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Figure: Children making DNA ladders out of plasticine as part of a Science, Art and Writing (SAW) project on the theme of synthetic biology.*Building foundations for an open perspective on synthetic biology research and innovation* byJenni Rant, Joyce Tait"Most present day scientists are extremely specialized in their respective fields and hard-wired into a peer review system that forms an integral part of research. Regulations to limit negative impacts of their research together with guidelines to ensure that research is carried out ethically are pervasive. Scientists collaborate on projects that bring complementary expertise together and are well equipped to share factual, accurate and relevant accounts of their research within the scientific community. The global communication network, increasingly driven by social media, enables the latest findings in research to be shared at an almost synaptic speed with recipients who perceive this knowledge in diverse ways. One could assume that the translation of research into a language accessible to a broad audience would be easy, contributing to maintaining informed public assessment of research and innovation, and also encouraging a more general interest in science as part of society. However, the reality has been patchy communication that is often reactive, triggered by recent developments and potential negative publicity rather than carefully considered proactive engagement. The recent measles outbreak serves as a powerful example of how messages from a single scientific paper published in 1998 caused a ripple effect leading to public concern, reduced uptake of vaccination and a general mistrust of scientists and government organizations. The paper has since been retracted (Wakefield et al., 1998; The Editors of The Lancet, 2010) but the implications demonstrate how society processes, disseminates and reacts to information. When a new area of scientific advancement emerges from basic research, communication in a wide variety of forms will be key to framing that technology in the minds of members of the public, affecting market potential and the regulatory systems derived through the political process. Restrictions imposed by the UK government in 2004 for the cultivation of a herbicide-resistant maize variety were deemed too unfavourable for economic viability even after Farm Scale Evaluation trials showed that it caused less damage to wildlife than conventional varieties (Mason, 2004). In Europe discussions on the future governance of new technologies such as synthetic biology frequently refer to the genetic modification (GM) crop experience, where negative public framing of GM technology, driven by a pressure group campaign with uncritical media support, has proven very resistant to change, despite strong and consistent evidence of the benefits of GM crops and their relative safety compared to the pesticides they replace. The prospect of another polarized public debate of the type that has surrounded GM crops had already convinced policy-makers and scientists to pay early attention to public dialogue on synthetic biology (Bhattachary et al., 2010). Communication processes that are balanced and evidence-based will be increasingly important in the framing of new technologies or the re-framing of existing ones...."http://bit.ly/12uYyKI
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RT @SynBioBeta: SynBioBeta SF 2014:Where Synthetic Biology Meets Innovation.#SBBSF14http://t.co/jRWLVCqrkC http://t.co/lYyuE4sniv
byJohn C. Chaput"Recent advances in synthetic biology have made it possible to replicate an unnatural base pair in living cells. This study highlights the technologies developed to create a semisynthetic organism with an expanded genetic alphabet and the potential challenges of moving forward..."
byMaria-Eugenia Guazzaroni and Rafael Silva-Rocha"The understanding of how the architecture of cis-regulatory elements at bacterial promoters determines their final output is of central interest in modern biology. In this work, we attempt to gain insight into this process by analysing complex promoter architectures in the model organism Escherichia coli. By focusing on the relationship between different TFs at the genomic scale in terms of their binding site arrangement and their effect on the target promoters, we found no strong constrain limiting the combinatorial assemble of TF pairs in E. coli. More strikingly, overlapping binding sites were found equally associated with both equivalent (both TFs have the same effect on the promoter) and opposite (one TF activates while the other repress the promoter) effects on gene expression. With this information on hand, we set an in silico approach to design overlapping sites for three global regulators (GRs) of E. coli, specifically CRP, Fis and IHF. Using random sequence assembly and an evolutionary algorithm, we were able to identify potential overlapping operators for all TF pairs. In order to validate our prediction, we constructed two lac promoter variants containing overlapping sites for CRP and IHF designed in silico. By assaying the synthetic promoters using a GFP reporter system, we demonstrated that these variants were functional and activated by CRP and IHF in vivo. Taken together, presented results add new information on the mechanisms of signal integration in bacterial promoters and provide new strategies for the engineering of synthetic regulatory circuits in bacteria." http://bit.ly/1p3nIVw
byJoe Kullman"Karmella Haynes was among scientists and engineers to address national leaders at a recent U.S. Congressional briefing on issues raised by the emerging field of synthetic biology.
Real vegan cheese. It's not an oxymoron, it's a miracle of synthetic biology.
Keystone Symposia: Precision Genome Engineering and Synthetic Biology 2015 will be held in Big sky, MT, United States on January 11th.
byDarren J. Burgess"A cornerstone of synthetic biology and biological engineering is achieving regulatory control of genes of interest. Typically, this is attempted by placing binding sites for classic transcription factors upstream of genes. However, gene regulation is multilayered beyond transcription factor recruitment; thus, a new study has characterized how diverse chromatin regulators might provide a flexible…" http://bit.ly/WhRoHO
Our work in the latest issue of BioCoder:*Leukippos: A Synthetic Biology Lab in the Cloud*byPablo Cárdenas, Maaruthy Yelleswarapu, Sayane Shome, Jitendra Kumar Gupta, Eugenio Maria Battaglia, Pedro Fernandes, Alioune Ngom, and Gerd Moe-Behrens"As we move deeper into the digital age, the social praxis of science undergoes fundamental changes, driven by new tools provided by information and communication technologies. Specifically, social networks and computing resources such as online cloud-based infrastructures and applications provide the necessary context for unprecedented innovations in modern science. These tools are leading to a planetary-scale connectivity among researchers and enable the organization of in silico research activities entirely through the cloud.
Researchers detail the binding domain of BurrH, a DNA-binding protein. They also reprogrammed the domain, called BuD, showing its potential as a gene-editing tool.
Advances in synthetic biology have made it possible to convert biomass to chemicals, fuels and materials, and produce new therapeutic drugs
Synthetic biology is attracting attention from both scientists and regulators. But there is little agreement on what it is. Can we find a road out of synthetic biology’s definitional quagmire?
Life is a programming language, and molecular biologist Andrew Hessel thinks that it will be increasingly available to anyone interested in designing with the building blocks of life.
Research at Victoria University of Wellington could lead to a new generation of antibiotics, helping tackle the global issue of ‘superbugs’ that are resistant to modern medicine.
byMichael K.Jensen andJay D. Keasling"The last 20 years of metabolic engineering has enabled bio-based production of fuels and chemicals from renewable carbon sources using cost-effective bioprocesses. Much of this work has been accomplished using engineered microorganisms that act as chemical factories. Although the time required to engineer microbial chemical factories has steadily decreased, improvement is still needed. Through the development of synthetic biology tools for key microbial hosts, it should be possible to further decrease the development times and improve the reliability of the resulting microorganism. Together with continuous decreases in price and improvements in DNA synthesis, assembly and sequencing, synthetic biology tools will rationalize time-consuming strain engineering, improve control of metabolic fluxes, and diversify screening assays for cellular metabolism. This review outlines some recently developed synthetic biology tools and their application to improve production of chemicals and fuels in yeast. Finally, we provide a perspective for the challenges that lie ahead."http://bit.ly/1ucygda
Hamilton Smith is scientific director of synthetic biology and bioenergy at the J. Craig Venter Institute in La Jolla, California. He shared the 1978 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his discovery of an enzyme that cuts DNA, an advance vital to genetic engineering. He told Kat Austen he...
SSBSS 2015 : International Synthetic & Systems Biology Summer School - Biology meets Engineering & Computer Science (SSBSS 2015 : International Synthetic & Systems Biology Summer ...
BioCoder is a quarterly newsletter for DIYbio, synthetic bio, and anything related.
*A great new edition of BioCoder*free PDF, epub, mobihttp://oreil.ly/WfVCzh
byJason G. Lomnitz and Michael A. Savageau"Considerable progress has been made in identifying and characterizing the component parts of genetic oscillators, which play central roles in all organisms. Nonlinear interaction among components is sufficiently complex that mathematical models are required to elucidate their elusive integrated behavior. Although natural and synthetic oscillators exhibit common architectures, there are numerous differences that are poorly understood. Utilizing synthetic biology to uncover basic principles of simpler circuits is a way to advance understanding of natural circadian clocks and rhythms. Following this strategy we address the following questions: What are the implications of different architectures and molecular modes of transcriptional control for the phenotypic repertoire of genetic oscillators? Are there designs that are more realizable or robust? We compare synthetic oscillators involving one of three architectures and various combinations of the two modes of transcriptional control using a methodology that provides three innovations: a rigorous definition of phenotype, a procedure for deconstructing complex systems into qualitatively distinct phenotypes, and a graphical representation for illuminating the relationship between genotype, environment, and the qualitatively distinct phenotypes of a system. These methods provide a global perspective on the behavioral repertoire, facilitate comparisons of alternatives, and assist the rational design of synthetic gene circuitry. In particular, the results of their application here reveal distinctive phenotypes for several designs that have been studied experimentally as well as a best design among the alternatives that has yet to be constructed and tested." http://bit.ly/1zJp9AR
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 10, 2014--(PR Newswire)--
To Get More Information: http://www.bigmarketresearch.com/synthetic-biology-market Synthetic biology is a novel field that finds its origin at the intersection of biology and engineering. It involves designing and construction of biological systems or devices that can be applied in varied domains to get specified results.