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Synthetic Biology Yields Clues To Evolution And Origin Of Life

Synthetic Biology Yields Clues To Evolution And Origin Of Life | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Researchers in the field of synthetic biology are still a long way from being able to assemble living cells from scratch in the laboratory. But according tobiochemists, their efforts are yielding clues to the mystery of how life began on Earth.
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Intracellular Transport: New Tools Provide Insights into Multi-motor Transport

Intracellular Transport: New Tools Provide Insights into Multi-motor Transport | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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by
Adam G. Hendricks, Alison E. Twelvetrees, Erika L.F. Holzbaur

"Teams of kinesin and dynein motors drive bidirectional transport of intracellular cargoes along the microtubule cytoskeleton. How do opposite-polarity motors interact to achieve targeted trafficking? A new study uses tools from synthetic biology to probe collective motor function."

http://bit.ly/V0fWND

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The XNA world: progress towards replication and evolution of synthetic genetic polymers

The XNA world: progress towards replication and evolution of synthetic genetic polymers | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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by
Pinheiro VB, Holliger P.

"Life's diversity is built on the wide range of properties and functions that can be encoded in natural biopolymers such as polypeptides and nucleic acids. However, despite their versatility, the range of chemical functionalities is limited, particularly in the case of nucleic acids. Chemical modification of nucleic acids can greatly increase their functional diversity but access to the full phenotypic potential of such polymers requires a system of replication. Here we review progress in the chemical and enzymatic synthesis, replication and evolution of unnatural nucleic acid polymers, which promises to enable the exploration of a vast sequence space not accessible to nature and deliver ligands, catalysts and materials based on this new class of biopolymers."

http://bit.ly/VbmfkM

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Hot-wiring cells

Hot-wiring cells | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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by Nathan Blow "Synthetic biologists are designing genetic circuits of increasing complexity. But how did the field get to this point, and where is it going? Nathan Blow examines the challenges, and potential applications, of engineering gene circuits. According to Jim Collins, a synthetic biologist at Boston University who is exploring the use of transcription factors as key components in synthetic gene circuits, bioengineers come in two flavors.“In their youth, those that take things apart become systems biologists, while those that put things together and tinker go into synthetic biology.” Collins finds himself in the latter class.A physicist by training, Collins was led somewhat inadvertently into the world of synthetic biology by his BU colleagues. “It was suggested that I take my physics background and apply those skills to reverse engineer natural genetic networks,” recalls Collins. This was in 1996 and while microarray technology had been developed, there were still very few large-scale genetic datasets that could be used as a starting point in any reverse engineering effort. “In the end, we ran away from the problem.”But not entirely. While Collins did not have the tools to take apart and reverse engineer naturally occurring networks, he and his graduate student at the time Tim Gardner came to realize that they did have the capabilities to assemble some basic molecular components, proteins, into genetic circuits that could then function in cells ...." http://bit.ly/TcRc7u
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Stephen Wolfram's New Science - Bio-IT World

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*Complex biology can be reduced to a computer program with simple rules* CONVERSATION · Stephen Wolfram  A New Kind of Something  Q: How will NKS be applied to solving biological problems? A: The basic thing is, we know what the genome looks like. Now the question is, 'How do we go from that to what cells and organisms actually do?' And that question is really, 'What methodology might we imagine [for doing] that?' Many theories in science [have] been based on the idea 'let's make a mathematical equation that describes the question.' But there hasn't really been a framework for making theories about how an organism should look. The main thing is finding primitives to use to describe biological systems. That is, you string together a few of these primitives and find out what will happen ... you go out in the computational world to see what's there. It's analogous to what naturalists did 150 years ago, going out in the biological world and going around darkest Africa or whatever, trying to find all these funny species.  Q: Who is looking for these primitives, and how long will it take before we see tools that are based on them?A: Not long at all. There are people working on it right now. You can just search in the space of all possible simple programs because there just aren't that many of them. There might be a trillion of them. It's not hard to search a space of a trillion simple programs. Whereas with a traditional mathematic model there are an infinite number, and that's much harder to search. There are going to be quite a lot of cases in biology where there's a bunch of data that are known and they look very complicated, but by doing the appropriate kinds of searches or whatever, one will find that there's an extremely simple program that describes what's going on. http://bit.ly/URYYB2 the picture below is from cellular automata on wikipedia http://bit.ly/TaMYMt ;
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Technology and Human Nature

Technology and Human Nature | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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*I Like to Build Alien Artifacts*

by Stephen Wolfram

 

I want to go back to the idea of the Turing machine. One of your arguments is that very simple programs can produce very complicated results – programs so simple that they could be encoded in a cell’s genome, for example. 

Wolfram: Our intuition tends to be that we have to go through a lot of effort to build something that is complicated. But nature is very complex without going through a lot of effort: Evolution seems very complicated on a large time-scale, but the actual processes are not. They simply work and unfold and lead to new species. That was always a mystery to me, so a few years ago I began to experiment to see whether simple programs could produce very complex patterns of behavior. The question is: Is that how nature does it? I got a lot of evidence that in many cases, that is how nature works.....

 This seems to contradict the general trend to drive technological innovation by packing more computational power into a single computer chip. 

Wolfram: A couple of points. There is a phenomenon which I call computational irreducibility. When you have a process where the behavior is quite simple – like a planet orbiting around a star – we are smart enough to use math to figure out what will happen in the future without having to wait for the planet to move around. We can compute the outcome by plugging the right numbers into a formula. But many systems are irreducible after a number of steps – you really have to simulate each step to see what will happen. We need a lot of computational effort for that. But it’s a fallacy to believe that our current technology is the only possible computational technology. The fact is, we can make computers from a lot of materials, not just transistors. The reason that’s exciting is because it opens up the possibility of making a computer out of molecules. It hasn’t been done yet, and there’s a lot of ambient technology that is required to make a molecular computer possible. But it reminds us that we must not shrink transistors – we can use much simpler components........

Maybe it is helpful to talk a little bit more about what you call “computation in nature.” Our common sense tells us that there’s a big difference between animate and inanimate life, or between human technology and natural organisms. 

Wolfram: Computation describes a system that starts somewhere, goes crunch-crunch-crunch, and produces a result. The question is whether all computations are like those that we program into computers with our current software engineering. The answer is no. But when you start enumerating programs at random, a lot of them look remarkably like the kinds of processes we see in nature. Today, we are using active algorithm discovery in our research, where we mine the computational universe for programs that might be useful for doing computer processing; and it’s becoming much more obvious that naturally occurring computations are not unlike the processes inside a computer: We start at one state, and end at another state......

Stephen Wolfram is the brain behind the “Mathematica” software and the semantic knowledge engine “WolframAlpha”. He studied at Oxford and at the California Institute of Technology, where he received a Ph.D. in particle physics at age 20. Wolfram is the recipient of a MacArthur “genius grant”, a regular TED speaker, and the author of “A New Kind of Science”, which examines the linkages between artificial and natural computation."

"
http://bit.ly/N69FeC

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Bioprinting has the potential to change the world

Bioprinting has the potential to change the world | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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BY JOSEPH FLAHERTY "....Organovo’s bioplotter, one of the only machines that can shape living tissue, works like a standard desktop 3-D printers but uses living cells instead of ABS plastic. It creates tissue by printing a gel base material as a scaffold and then deposits cells which mature into living material that can be used in the process of developing new pharmaceuticals......Jeff Kowalski, senior VP/CTO at Autodesk, echoes Murphy’s sentiment. “Bioprinting has the potential to change the world,” he says. “It’s a blend of engineering, biology and 3D printing, which makes it a natural for Autodesk. I think working with Organovo to explore and evolve this emerging field will yield some fascinating and radical advances in medical research.” While this announcement is certainly big news, we’re multiple revisions away from 3-D printing replacement body parts. Even after the technical difficulties of printing organs or even tissue for live human use are worked through, any resulting process will need to be validated through complex clinical trials and a long review by the FDA and international authorities. Still, it will be exciting to see what medical researchers and DIY biohackers will do with these tools...." http://bit.ly/R6YXMm see also Organovo http://bit.ly/UfnBLq ;
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Trends in Biotechnology - From gene switches to mammalian designer cells: present and future prospects

Trends in Biotechnology - From gene switches to mammalian designer cells: present and future prospects | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it

by
Simon Ausländer, Martin Fussenegger

"Highlights
Comprehensive overview of trigger-inducible transgene control switches.
Construction of synthetic biology-inspired, multicomponent designer circuits.
Future cell-based treatment strategies using prosthetic designer networks.

Summary
Nature has evolved a treasury of biological molecules that are logically connected to networks, enabling cells to maintain their functional integrity. Similar to electronic circuits, cells operate as information-processing systems that dynamically integrate and respond to distinct input signals. Synthetic biology aims to standardize and expand the natural toolbox of biological building blocks to engineer novel synthetic networks in living systems. Mammalian cells harboring integrated designer circuits could work as living biocomputers that execute predictable metabolic and therapeutic functions. This review presents design principles of mammalian gene circuits, highlights recent developments, and discusses future challenges and prospects."

http://bit.ly/TZigEA

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Ronan Delisle's curator insight, October 21, 2014 5:03 AM

ajouter votre point de vue ...

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Pharmaceutically controlled designer circuit for the treatment of the metabolic syndrome

Pharmaceutically controlled designer circuit for the treatment of the metabolic syndrome | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Gerd Moe-Behrens's insight:

by
Haifeng Yea, Ghislaine Charpin-El Hamrib, Katharina Zwickya, Matthias Christena, Marc Folchera, and Martin Fussenegger

"Synthetic biology has significantly advanced the design of genetic devices that can reprogram cellular activities and provide novel treatment strategies for future gene- and cell-based therapies. However, many metabolic disorders are functionally linked while developing distinct diseases that are difficult to treat using a classic one-drug-one-disease intervention scheme. For example, hyperten- sion, hyperglycemia, obesity, and dyslipidemia are interdependent pathologies that are collectively known as the metabolic syndrome, the prime epidemic of the 21st century. We have designed a unique therapeutic strategy in which the clinically licensed antihyperten- sive drug guanabenz (Wytensin) activates a synthetic signal cascade that stimulates the secretion of metabolically active peptides GLP-1 and leptin. Therefore, the signal transduction of a chimeric trace- amine–associated receptor 1 (cTAAR1) was functionally rewired via cAMP and cAMP-dependent phosphokinase A (PKA)-mediated acti- vation of the cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB1) to transcription of synthetic promoters containing CREB1-specific cAMP response elements. Based on this designer signaling cascade, it was possible to use guanabenz to dose-dependently control expression of GLP-1-FcmIgG-Leptin, a bifunctional therapeutic peptide hormone that combines the glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and leptin via an IgG-Fc linker. In mice developing symptoms of the metabolic syn- drome, this three-in-one treatment strategy was able to simulta- neously attenuate hypertension and hyperglycemia as well as obesity and dyslipidemia. Using a clinically licensed drug to coordi- nate expression of therapeutic transgenes combines drug- and gene- based therapies for coordinated treatment of functionally related metabolic disorders."
http://bit.ly/VRcO6J

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Carboxylic acid reductase is a versatile enzyme for the conversion of fatty acids into fuels and chemical commodities

Carboxylic acid reductase is a versatile enzyme for the conversion of fatty acids into fuels and chemical commodities | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Gerd Moe-Behrens's insight:

by
M. Kalim Akhtara, Nicholas J. Turnerb, and Patrik R. Jonesa

"Aliphatic hydrocarbons such as fatty alcohols and petroleum-derived alkanes have numerous applications in the chemical industry. In recent years, the renewable synthesis of aliphatic hydrocarbons has been made possible by engineering microbes to overaccumulate fatty acids. However, to generate end products with the desired physicochemical properties (e.g., fatty aldehydes, alkanes, and alcohols), further conversion of the fatty acid is necessary. A carboxylic acid reductase (CAR) from Mycobacterium marinum was found to convert a wide range of aliphatic fatty acids (C6–C18) into corresponding aldehydes. Together with the broad-substrate specificity of an aldehyde reductase or an aldehyde decarbonylase, the catalytic conversion of fatty acids to fatty alcohols (C8–C16) or fatty alkanes (C7–C15) was reconstituted in vitro. This concept was applied in vivo, in combination with a chain-length-specific thioesterase, to engineer Escherichia coli BL21(DE3) strains that were capable of synthesizing fatty alcohols and alkanes. A fatty alcohol titer exceeding 350 mg·L−1 was obtained in minimal media supplemented with glucose. Moreover, by combining the CAR-dependent pathway with an exogenous fatty acid-generating lipase, natural oils (coconut oil, palm oil, and algal oil bodies) were enzymatically converted into fatty alcohols across a broad chain-length range (C8–C18). Together with complementing enzymes, the broad substrate specificity and kinetic characteristics of CAR opens the road for direct and tailored enzyme-catalyzed conversion of lipids into user-ready chemical commodities."

http://bit.ly/UPq9NN

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Orthogonal control of endogenous gene expression in mammalian cells using synthetic ligands - Liang - Biotechnology and Bioengineering - Wiley Online Library

Orthogonal control of endogenous gene expression in mammalian cells using synthetic ligands - Liang - Biotechnology and Bioengineering - Wiley Online Library | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Gerd Moe-Behrens's insight:

by
Liang J, McLachlan MJ, Zhao H.

"Gene switches have wide utility in synthetic biology, gene therapy, and developmental biology, and multiple orthogonal gene switches are needed to construct advanced circuitry or to control complex phenotypes. Endogenous vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A) is crucial to angiogenesis, and it has been shown that multiple alternately spliced VEGF-A isoforms are necessary for proper blood vessel formation. Such a necessity limits the utility of direct transgene delivery, which can provide only one splice variant. To overcome this limitation, we constructed a gene switch that can regulate the (VEGF-A) locus in mammalian cells by combining an engineered estrogen receptor (ER) ligand-binding domain (LBD), a p65 activation domain, and an artificial zinc-finger DNA binding domain (DBD). Our gene switch is specifically and reversibly controlled by 4,4'-dyhydroxybenzil (DHB), a small molecule, non-steroid synthetic ligand, which acts orthogonally in a mammalian system. After optimization of the gene switch architecture, an endogenous VEGF-A induction ratio of >100-fold can be achieved in HEK293 cells at 1 µM DHB, which is the highest endogenous induction reported to date. In addition, induction has been shown to be reversible, repeatable, and sustainable. Another advantage is that the ligand response is tunable by varying the clonal composition of a stably integrated cell line. The integration of our findings with the technology to change ligand specificity and DNA binding specificity will provide the framework for generating a wide array of orthogonal gene switches that can control multiple genes with multiple orthogonal ligands."

http://bit.ly/12naYRs

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Penn State Live - Penn State team questions dogma in synthetic biology events

Penn State Live - Penn State team questions dogma in synthetic biology events | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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"Six Penn State students recently participated in a competition in Boston that examined the building blocks of life. It was an experience they won't soon forget.

They qualified for the international event sponsored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- which involved 190 collegiate teams with nearly 3,000 participants from more than 30 countries -- by winning gold at a regional synthetic biology contest earlier in the fall in Pittsburgh.The International Genetically Engineered Machines competition, better known as iGEM, focuses on a fairly new area of biological research that uses different perspectives to design and construct new biological functions and systems not found in nature."Molecular biology and regular biology look at sequences that are already there, in nature," said Hannah Jepsen-Burger, of Reading, Pa., one of Penn State's iGEM team members. "Synthetic biology is based on the concept that you can manipulate to enhance the quality of life."....


http://bit.ly/ZELnDF

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33rd Square | 3D Printing Of Electronic Sensors Now Possible With Carbomorph Material

33rd Square | 3D Printing Of Electronic Sensors Now Possible With Carbomorph Material | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Scientists are developing new materials which could one day allow people to print out custom-designed personal electronics such as games controllers which perfectly fit their hand shape.
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http://www.33rdsquare.com/2012/12/3d-printing-of-electronic-sensors-now.html

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Engineered ribosomal RNA enhances the efficiency of selenocysteine incorporation during translation

Engineered ribosomal RNA enhances the efficiency of selenocysteine incorporation during translation | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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by
Thyer R, Filipovska A, Rackham O.

"We developed a new genetic selection approach to screen for mutations that can alter the efficiency of selenocysteine incorporation. We identified mutations in 16S rRNA that increase or decrease the efficiency of selenocysteine incorporation in E. coli without influencing the efficiency or fidelity of canonical translation. Engineered ribosomes with improved selenocysteine incorporation provide valuable tools for synthetic biology and biotechnology."

http://bit.ly/TcQRDX

Illustration source
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ribosomal_RNA

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Evolution: It’s all in how you splice it - MIT News Office

Evolution: It’s all in how you splice it - MIT News Office | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Gerd Moe-Behrens's insight:

by
Anne Trafton

"When genes were first discovered, the canonical view was that each gene encodes a unique protein. However, biologists later found that segments of genes can be combined in different ways, giving rise to many different proteins.

 This phenomenon, known as alternative RNA splicing, often alters the outputs of signaling networks in different tissues and may contribute disproportionately to differences between species, according to a new study from MIT biologists. After analyzing vast amounts of genetic data, the researchers found that the same genes are expressed in the same tissue types, such as liver or heart, across mammalian species. However, alternative splicing patterns — which determine the segments of those genes included or excluded — vary from species to species. "


http://bit.ly/Zrj50u

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Iterative capped assembly: rapid and scalable synthesis of repeat-module DNA such as TAL effectors from individual monomers

Iterative capped assembly: rapid and scalable synthesis of repeat-module DNA such as TAL effectors from individual monomers | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Gerd Moe-Behrens's insight:

byAdrian W. Briggs, Xavier Rios, Raj Chari, Luhan Yang, Feng Zhang, Prashant Mali and George M. Church

"DNA built from modular repeats presents a challenge for gene synthesis. We present a solid surface-based sequential ligation approach, which we refer to as it- erative capped assembly (ICA), that adds DNA repeat monomers individually to a growing chain while using hairpin ‘capping’ oligonucleotides to block incom- pletely extended chains, greatly increasing the frequency of full-length final products. Applying ICA to a model problem, construction of custom transcrip- tion activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) for genome engineering, we demonstrate efficient synthesis of TALE DNA-binding domains up to 21 monomers long and their ligation into a nuclease- carrying backbone vector all within 3 h. We used ICA to synthesize 20 TALENs of varying DNA target site length and tested their ability to stimulate gene editing by a donor oligonucleotide in human cells. All the TALENS show activity, with the ones >15 monomers long tending to work best. Since ICA builds full-length constructs from individual monomers rather than large exhaustive libraries of pre-fabricated oligomers, it will be trivial to incorpor- ate future modified TALE monomers with improved or expanded function or to synthesize other types of repeat-modular DNA where the diversity of possible monomers makes exhaustive oligomer libraries impractical."


http://bit.ly/NQKUmy

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Science publishing: Open access must enable open use : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

Science publishing: Open access must enable open use : Nature : Nature Publishing Group | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Those wishing to maximize the benefits of public research must require more than free access, says Cameron Neylon [mdash] they must facilitate reuse.
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http://bit.ly/VTdjg3

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Looking to the Future of A New Kind of Science

Looking to the Future of A New Kind of Science | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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*New Kind of Science**a whole new way of looking at the operation of our universe*...*and it`s importance for synthetic biology* New Kind of Science "will also no doubt be important in figuring out how to set up synthetic biological organisms. Many processes in existing organisms are probably best understood in terms of simple programs and NKS ideas. And when it comes to creating new biological mechanisms, NKS methods are the obvious way to take underlying molecular biology and find schemes for building sophisticated functionality on the basis of it."http://bit.ly/IZ4jBZ see also:A New Kind of Science byStephen Wolframhttp://amzn.to/RGVfe2 ;
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The start-up that translates the ABCs of DNA

The start-up that translates the ABCs of DNA | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Gerd Moe-Behrens's insight:

by
Orr Hirschauge

"Genome Compiler is not your typical Tel Aviv start-up: It aims to exploit genes to make our kids' lives greener, cleaner and better. Glowing fish instead of nightlights, anyone?

In a perfectly usual Tel Aviv apartment near ritzy Rothschild Boulevard, the Israeli team behind Genome Compiler is busy writing code. One might think it's just another Internet or phone-app start-up, like the dozens clustered in the neighborhood. But Genome Compiler is anything but just another start-up.

Founded last year by 34-year-old biochemist Omri Amirav-Drory, Genome Compiler aims to develop software for writing genetic sequences. A creepy cobwebby castle might have been a more appropriate backdrop for this company, for all its cutting-edge aspirations.

"I want to plan living beings," says Amirav-Drory. A Frankensteinian fantasy? Not at all.

How could it be done? By harnessing biology to wean the world of its dependence on non-renewable resources, he explains. "We are entirely dependent on coal, oil and natural gas, and the situation isn't sustainable," he says. "Living things can use renewable energy sources like sugar, sunlight and carbon dioxide, and they are also flexible enough to create almost everything that we produce using fuel. Also, living things can grow in order to meet global challenges."

http://bit.ly/TagcuW

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Workshop: Integrated DNA Technologies (Plant and Animal Genome XXI Conference)

#PAGXXI Workshop: gBlocks™ Gene Fragments - A New Tool for Synthetic Biology Researchers http://t.co/873FCmbw #SynBio
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ScienceDirect.com - Metabolic Engineering - Engineering of Synthetic Intercellular Communication Systems

ScienceDirect.com - Metabolic Engineering - Engineering of Synthetic Intercellular Communication Systems | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Gerd Moe-Behrens's insight:

by

William Bacchusa, Martin Fussenegger

"The introduction of synthetic devices that provide precise fine-tuning of transgene expression has revolutionized the field of biology. The design and construction of sophisticated and reliable genetic control circuits have increased dramatically in complexity in recent years. The norm when creating such circuits is to program the whole network in a single cell. Although this has been greatly successful, the time will soon come when the capacity of a single cell is no longer adequate. Therefore, synthetic biology-inspired research has started to shift towards a multicellular approach in which specialized cells are constructed and then interconnected, enabling the creation of higher-order networks that do not face the same limitations as single cells. This approach is conceptually appealing in many respects. The fact that overall workload can be easily divided between cells eliminates the problem of limited program capacity of a single cell. Furthermore, engineering of specialized cells will enable a plug-and-play approach in which cells are combined into multicellular consortia depending on the requested task. Recent advances in synthetic biology to implement intercellular communication and multicellular consortia have demonstrated an impressive arsenal of new devices with novel functions that are unprecedented even in engineered single cells. Engineering of such devices have been achieved in bacteria, yeast and mammalian cells, all of which is covered in this review. The introduction of synthetic intercellular communication into the cell engineering toolbox will open up new frontiers and will greatly contribute to the future success of synthetic biology and its clinical applications.

Highlights► Engineered ligand-responsive gene circuits sets the basis for synthetic biology. ► Such circuits are used to build complex synthetic regulatory networks. ► A single cell will no longer be adequate to perform complex regulatory tasks. ► Intercellular communication (IC) allows division of the metabolic workload. ► Multicellular systems implementing IC opens new frontiers forsynthetic biology."  http://bit.ly/Zjg0j4

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Autodesk Developing CAD Software to Design, 3-D Print Living Tissue Design

Autodesk Developing CAD Software to Design, 3-D Print Living Tissue Design | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Gerd Moe-Behrens's insight:
BY JOSEPH FLAHERTY

"Autodesk, the industry leader in CAD software, has announced it is partnering with biological printer manufacturer Organovo to create 3-D design software for designing and printing living tissue.

It’s an area of interest to Autodesk, whose software runs the industrial design and architecture worlds, allowing them to expand further into new fields by helping researchers interface with new tools.

Organovo’s bioplotter, one of the only machines that can shape living tissue, works like a standard desktop 3-D printers but uses living cells instead of ABS plastic. It creates tissue by printing a gel base material as a scaffold and then deposits cells which mature into living material that can be used in the process of developing new pharmaceuticals."

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Nobody’s perfect: 400 DNA variants listed

Nobody’s perfect: 400 DNA variants listed | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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by Tomas Barrett-Cardiff 

" A healthy person carries, on average, approximately 400 potentially damaging DNA variants and two variants known to be associated directly with disease.

The study, published in the American Journal of Human Genetics, shows that as many as one in ten people is likely to develop a genetic condition as a consequence of carrying these variants.It has been known for decades that everyone carries some damaging genetic variants that appear to cause little or no ill effect. However, this is the first time that researchers have been able to quantify how many such variants each of us has, and to list them.This was made possible by using the Human Gene Mutation Database (HGMD), developed over the last 15 years by Professor David Cooper and his team of researchers at Cardiff University’s Institute of Medical Genetics. HGMD constitutes a comprehensive collection of published data on gene mutations underlying or associated with human inherited disease...."


http://bit.ly/T62DOm

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Carbon Nanotubes Show Promise in Neural Engineering - IEEE Spectrum

Carbon Nanotubes Show Promise in Neural Engineering - IEEE Spectrum | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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Research this summer out of Rice University showed that newly developednanoparticles could be an effective emergency treatment for traumatic brain injuries.

Now researchers at Duke University have come up with an ultra-pure carbon nanotube—dubbed “few-walled carbon nanotubes” (a reference to the single-walled and multi-walled varieties)—that canregulate excessive levels of chloride in nerve cells.

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Luís Bastos's curator insight, December 18, 2012 7:13 AM

The hope has been that those properties could be exploited in creating devices that could interface with nervous tissue.

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PLOS ONE: A Simple, Low-Cost Conductive Composite Material for 3D Printing of Electronic Sensors

PLOS ONE: A Simple, Low-Cost Conductive Composite Material for 3D Printing of Electronic Sensors | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.
Gerd Moe-Behrens's insight:

http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0049365?imageURI=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0049365.g001

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