There is a general assent on the key role of standards in Synthetic Biology. In two consecutive letters to this journal, suggestions on the assembly methods for the Registry of standard biological parts have been described. We fully agree with those authors on the need of a more flexible building strategy and we highlight in the present work two major functional challenges standardization efforts have to deal with: the need of both universal and orthogonal behaviors. We provide experimental data that clearly indicate that such engineering requirements should not be taken for granted in Synthetic Biology.
iGEM Grand Prize: Try to grasp 'the magnitude of what they have achieved'William and Mary NewsAn interdisciplinary team of William & Mary students have brought home one of the biggest prizes in synthetic biology, an honor that has been called the...
Reverse engineering of biological pathways involves an iterative process between experiments, data processing, and theoretical analysis. Despite concurrent advances in quality and quantity of data as well as computing resources and algorithms, difficulties in deciphering direct and indirect network connections are prevalent. Here, we adopt the notions of abstraction, emulation, benchmarking, and validation in the context of discovering features specific to this family of connectivities. After subjecting benchmark synthetic circuits to perturbations, we inferred the network connections using a combination of nonparametric single-cell data resampling and modular response analysis. Intriguingly, we discovered that recovered weights of specific network edges undergo divergent shifts under differential perturbations, and that the particular behavior is markedly different between topologies. Our results point to a conceptual advance for reverse engineering beyond weight inference. Investigating topological changes under differential perturbations may address the longstanding problem of discriminating direct and indirect connectivities in biological networks.
As scientists make strides toward the goal of developing a form of biological engineering that?s as predictive and reliable as chemical engineering is for chemistry, one technology component has become absolutely critical: gene synthesis. Gene synthesis is the process of building stretches of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) to order?some stretches based on DNA that exists already in nature, some based on novel designs intended to accomplish new functions. This process is the foundation of synthetic biology, which is rapidly becoming the engineering counterpart to biology.
It all began in 1891, when Dr. William B. Coley, a bone sarcoma surgeon at the Memorial Hospital in New York, injected streptococcal organisms into a patient with inoperable cancer. He thought that the infection he induced would have the
The University of Manchester (press release) Spinout to pursue commercial production of bio-propane through synthetic biology The University of Manchester (press release) Spinout to pursue commercial production of bio-propane through synthetic...
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