"The global market for synthetic biology is estimated to grow to $4.5 billion over the year 2015 owing to the developments in fields like biomedicine, biopharmaceutical synthesis, energy and environment, biosecurity, sustainable chemical segment, and biomaterials. Significant investments by major companies and emergence of new players in the market are also expected to boost the growth of this industry.
Synthetic biology is the fastest growing segment of the biotechnology field having number of applications. Synthetic biology provides significant number of near future commercial opportunities. Despite its emerging status, the list of applications is continuously growing. Some of these major applications include chemicals, enzymes, synthetic genes and other DNA parts, pharmaceuticals, biofuels, and chassis microorganisms among others.
Current developments in technologies like DNA synthesis and sequencing, specialty media, and bioinformatics, and the need for renewable feedstock are driving the market for synthetic biology. Rapid developments in this field are creating unique market opportunities and contributing to the growth of this field.
Synthetic biology is gaining tremendous recognition as a transformative technology as it has the ability to address food storage and security issues as well as handle other threats like climate change, energy shortage, and water deficits.
Application Segments Energy and Chemicals Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals Research and Development Market Segments Enabling Products Biologic Components Integrated Systems Enabled Products The research report on the synthetic biology market analyzes this market depending on its market segments and major geographies. The geographies analyzed under this research report are North America Europe Asia Pacific Rest of the World This research report is a comprehensive analysis of current industry trends, industry growth drivers, restraints, industry capacity, market structure, and market projections for upcoming years. The report also includes analysis of technological developments in the market, Porter’s five force model analysis, and complete company profiles of top industry players. It provides review of micro and macro factors significant with respect to new entrants and existing market players with value chain analysis.
Major players dominating this market are Amyris Biotechnologies Inc., ATG Biosynthetics GmbH, Blue Heron Biotechnology Inc., Chromatin Inc., Draths Corp., febit Synbio GmbH, GENEART AG, GenScript USA Inc., Joule Biotechnologies Inc., LC Sciences, LS9 Inc., OPXBIO Inc., Solazyme Inc., Sloning BioTechnology GmbH, Synthetic Genomics Inc., Verdezyne Inc, and others."
A genetic bistable switch utilizing nonlinear protein degradation Daniel C Huang, William J Holtz and Michel M Maharbiz
"Background Bistability is a fundamental property of a vast array of engineered and natural systems. Bistability confers the ability to switch, to retain state, and to store information, all three comprising a closely related set of operations common to information processing systems. Synthetic bistable switches in prokaryotes have mainly utilized transcriptional components in their construction. It has been suggested that using both transcriptional and enzymatic components may be advantageous in designing bistable switches.
Results In this paper, we demonstrate a tunable family of hybrid bistable switches in E. coli using both transcriptional components and an enzymatic component. The design contains two linked positive feedback loops. The first loop utilizes the lambda repressor, CI, and the second positive feedback loop incorporates the Lon protease found in Mesoplasma florum (mf-Lon). We experimentally tested for bistable behavior in exponential growth phase, and found that our hybrid bistable switch was able to retain its state in the absence of an input signal throughout 40 cycles of cell division. We also tested the transient behavior of our switch and found that switching speeds can be tuned by changing the expression rate of mf-Lon.
Conclusions To our knowledge, this work demonstrates the first use of dynamic expression of an orthogonal and heterologous protease to tune a nonlinear protein degradation circuit. The hybrid switch is potentially a more robust and tunable topology for use in prokaryotic systems." http://bit.ly/MiaeWW
"President Barack Obama’s administration has not fully addressed any of the recommendations made by its Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues a year and a half ago for improving the governance of synthetic biology research and development, a policy group asserted.
The Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars acknowledged that the administration and several federal agencies have taken steps over the past four months to set into motion many of the recommendations, delivered by the commission in a December 2010 report.
But in a “Scorecard” graphic posted Monday on its website, the Project asserted that all progress reported to date had been partial, with the federal government taking no action to implement four of the recommendations:
Undertake a coordinated evaluation of current public funding for synthetic biology activities. Carry out “reasonable” risk assessments before field release of research organisms or commercial products involving synthetic biology technology. Develop a process for considering moral objections to synthetic biology, particularly if fundamental changes occur in its applications or capabilities. Consider developing guidance materials and voluntary recommendations to assist manufacturers, after evaluating current statutory mandates or regulatory requirements for risks and benefits....." http://bit.ly/PeebN2
*INCORPORATION OF BACTERIAL QUORUM SENSING IN SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY*
"The global objective of this research is to develop a synthetic biology toolkit consisting of molecules, cells, and devices that provide flexible, yet selective targeting, sensing, and switching capabilities, that in turn guide biological behavior in user-specified manner. We employ bacteria as "smart" programmable devices. We envision creating bacteria that autonomously move to specific areas, synthesize a drug, deliver the drug, and move on to new sites. "Targeting" endows bacterial cells the means to dock onto specific surfaces with antibody-antigen specificity. Sensing and switching capability allows bacteria to sense and, after making a "decision", respond by synthesizing and delivering cargo to molecular scale features displayed on target surfaces. Relevant surface features may include an overexpressed receptor on a tumor cell, glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor on pancreatic beta cells, or even other bacterial cells resident in a recalcitrant biofilm. Towards the realization of this goal, we employed an antibody-binding protein G display strategy to complex target-binding antibodies with bacteria. We characterized the assembly and efficacy of this complex by binding to well-defined surfaces decorated with specific antigens. For sensing and switching we made use of the genetic circuitry of bacterial quorum sensing (QS) that coordinates multicellular responses. In particular, we hypothesized the creation of a biological "switch" that would take action only after a certain threshold "feature" density had been detected. Specifically, in our most significant demonstration we designed and implemented QS based sensing and actuating based on the surface density of cancer-indicating EGFR receptors displayed on epithelial cancer cell lines. Because recent reports have demonstrated bacterial placement of a molecular "cargo" or "payload" in unrelated studies involving vaccination or direct attack on bacterial pathogens, we turned to developing innovative RNA-based drug syntheses concepts for eventual use in cancer therapy. That is, we designed RNA interfering (RNAi) technology to arrest the progression of the eukaryotic cell cycle by silencing gateway genes that serve to guide cell division and proliferation. Thus, our strategy serves to inhibit cell growth and promote cell death - actions that could find utility in treating metastatic cancer. Through a different lens, this same concept, the molecularly "programmed" manipulation of cell cycle status and cell growth via synthetic biology can serve to promote recombinant protein production in an industrially relevant eukaryotic insect cell line. In summary, we envision the exploitation of bacterial cells as programmable smart devices that can target, dock and deliver cargoes that are synthesized and delivered only after a set of predetermined parameters are met. We also envision a new biological "switch" that is based on the area-based density of a molecular feature - this will dramatically expand the capabilities and reach of synthetic biology. Our concepts embrace the notion that the individual cell may be the product of synthetic biology, as opposed to a synthesized molecule which is the prevailing product of choice." http://bit.ly/M0ytX5
Chen T, Wang J, Zeng L, Li R, Li J, Chen Y, Lin Z.
"Cell reprogramming for microorganisms via engineered or artificial transcription factors and RNA polymerase mutants has presented a powerful tool for eliciting complex traits that are practically useful particularly for industrial strains, and for understanding at the global level the regulatory network of gene transcription. We previously further showed that an exogenous global regulator IrrE (derived from the extreme radiation-resistant bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans) can be tailored to confer Escherichia coli (E. coli) with significantly enhanced tolerances to different stresses. In this work, based on comparative transcriptomic and proteomic analyses of the representative strains E1 and E0, harboring the ethanol-tolerant IrrE mutant E1 and the ethanol-intolerant wild type IrrE, respectively, we found that the transcriptome and proteome of E. coli were extensively rewired by the tailored IrrE protein. Overall, 1196 genes (or approximately 27% of E. coli genes) were significantly altered at the transcriptomic level, including notably genes in the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide (NO) pathway, and genes for non-coding RNAs. The proteomic profile revealed significant up- or downregulation of several proteins associated with syntheses of the cell membrane and cell wall. Analyses of the intracellular NO level and cell growth under reduced temperature supported a close correlation between NO and ethanol tolerance, and also suggests a role for membrane fluidity. The significantly different omic profiles of strain E1 indicate that IrrE functions as a global regulator in E. coli, and that IrrE may be evolved for other cellular tolerances. In this sense, it will provide synthetic biology with a practical and evolvable regulatory "part" that operates at a higher level of complexity than local regulators. This work also suggests a possibility of introducing and engineering other exogenous global regulators to rewire the genomes of microorganism cells."
"Synthetic biology uses biological components to engineer new functionality in living organisms. Biological components are generally not as well characterized as their electronic counterparts. Therefore, systems produced with biological parts often exhibit unexpected or undesirable characteristics that are dependent on their interaction – also called crosstalk – with endogenous components from the organism where these systems are used.
One approach to dealing with this crosstalk would be to design a system that interacts so specifically that there is no possibility of crosstalk with endogenous components. Another approach is to use computational redesign of proteins and directed evolution to engineer “privileged” interfaces in the synthetic signaling system.
June Medford, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA, and colleagues discuss current approaches in the field including the design of synthetic components, partially synthetic systems that utilize crosstalk to signal through endogenous components, computational redesign of proteins, and the use of heterologous components...."
Seema Singh "There may be deeper philosophical interpretations of life but for J Craig Venter, visionary geneticist who has been pushing the limits of genomics, life is a DNA software system; you change the system, you change the species. Just as all the marvels of computing derive from the binary codes of 00s and 11s, all life forms derive from a similar code, a Morse code of dots and dashes. To his credit, Venter and his team at the J Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland, are doing their best, more than anybody else, to ensure that in not-so-distant future, one can transfer the digital life code in email, to be downloaded on demand for various applications. He is even building a digital-biological converter, much akin to the telephone that converts digital information into sound, that will convert biological information into digital information. If that sounds too science-fiction-like, pinch yourself. It is reality, rather going to be reality very soon. For instance, take the pandemic flu vaccine. When H1N1, the swine flu bug, outbreak hit government agencies in 2009, it took almost six months to have the vaccine ready. Using the synthetic genomics tools and working with the US government and Swiss pharma major Novartis, Venter believes the next time such a crisis hits, the vaccines can be readied in less than a week....."
"The emerging field of synthetic biology enables the creation of living designs through science. Two concept designs explore and provoke dialogue about the future: 1) personal microbial culture and 2) packaging that creates its own contents...."
Joanna Kargul, , Julian David Janna Olmos, Tomasz Krupnik
"Photosystem I (PSI) is one of the most efficient biological macromolecular complexes that converts solar energy into condensed energy of chemical bonds. Despite high structural complexity, PSI operates with a quantum yield close to 1.0 and to date, no man-made synthetic system approached this remarkable efficiency. This review highlights recent developments in dissecting molecular structure and function of the prokaryotic and eukaryotic PSI. It also overviews progress in the application of this complex as a natural photocathode for production of hydrogen within the biomimetic solar-to-fuel nano devices."
Pablo Carbonell , Davide Fichera, Shashi B Pandit and Jean-Loup Faulon
"Background We consider the possibility of engineering metabolic pathways in a chassis organism in order to synthesize novel target compounds that are heterologous to the chassis. For this purpose, we model metabolic networks through hypergraphs where reactions are represented by hyperarcs. Each hyperarc represents an enzyme-catalyzed reaction that transforms set of substrates compounds into product compounds. We follow a retrosynthetic approach in order to search in the metabolic space (hypergraphs) for pathways (hyperpaths) linking the target compounds to a source set of compounds.
Results To select the best pathways to engineer, we have developed an objective function that computes the cost of inserting a heterologous pathway in a given chassis organism. In order to find minimum-cost pathways, we propose in this paper two methods based on steady state analysis and network topology that are to the best of our knowledge, the first to enumerate all possible heterologous pathways linking a target compounds to a source set of compounds. In the context of metabolic engineering, the source set is composed of all naturally produced chassis compounds (endogenuous chassis metabolites) and the target set can be any compound of the chemical space. We also provide an algorithm for identifying precursors which can be supplied to the growth media in order to increase the number of ways to synthesize specific target compounds.
Conclusions We find the topological approach to be faster by several orders of magnitude than the steady state approach. Yet both methods are generally scalable in time with the number of pathways in the metabolic network. Therefore this work provides a powerful tool for pathway enumeration with direct application to biosynthetic pathway design." http://bit.ly/MGhqYH
Elizabeth A Felnagle, Asha Chaubey, Elizabeth L Noey, Kendall N Houk & James C Liao
"Recursive pathways are broadly defined as those that catalyze a series of reactions such that the key, bond-forming functional group of the substrate is always regenerated in each cycle, allowing for a new cycle of reactions to begin. Recursive carbon-chain elongation pathways in nature produce fatty acids, polyketides, isoprenoids and α-keto acids (αKAs), which all use modular or iterative approaches for chain elongation. Recently, an artificial pathway for αKA elongation has been built that uses an engineered isopropylmalate synthase to recursively condense acetyl-CoA with αKAs. This synthetic approach expands the possibilities for recursive pathways beyond the modular or iterative synthesis of natural products and serves as a case study for understanding the challenges of building recursive pathways from nonrecursive enzymes. There exists the potential to design synthetic recursive pathways far beyond what nature has evolved...." http://bit.ly/OEbD6j
The world may soon see the first examples of synthetic life, artificial organisms constructed in a laboratory. These will be unique organisms, not close copies of existing cells, said their creator Dr Craig Venter.
Brock A. Peters, Bahram G. Kermani, Andrew B. Sparks, Oleg Alferov, Peter Hong, Andrei Alexeev, Yuan Jiang, Fredrik Dahl, Y. Tom Tang, Juergen Haas, Kimberly Robasky, Alexander Wait Zaranek, Je-Hyuk Lee, Madeleine Price Ball, Joseph E. Peterson, Helena Perazich, George Yeung, Jia Liu, Linsu Chen, Michael I. Kennemer, Kaliprasad Pothuraju, Karel Konvicka, Mike Tsoupko-Sitnikov, Krishna P. Pant, Jessica C. Ebert et al
"Recent advances in whole-genome sequencing have brought the vision of personal genomics and genomic medicine closer to reality. However, current methods lack clinical accuracy and the ability to describe the context (haplotypes) in which genome variants co-occur in a cost-effective manner. Here we describe a low-cost DNA sequencing and haplotyping process, long fragment read (LFR) technology, which is similar to sequencing long single DNA molecules without cloning or separation of metaphase chromosomes. In this study, ten LFR libraries were made using only ~100 picograms of human DNA per sample. Up to 97% of the heterozygous single nucleotide variants were assembled into long haplotype contigs. Removal of false positive single nucleotide variants not phased by multiple LFR haplotypes resulted in a final genome error rate of 1 in 10 megabases. Cost-effective and accurate genome sequencing and haplotyping from 10–20 human cells, as demonstrated here, will enable comprehensive genetic studies and diverse clinical applications."
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