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Proceed With Caution?

Proceed With Caution? | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
*Synthetic Biology–Ethical and Legal Implications*

by
R Paslack
"The aim of this article is it to present some ideas and questions which are the focus of attention in an ongoing research project on synthetic biology. This project is only a part–a subproject–within the framework of a broader multidisciplinary study on synthetic biology ..."

http://bit.ly/TPZuhM

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CytoComp a revolutionary biological computer

Synthetic Biology (engineering with biological parts) will become a defining science for the 21st century. One very interesting development is cellular computers The recent scientific developments in cellular computing are mind blowing, and will revolutionize the way we will do personalized medicine. Cellular computers are real game changers.
Many people (e.g. diabetics), need to monitor biological functions (e.g. their glucose levels). It would be great if one could do this in an easy automated way. Moreover, it would be great to automatically regulate these values (e.g. via insulin) The cellular computer CytoComp is a revolutionary, tiny medical device in the micrometer scale, that let you monitor your biomedical data via a mobile app, and which can self-regulate these functions (e.g. you avoid to painfully measure your glucose levels; moreover it will self-regulate glucose by insulin production, if needed). Unlike traditional large external devices, CytoComp, which will fundamentally change how we do personalized medicine. CytoComp is tiny (implantable) , self-regulating and thus does not need any action from the user (a diabetic will never again need to care about the glucose level).
Copyright CytoComp 2012

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Biosynthetic Micro-Robot Will Combine Cells, Electronics

Biosynthetic Micro-Robot Will Combine Cells, Electronics | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it

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Ann R. Thryft

"Cyberplasm is a multi-cellular micro-robot being developed by British and American researchers with the principles of synthetic biology.

It will combine biomimicry of some of a sea lamprey's behaviors with engineered cellular devices, electronics, and new methods of communicating between biological and electronic components. If this artificial organism looked like a human, we'd call it an android.

Perhaps the most amazing part of this research is the tightly coupled integration and communication the researchers want to design in between the micro-bot's electronic and biological components. On the cellular level, the team will integrate certain gene parts into bacteria, yeast, and mammalian cells so they can perform functions usually done by electronic devices. Bacteria and cells will be simplified so they can more easily communicate with electronic devices......"

http://bit.ly/X11mci

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Towards Synthetic Gene Circuits with Enhancers: Biology's Multi-input Integrators

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Amit R.

"One of the greatest challenges facing synthetic biology is to develop a technology that allows gene regulatory circuits in microbes to integrate multiple inputs or stimuli using a small DNA sequence "foot-print", and which will generate precise and reproducible outcomes. Achieving this goal is hindered by the routine utilization of the commonplace σ(70) promoters in gene-regulatory circuits. These promoters typically are not capable of integrating binding of more than two or three transcription factors in natural examples, which has limited the field to developing integrated circuits made of two-input biological "logic" gates. In natural examples the regulatory elements, which integrate multiple inputs are called enhancers. These regulatory elements are ubiquitous in all organisms in the tree of life, and interestingly metazoan and bacterial enhancers are significantly more similar in terms of both Transcription Factor binding site arrangement and biological function than previously thought. These similarities imply that there may be underlying enhancer design principles or grammar rules by which one can engineer novel gene regulatory circuits. However, at present our current understanding of enhancer structure-function relationship in all organisms is limited, thus preventing us from using these objects routinely in synthetic biology application. In order to alleviate this problem, in this book chapter, I will review our current view of bacterial enhancers, allowing us to first highlight the potential of enhancers to be a game-changing tool in synthetic biology application, and subsequently to draw a road-map for developing the necessary quantitative understanding to reach this goal."

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Tunable promoters in synthetic and systems biology

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Dehli T, Solem C, Jensen PR.

"Synthetic and systems biologists need standardized, modular and orthogonal tools yielding predictable functions in vivo. In systems biology such tools are needed to quantitatively analyze the behavior of biological systems while the efficient engineering of artificial gene networks is central in synthetic biology. A number of tools exist to manipulate the steps in between gene sequence and functional protein in living cells, but out of these the most straight-forward approach is to alter the gene expression level by manipulating the promoter sequence. Some of the promoter tuning tools available for accomplishing such altered gene expression levels are discussed here along with examples of their use, and ideas for new tools are described. The road ahead looks very promising for synthetic and systems biologists as tools to achieve just about anything in terms of tuning and timing multiple gene expression levels using libraries of synthetic promoters now exist."

http://1.usa.gov/XC0TwC

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Collaborations: The rise of research networks

http://bit.ly/PGh4Jt

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Team:UNAM Genomics Mexico - 2012.igem.org

Team:UNAM Genomics Mexico - 2012.igem.org | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it

"BACILLUS BOOLEANUS

A logic gate is an idealized or physical device implementing a Boolean function, that performs a logical operation on one or more logic inputs and produces a single logic output. To build a functionally complete logic system, transistors can be used. A single transistor is not a computer, many of them are necessary and they need to communicate with each other, in this way a complex logic system can be created. The architecture of gene regulatory networks is reminiscent of electronic circuits. Modular building blocks that respond in a logical way to one or several inputs are connected to perform a variety of complex tasks. Taking these two main ideas, it could be possible to create a “molecular computer”. Bacillus Booleanus is a project that wants to create a “molecular computer”. How does it work? We are working on the creation of different strains of Bacillus subtilis. Each one of them will be able to perform a single Boolean operation just like a transistor. As we mentioned, our transistors need to communicate, but how could this be possible? In 2011 Ben-Yehuda et. al. identified a type of bacterial communication mediated by nanotubes that bridge neighboring cells, providing a network for exchange of cellular molecules within and between species. By using these nanotubes our bacterium will be capable to communicate with others, creating complex networks of logic gates. Using this, it could be possible to develop a complex network of "transistors" to create, for example, a synthetic metabolic pathway."

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Plant power - The ultimate way to go green: Birger Lindberg Møller at TEDxCopenhagen 2012

Synthetic biology is a new movement setting the hearts and minds of scientists across the world on fire. But really plants, and not scientists, are at the ce...
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Disrupting Synthetic Biology: Kevin Munnelly, Gen9

Disrupting Synthetic Biology: Kevin Munnelly, Gen9 | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it

by

ayanna

"As part of our series on synthetic biology, we talk with Kevin Munnelly, CEO of Gen9, a new gene synthesis company founded by George Church of Harvard, Joseph Jacobson of MIT, and Drew Endy of Stanford. According to Munnelly, Gen9 is not just another gene synthesis company, but one which will dramatically disrupt the space. The theory is that just as the declining cost of sequencing has enabled new applications for genomics, so too will a drastically reduced price for synthetic genes. Kevin believes we are just at the beginning of a synthetic biology revolution and it's new technology such as his that will enable it. What are these new applications and why hasn't gene synthesis kept pace with sequencing we ask Kevin in today's show."

http://bit.ly/RYigUO

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Engineering robust control of two-component system phosphotransfer using modular scaffolds

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Whitaker WR, Davis SA, Arkin AP, Dueber JE.

"Synthetic biology applies engineering principles to facilitate the predictable design of biological systems. Biological systems composed of modular parts with clearly defined interactions are generally easier to manipulate than complex systems exhibiting a large number of subtle interactions. However, recreating the function of a naturally complex system with simple modular parts can increase fragility. Here, inspired by scaffold-directed signaling in higher organisms, we modularize prokaryotic signal transduction to allow programmable redirection of phosphate flux from a histidine kinase to response regulators based on targeting by eukaryotic protein-protein interaction domains. Although scaffold-directed colocalization alone was sufficient to direct signaling between components, this minimal system suffered from high sensitivity to changing expression levels of each component. To address this fragility, we demonstrate how to engineer autoinhibition into the kinase so that phosphotransfer is possible only upon binding to the scaffold. This system, in which scaffold performs the dual functions of activating this autoinhibited kinase and directing flux to the cotargeted response regulator, was significantly more robust to varying component concentrations. Thus, we demonstrate that design principles inspired by the complex signal-transduction pathways of eukaryotes may be generalized, abstracted, and applied to prokaryotes using well-characterized parts."

http://1.usa.gov/P9EmY2

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Craig Venter Imagines a World with Printable Life Forms | Wired Science | Wired.com

Craig Venter Imagines a World with Printable Life Forms | Wired Science | Wired.com | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Craig Venter imagines a future where you can download software, print a vaccine, inject it, and presto! Contagion averted.
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MICROFLUIDIC PLATFORM FOR SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY APPLICATIONS - THE REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

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Chang, Chieh (San Jose, CA, US)
Bharadwaj, Rajiv (Emeryville, CA, US)
Singh, Anup K. (Danville, CA, US)
Chandrasekaran, Aarthi (San Jose, CA, US)
Hillson, Nathan J. (San Francisco, CA, US)
"This invention provides methods and compositions for assembling biological constructs (e.g., plasmids, transformed cells, etc.). In certain embodiments the methods involve encapsulating separate components of said biological construct each in a fluid droplet confined in a fluid channel; optionally mixing droplets from different fluid channels to for a sequenced order of droplets carrying different components of said biological construct in a channel or chamber; and optionally combining two or more droplets each containing different components of said biological construct to permit said components to react with each other in one or more reactions contributing to the assembly of said biological construct."
http://bit.ly/Tt8Uzp

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Explaining life.

Synthetic biology and non-scientific understandings of life

by
Deplazes-Zemp A, Biller-Andorno N.

"The question ‘what is life?’ has puzzled people for millennia."
http://bit.ly/QiBzq3

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Governing and imagining the future: reflections on the UK synthetic biology roadmap

http://bit.ly/T8lWBX

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CytoComp a revolutionary new bio computer …

CytoComp a revolutionary new bio computer … | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it

http://venture-lab.org/advanced_venture/team_public_pages/453

(PS Just started this company today. I am doing two entrepreneur courses at Stanford one Startup Boards: Advanced Entrepreneurship
Professor Clint Korver, Stanford University and the other Technology Entrepreneurship byProfessor Chuck Eesley, Stanford University. This courses are awesome and I get fantastic help. This marketing page is a rough draft and will be soon updated. I hope I can add a video later today. Please sign up in order to stay informed. CyptoComp, which will change the way we will monitor biological data and regulate metabolites, hormones, etc... If you like to join our company, please let me know leukipposinstitute@googlemail.com)
I would also like to ask you to share this post, thus that as many as possible people will learn about our revolutionary device. Please use also the twitter, FB and G+ option on this page. Please help to spread this information, which will help so many patients. Thanks so much for your support)

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Repelling Viruses, Reviving Mammoths

Repelling Viruses, Reviving Mammoths | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
*Synthetic biology, already practicable and a boon to industry, could revolutionize human life*

by
GEORGE M. CHURCH and ED REGIS

"Yes, you can teach old bacteria new tricks. It is now routine to genetically reprogram microbes to make plastics, biofuels, vaccines and antibiotics. They have been engineered to detect arsenic levels in drinking water, destroy cancer cells and store digital data in DNA, making bacteria into biological flash drives.

But we may not have seen anything yet. Someday we may be able to create microbial (and possibly human) cells that are resistant to viruses and to bring extinct species like the woolly mammoth back to life. We could expand the human life span, increase our intelligence and enhance our ability to survive long space journeys.

Some applications of synthetic biology have already proven themselves scientifically as well as commercially—bioplastics, for example. Take Mirel, the biologically produced ingredient in ecologically beneficial transparent plastic cups and other products......"
http://on.wsj.com/UiJQ3U

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Synthetic biology triggers new era of antibiotics development

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Wang J, Xiong Z, Meng H, Wang Y, Wang Y.

"As a discipline to design and construct organisms with desired properties, synthetic biology has generated rapid progresses in the last decade. Combined synthetic biology with the traditional process, a new universal workflow for drug development has been becoming more and more attractive. The new methodology exhibits more efficient and inexpensive comparing to traditional methods in every aspect, such as new compounds discovery & screening, process design & drug manufacturing. This article reviews the application of synthetic biology in antibiotics development, including new drug discovery and screening, combinatorial biosynthesis to generate more analogues and heterologous expression of biosynthetic gene clusters with systematic engineering the recombinant microbial systems for large scale production."

http://1.usa.gov/RdVHw6

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A Synthetic Biology Approach to Engineer a Functional Reversal of the β-Oxidation Cycle - ACS Synthetic Biology (ACS Publications)

 http://bit.ly/S4d2ag

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Complex Body Parts Could Soon Be Lab-Grown : Discovery News

Complex Body Parts Could Soon Be Lab-Grown : Discovery News | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Within a generation, there may be no limit to the kinds of organs and body parts that can be created from scratch.
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Scientist Builds Complex Logic Circuit from Bacterial Genes

Scientist Builds Complex Logic Circuit from Bacterial Genes | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
St. Louis, MO (Scicasts) – By force of habit we tend to assume computers are made of silicon, but there is actually no necessary connection between the machine and the material.
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Life is Suite: A group of software apps helps synthetic biologists work faster and better » Systems Engineering | Blog Archive | Boston University

Life is Suite: A group of software apps helps synthetic biologists work faster and better » Systems Engineering | Blog Archive | Boston University | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it

by

Art Jahnke

"As biologists continue the decades-long race to map the genomes of living things, a group of forward-thinking BU engineers is asking the kind of questions that engineers can’t help but ask: what if we built a different genome?

Known as synthetic biologists, they believe that with some skillful genomic tweaks, living organisms, such as cells and microbes, can be put to work doing things that are too dangerous or not even possible for higher life-forms like ourselves.

“There are so many possibilities,” says Douglas Densmore, the Richard and Minda Reidy Family Career Development Assistant Professor in the College of Engineering electrical and computer engineering department. “Some are biotherapeutic. For example, we use chemotherapy to kill cancer cells, which is horribly damaging to the body. We may be able to noninvasively use bacteria that are already in your body to kill cancer cells. Or we can use bacteria to make clean energy.”

In the last few years, as computing power has multiplied and the cost of decoding and synthesizing DNA has nose-dived, synthetic biological possibilities have started to look more like probabilities. Oil spill cleanup is also high on the things-to-do list for customized microbes. So is weapons detection, which may explain why the Office of Naval Research is funding a $7.5 million project called Utilizing Synthetic Biology to Create Programmable Micro-Bio-Robots. The project, which involves Densmore and two other BU engineers as well as researchers from Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, and the University of Pennsylvania, intends to create a dynamic trio of humans, robots, and genetically engineered bacteria, all of which will work together to detect whatever the bacteria are programmed to detect. That could be explosives or toxins or heat or light. The customized bacteria will talk to one another, and they will report to miniature “chaperone robots,” a mere 10 to 100 centimeters long, that will each control thousands of microbes. Finally, the chaperone robots will wirelessly report back to humans.
......."
http://bit.ly/WqKa13

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Synthetic Biology Informs Space Exploration with John Cumbers, NASA | mendelspod.com

Synthetic Biology Informs Space Exploration with John Cumbers, NASA | mendelspod.com | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it

Podcast

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Bacterial Quorum Sensing and Metabolic Incentives to Cooperate

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Ajai A. Dandekar, Sudha Chugani, E. Peter Greenberg

"The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa uses a cell-cell communication system termed “quorum sensing” to control production of public goods, extracellular products that can be used by any community member. Not all individuals respond to quorum-sensing signals and synthesize public goods. Such social cheaters enjoy the benefits of the products secreted by cooperators. There are some P. aeruginosa cellular enzymes controlled by quorum sensing, and we show that quorum sensing–controlled expression of such private goods can put a metabolic constraint on social cheating and prevent a tragedy of the commons. Metabolic constraint of social cheating provides an explanation for private-goods regulation by a cooperative system and has general implications for population biology, infection control, and stabilization of quorum-sensing circuits in synthetic biology."

http://bit.ly/QpE9wH

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Synthetic Biology: Does Re-Writing Nature Require Re-Writing Regulation?

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Jordan Paradise, & Ethan Fitzpatrick

"Technological advancements in the life sciences are continually pressing forward despite frequent and vocal resistance. Examples of such advancements include reproductive technologies, genetics, stem cell research, nanotechnology, and now synthetic biology. In May 2010, the J. Craig Venter Institute, a multidisciplinary scientific organization led by one of the first scientists to sequence the human genome, announced in the journal Science the creation of the first synthetic cell—a man- made, single-celled organism with the ability to self-replicate. While hailed as a monumental step forward for science, the response from opponents was swift: stop the science from going forward, keep the products off the market, and protect society from the inherent and unknown risks.
Recognizing that there are measurable and important differences among advancements in the life sciences in terms of the touchstone risk- benefit dichotomy, this article will examine some promising synthetic biology developments in the medical realm in order to assess the application and performance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory framework. It concludes that the FDA is well equipped to assess and implement protections for products that fit into the traditional clinical trial, review and approval, and post-market regime. However, unlike other developments in the life sciences, synthetic biology poses potential environmental problems not previously contemplated by the limited life-cycle inquiry undertaken by the FDA,"
free PDF here:
http://bit.ly/SXMp9A

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