillion-dollar-plus realm.In this Viewpoint, we will look at the significant accomplishments that have shaped today’s synthetic biology landscape and consider what may be possible in the coming years based on recent innovations...."


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How Synthetic Biology Will Reconsider Natural Bioluminescence and Its Applications

How Synthetic Biology Will Reconsider Natural Bioluminescence and Its Applications | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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Benjamin Reeve, Theo Sanderson, Tom Ellis, Paul Freemont

"As our understanding of natural biological systems grows, so too does our ability to alter and rebuild them. Synthetic biology is the application of engineering principles to biology in order to design and construct novel biological systems for specific applications. Bioluminescent organisms offer a treasure trove of light-emitting enzymes that may have applications in many areas of bioengineering, from biosensors to lighting. A few select bioluminescent organisms have been well researched and the molecular and genetic basis of their luminescent abilities elucidated, with work underway to understand the basis of luminescence in many others. Synthetic biology will aim to package these light-emitting systems as self-contained biological modules, characterize their properties, and then optimize them for use in other chassis organisms. As this catalog of biological parts grows, synthetic biologists will be able to engineer complex biological systems with the ability to emit light. These may use luminescence for an array of disparate functions, from providing illumination to conveying information or allowing communication between organisms."


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Certificate in Synthetic Biology | Synberc | CodonOps

Certificate in Synthetic Biology | Synberc (Certificate in Synthetic Biology | Synberc http://t.co/GkOeIVksGi #synbio)
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Certificate in Synthetic Biology | Synberc

Certificate in Synthetic Biology | Synberc | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Certificate in Synthetic Biology | Synberc http://t.co/YLGFqgEwMw, see more http://t.co/IcOOX7d7AA
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BCom Student Will Travel to Boston with iGEM uOttawa to Present Their Synthetic Biology Project - Telfer School of Management

BCom Student Will Travel to Boston with iGEM uOttawa to Present Their Synthetic Biology Project - Telfer School of Management | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
BCom student will travel to Boston with @uOttawaiGEM to present their synthetic biology project - http://t.co/G3n4TJ52Li #Telfer #uOttawa
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Microbial Factories Could Produce Locally Brewed Painkillers

Microbial Factories Could Produce Locally Brewed Painkillers | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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anonymous

"Soon to be grown for ornamental use only.Credit: Mark Nesbitt and Samuel Delwen, CC BY

By Luc Henry, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne
The past few decades have seen enormous progress being made in synthetic biology – the idea that simple biological parts can be tweaked to do our bidding. One of the main targets has been hacking the biological machinery that nature uses to produce chemicals. The hope is – once we understand enough – we might be able to design processes that convert cheap feedstock, such as sugar and amino acids, into drugs or fuels. These production lines can then be installed into microbes, effectively turning living cells into factories.
Taking a leap in that direction, researchers from Stanford University have created a version of baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) that contains genetic material of the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum), bringing the morphine microbial factory one step closer to reality. These results published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology represent a significant scientific success, but eliminating the need to grow poppies may still be years away.
More than bread and booze
If dog has been man’s best friend for thousands of years or more, the humble yeast has long been man’s second-best friend. The single-cell organism has been exploited by human societies to produce alcoholic beverages or bread for more than 4,000 years.
Like any animal or plant that mankind domesticated, there has been a particular interest in the study and optimisation of yeast. When breeding turned into a scientific discipline, it quickly became a model organism for biological experiments. And in 1996, its complete genome was the first sequenced from a eukaryotic organism – the more advanced tree of life. This extensive knowledge of yeast biology makes it an attractive platform for synthetic biology.
In the new study, Christina Smolke and her team further show that yeast could be a good candidate for the production of opioids – a class of drugs that includes morphine. To achieve this transformation, Smolke would need a complete biological pathway required to produce complex opioids.
In 2008 she got the first hint on successfully fermenting simple sugars to make salutaridine, an opioid precursor. Then in 2010, a Canadian team identified the last two missing pieces of the morphine puzzle in the genome of opium poppy.
Using these biological parts from plants, together with some from bacteria, Smolke has now created yeast that can produce many natural and unnatural opioids. All it takes is to feed the microbes an intermediary molecule extracted from the poppy plant called thebaine.
These results bring the technology one step closer to microbial factories that can produce pharmaceutical molecules in a tank rather than in the field. What is left now is for Smolke to find a way to turn salutaridine into thebaine efficiently. Filling this gap may allow her to create a yeast strain producing opioids directly from sugars.
Teaching yeast new tricks
There have been other synthetic biology landmarks in the past. In 2006, chemical engineer Jay Keasling of the University of California at Berkeley and his team successfully introduced genetic material from the sweet wormwood plant (Artemisia annual) into yeast. Their microbial factory was able to produce artemisinic acid, which is only one chemical step away from artemisinin, the most efficient drug against Plasmodium falciparum malaria...."


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Teachers Learn and Share the Love for Synthetic Biology | ERC Association

Teachers Learn and Share the Love for Synthetic Biology | ERC Association | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Biobuilder transforms cutting-edge research projects into teachable modules. Bravo @SystemsSally! Read the @NSF piece http://t.co/jrhsMoVCCX
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Kristala L. J. Prather (MIT) Part 1: Introduction to Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering

Lecture Overview: In the first part of her lecture, Dr. Prather explains that synthetic biology involves applying engineering principles to biological system...
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An open source future for synthetic biology

An open source future for synthetic biology | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
If the controversy over genetically modified organisms (GMOs) tells us something indisputable, it is this: GMO food products from corporations like Monsanto are suspected to endanger health.
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A Rule-based Design Specification Language for Synthetic Biology

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E Oberortner, S Bhatia, E Lindgren, D Densmore


"Synthetic Biology is an engineering discipline where parts of DNA sequences are composed into novel, complex systems that execute a desired biological function. Functioning and well-behaving biological sys- tems adhere to a certain set of biological “rules”. Data exchange standards and Bio-Design Automation (BDA) tools support the organization of part libraries and the exploration of rule-compliant compositions. In this work, we formally define a design specification language, enabling the integration of biological rules into the Synthetic Biology engineering process. The supported rules are divided into five categories: Counting, Pairing, Positioning, Orientation, and Interactions. We formally define the semantics of each rule, charac- terize the language’s expressive power, and perform a case study in that we iteratively design a genetic Priority Encoder circuit following two alternative paradigms — rule-based and template-driven. Ultimately, we touch a method to approximate the complexity and time to computationally enumerate all rule-compliant designs. Our specification language may or may not be expressive enough to capture all designs that a Syn- thetic Biologist might want to describe, or the complexity one might find through experiments. However, computational support for the acquisition, specification, management, and application of biological rules is inevitable to understand the functioning of biology. "


See also:


Towards Rule-based Knowledge-Based Systems for Synthetic Biology http://bit.ly/1p00r6A

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Science Finds 'Tiny Computers' Embedded In Human Skin

Science Finds 'Tiny Computers' Embedded In Human Skin | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
We like to think that all our smarts are contained in our brain, but researchers at Umea University in Sweden have found that the neurons that extend into our fingertips perform the same sorts of calculations that take place in the cerebral cortex.
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Drew Endy Seminar Primer

Drew Endy Seminar Primer | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
On Tuesday, September 16th, Drew Endy presents “The iGEM Revolution“ as part of our monthly Seminars About Long-term Thinking. Each month, our Seminar Primer gives...
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Synthetic biology on the cusp - O'Reilly Radar

Synthetic biology on the cusp - O'Reilly Radar | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Whither thou goest, synthetic biology? First, let's put aside the dystopian scenarios of nasty modified viruses escaping from the fermentor Junior has jury-rigged in his bedroom lab. Designing virulent...
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No One Should be Afraid of Synthetic Biology-Produced Vanilla - Slate Magazine (blog)

No One Should be Afraid of Synthetic Biology-Produced Vanilla - Slate Magazine (blog) | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Slate Magazine (blog) No One Should be Afraid of Synthetic Biology-Produced Vanilla Slate Magazine (blog) Perls also writes, “Like 'traditional' GMOs, synthetic biology ingredients are entering food and consumer products in absence of adequate...
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100% Design 2014 - Talks with 100% Design

100% Design 2014 - Talks with 100% Design | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
The theme for the year’s 100% Design is serendipity.
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I need your help with this survey

Hi!

Can you do me a favor and fill out this…

I need your help with this survey<br/><br/>Hi!<br/><br/>Can you do me a favor and fill out this… | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
I need your help with this survey

Hi!

Can you do me a favor and fill out this survey.


https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YTPJW9G


It would also be great… - Cellular Computing - Google+
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*I need your help with this survey*
Hi!
Can you do me a favor and fill out this survey. 
It would also be great to send it to your friends
Thanks so much in advance.
Have a great weekend.
Best Gerd
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IChemE | Events | Biochemical Engineering Special Interest Group | Synthetic Biology 2014

This event will feature important advances in synbio from leading companies in the field, ranging from industrial to healthcare applications. (RT @AmyElizaTayler: I'm going to the @IChemE SynBio symposium on 22nd Sept.
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Synthetic Biology Market (Synthetic DNA, Synthetic Genes, Synthetic Cells, XNA, Chassis Organisms, DNA Synthesis, Oligonucleotide Synthesis) - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends ...

SYS-CON Media, NJ, The world's leading i-technology media company on breaking technology news.
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Yeast synthetic biology toolbox and applications for biofuel production - Tsai - FEMS Yeast Research - Wiley Online Library

Yeast synthetic biology toolbox and applications for biofuel production - Tsai - FEMS Yeast Research - Wiley Online Library | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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I need your support

I need your support | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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 If you like this SynBio stream, our work at Leukippos in general http://www.leukippos.org and wish that we continue to produce quality content like this synthetic biology curation work


please help me and our team with a BTC donation:



1KnikzSG7fnRfG76DxjLZyrbvw8fS9nisw



Thanks so much in advance for your awesome support.


If you wish to support us in another way, please feel free to contact me at leukipposinstitute@googlemail.com


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Instead of Poppies, Engineering Microbes to Make Morphine - Discover Magazine (blog)

Instead of Poppies, Engineering Microbes to Make Morphine - Discover Magazine (blog) | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Discover Magazine (blog) Instead of Poppies, Engineering Microbes to Make Morphine Discover Magazine (blog) The past few decades have seen enormous progress being made in synthetic biology – the idea that simple biological parts can be tweaked to...
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iEthereum - smart contracts wo a 3rd party

iEthereum - smart contracts wo a 3rd party | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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Ethereum is a generalized version of BitCoin.

I think this can be used to build the decentralized company structure for CytoComp. Moreover, this will be great for  sharing of e.g. DNA sequencing data in a secure way and to build a decentralized applications suitable for CytoComp.

Thus I am exploring this subject by doing the following project, which will give me insight how the platform works:

iEthereum - smart contracts wo a 3rd party

An easy to use Ethereum (https://www.ethereum.org/) iPhone and Apple Watch implementation for the general public.

Writing decentralized contracts (e.g. filtering, identity management, escrow, dispute resolution, coins, decentralized company, administration, name registration.....) without the need of a 3rd party. 

The #bitcoin like app for all kinds of smart contracts

You can find my project on GitHub
http://bit.ly/1pYu25t

BTC support

16jDBabyKHD1ZWFVMQaQzKeqjY1rQsCHPp

Thanks so much!

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James Collins to receive the 2015 HFSP Nakasone Award

The Human Frontier Science Program Organization has announced that the 2015 HFSP Nakasone Award has been conferred upon James Collins of Boston University and Harvard's Wyss Institute for his innovative work on synthetic gene networks and programmable cells which launched the exciting field of synthetic biology.
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SBE UISC on Twitter: "Mr. Yalun Arifin Ph.D from Surya University explaining about "Synthetic Biology & Metabolic Engineering" http://t.co/sd0bT8h88E"

SBE UISC on Twitter: "Mr. Yalun Arifin Ph.D from Surya University explaining about "Synthetic Biology & Metabolic Engineering" http://t.co/sd0bT8h88E" | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Mr. Yalun Arifin Ph.D from Surya University explaining about "Synthetic Biology & Metabolic Engineering" http://t.co/sd0bT8h88E
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Editing DNA could be genetic medicine breakthrough

Editing DNA could be genetic medicine breakthrough | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
"In principle, this is a technology that could enable correction of genetic mutations that would otherwise lead to disease," said Doudna, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry and molecular biology, in a telephone interview.
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Cambridge Synthetic Biology Meetup

Cambridge Synthetic Biology Meetup | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
This is a group for people interested in Synthetic Biology and open technologies: the DNA-based reprogramming and computational modelling of living systems and low-cost hardware for biological instrum (Thanks to a flexible Café Synthetique ...
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