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Hybrid 3-D Printer Used to Create Cartilage Implants | Wired Design | Wired.com

Hybrid 3-D Printer Used to Create Cartilage Implants | Wired Design | Wired.com | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Scientists at the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine have pioneered an approach to replace damaged cartilage, combining two low-cost techniques: electrospinning and inkjet printing. That's right.
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Engineered, harnessed, and hijacked: synthetic uses for cytoskeletal systems

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Brian S. Goodman, Nathan D. Derr, Samara L. Reck-Peterson

"Synthetic biology re-imagines existing biological systems by designing and constructing new biological parts, devices, and systems. In the arena of cytoskeleton-based transport, synthetic approaches are currently used in two broad ways. First, molecular motors are harnessed for non-physiological functions in cells. Second, transport systems are engineered in vitro to determine the biophysical rules that govern motility. These rules are then applied to synthetic nanotechnological systems. We review recent advances in both of these areas and conclude by discussing future directions in engineering the cytoskeleton and its motors for transport."

http://bit.ly/UHmEJs

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Wired Health Conference Highlights: Synthetic Biology

Highlights: Craig Venter, CEO & President, Synthetic Genomics, shares the latest advancements in synthetic genomic research and technology. According to Vent...
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Synthetic biology postdoctoral position,

Karmella Haynes
Synthetic biology postdoctoral position, Washington University in St. Louis

We are seeking an enthusiastic Postdoctoral Researcher to start Synthetic Biology projects in the Moon lab. We aim to engineer microbes for addressing energy, environmental, and health issues. Specifically, we are interested in developing synthetic biology tools, constructing genetic circuits, and refactoring cellular pathways. For more information, please visit our website
http://moon.eece.wustl.edu/

REQUIREMENTS:
1. PhD degree in chemical engineering, bioengineering, chemistry, physics, microbiology, molecular biology or related areas
2. Experience in molecular biology techniques is essential.
3. The Postdoctoral Researcher is expected to work independently, supervise PhD students, and collaborate with other labs.

Please send the application to:

Tae Seok Moon
Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering Washington University in St. Louis
One Brookings Dr. Box 1180
St. Louis, MO 63130
tsmoon@seas.wustl.edu
Please include the following:

- Cover letter, including research and career interests
- CV
- Preprints of publications (if listed on your CV, but not yet available)
- Please have your PhD advisor send a letter of recommendation at the same time.

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Life performs computation much more than you’ve ever thought

Life performs computation much more than you’ve ever thought | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it

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Rayna Stamboliyska

"“The level of intelligence has been tremendously increased, because people are thinking and communicating in terms of screens, and not in lettered books. Much of the real action is taking place in what is called cyberspace. People have learned how to boot up, activate, and transmit their brains.

Essentially, there’s a universe inside your brain. The number of connections possible inside your brain is limitless. And as people have learned to have more managerial and direct creative access to their brains, they have also developed matrices or networks of people that communicate electronically. There are direct brain/computer link-ups. You can just jack yourself in and pilot your brain around in cyberspace-electronic space.” ― Timothy Leary, Chaos & Cyber Culture

This quote brings up thoroughly discussed concepts of “wired human interactions” and “globalized self,” all describing our relationship to the internet. The quote also highlights another perspective: the ultimate connection as showcased in cyberpunk culture through the “console cowboy” Case in the Neuromancer or the “game pods”, these outlets plugged through bio-ports in Cronenberg’s movie, Existenz. But if this sounded as daring science fiction 10 years ago, achieving this ‘ultimate connection’ now looks feasible in the near future. Research unveiling the hidden potential of DNA in terms of molecular computation has been ongoing for years, and its outcomes are more promising and mind-blowing than one might have imagined. I kindly invite you to join me in a dive into the exciting waters of DNA-based computers."
http://bit.ly/10q298f

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Pioneering innovation - NOW - Concordia University

Pioneering innovation - NOW - Concordia University | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
New Centre for Applied Synthetic Biology focuses on problem-solving...
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How Does Plant Cell Wall Nanoscale Architecture Correlate with Enzymatic Digestibility?

BREAKING DOWN WALLS FOR BIOFUEL

How Does Plant Cell Wall Nanoscale Architecture Correlate with Enzymatic Digestibility?

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Shi-You Ding, Yu-San Liu, Yining Zeng, Michael E. Himmel, John O. Baker, Edward A. Bayer

"Greater understanding of the mechanisms contributing to chemical and enzymatic solubilization of plant cell walls is critical for enabling cost-effective industrial conversion of cellulosic biomass to biofuels. Here, we report the use of correlative imaging in real time to assess the impact of pretreatment, as well as the resulting nanometer-scale changes in cell wall structure, upon subsequent digestion by two commercially relevant cellulase systems. We demonstrate that the small, noncomplexed fungal cellulases deconstruct cell walls using mechanisms that differ considerably from those of the larger, multienzyme complexes (cellulosomes). Furthermore, high-resolution measurement of the microfibrillar architecture of cell walls suggests that digestion is primarily facilitated by enabling enzyme access to the hydrophobic cellulose face. The data support the conclusion that ideal pretreatments should maximize lignin removal and minimize polysaccharide modification, thereby retaining the essentially native microfibrillar structure...."

http://bit.ly/QzlnXB

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Physics: Make nanotechnology research open-source : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

Physics: Make nanotechnology research open-source : Nature : Nature Publishing Group | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
An important discussion. In SynBio we had this discussion too. All research and development might need to be open source. How do we finance it?

Physics: Make nanotechnology research open-source

http://bit.ly/QzcgpM

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A cell for a cell | Chemistry World

A cell for a cell | Chemistry World | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
A tiny jail that can hold a single biological cell could be a useful tool for studying rare cells...
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Towards a bottom-up reconstitution of bacterial cell division

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Ariadna Martos, Mercedes Jiménez, Germán Rivas, Petra Schwille

"The components of the bacterial division machinery assemble to form a dynamic ring at mid-cell that drives cytokinesis. The nature of most division proteins and their assembly pathway is known. Our knowledge about the biochemical activities and protein interactions of some key division elements, including those responsible for correct ring positioning, has progressed considerably during the past decade. These developments, together with new imaging and membrane reconstitution technologies, have triggered the ‘bottom-up’ synthetic approach aiming at reconstructing bacterial division in the test tube, which is required to support conclusions derived from cellular and molecular analysis. Here, we describe recent advances in reconstituting Escherichia coli minimal systems able to reproduce essential functions, such as the initial steps of division (proto-ring assembly) and one of the main positioning mechanisms (Min oscillating system), and discuss future perspectives and experimental challenges."

http://bit.ly/10uFvL3

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Trends in Cell Biology - Cell Biology 2.0

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Wendell A. Lim , Rebecca Alvania and Wallace F. Marshall

"‘Verum esse ipsum factum’, the true is in the made – Giambattista Vico

Synthetic Cell Biology sounds intriguing, but the name begs the question – why should we try to rebuild or reprogram the cell, especially when we barely understand how cells work? This issue of TiCB explores this emerging area in which scientists are taking apart, rebuilding, reprogramming, and repurposing parts of the cell. The reviews cover a wide range of scales, from microscopic molecular machines to macroscopic, multicellular tissues. These reviews highlight the fact that, in addition to its role in harnessing and unleashing the power of cells for new and future applications, synthetic biology also has an important role to play in facilitating the understanding of complex cellular processes. In short, we can learn much about cells through the process of trying to build them (or parts of them). And if we understand cells, we can start to really harness their power.

Cell biology has historically been primarily an observational science, inextricably linked with tools like the microscope, which first enabled humans to peer into the remarkable world of the cell, with its diversity of forms and complex and dynamic inner structure. Yet today, even as we know the genomic parts list of the cell, we realize that there is a huge gap in our mechanistic understanding of the logic of how these systems work. On the one hand, we can observe these beautiful systems that yield complex cellular structures, movements, and regulatory decisions; on the other, we have a list of molecular parts that somehow underlie these behaviors and decisions. But the middle ground linking how these parts fit together and work as a system is often missing. We have a serious gap in the mesoscopic mechanistic understanding of how microscopic molecules work together to yield complex macroscopic behavior.

Synthetic biology as applied to cell biology can help to address this gap, because in many ways it is a philosophical descendant of old-school reconstitution biochemistry. It offers a unique and powerful way to construct simple, stripped down, and manipulable molecular systems, which can then be used gain insight into the fundamental rules of how some complex biological process takes place. But now, thanks to the power of genetic engineering, much of this manipulation and perturbation of systems can take place in the milieu of the living cell, with its basic metabolic and transcriptional systems and complex spatial environments. The cell, or even artificially constructed cells, can serve as the new test tube for logical and systematic analysis of a process. As Vico first suggested (and Richard Feynman later reiterated), if we can build it, we can understand it.

Predictive, mechanistic understanding of how the parts of a cell work together to generate cell behaviors is not only interesting in its own right; it would provide a rational basis to turn cell biology into an engineering discipline. Synthetic cell biology has the promise of remarkable biotechnology applications. Many advances have been made in harnessing cells to create new and useful molecules, by cobbling together new strings of metabolic enzymes. But in many ways, this is only the tip of the iceberg of what cells could do. Current efforts have largely ignored the cell, its structure and regulation, as a tool to harness. Cells are some of the most powerful and capable devices we know, especially in producing complex products. Manipulation of cellular organelles, transport systems, and secretion systems and their regulation could, if properly applied, have dramatic effects on cell-based production of fuels, drugs, nutrients, and chemicals. Ultimately, learning how to reprogram the machinery of the cell extends far beyond biofermentation – it may lead to dramatic advances in designer cells (or cell-inspired devices) that can execute precision therapeutic or regenerative functions. It may even be possible to create new cells that have hybrid functions and structures that are completely novel. The next few decades offer tantalizing promise of how our understanding of cell biology could be applied, and it is time for cell biologists to start thinking creatively about how cells as machines could be harnessed..."

http://bit.ly/TfRAlP

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Engineered bacteria can make the ultimate sacrifice

Engineered bacteria can make the ultimate sacrifice | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it

"Scientists have engineered bacteria that are capable of sacrificing themselves for the good of the bacterial population. These altruistically inclined bacteria, which are described online in the journal Molecular Systems Biology, can be used to demonstrate the conditions where programmed cell death becomes a distinct advantage for the survival of the bacterial population.

"We have used a synthetic biology approach to explicitly measure and test the adaptive advantage of programmed bacterial cell death in Escherichia coli," said Lingchong You, senior author of the study and an associate professor at the Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, and the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy. "The system is tunable which means that the extent of altruistic death in the bacterial population can be increased. We are therefore able to control the extent of programmed cell death as well as test the benefits of altruistic death under different conditions." The lead author of the study is Yu Tanouchi, a graduate student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Anand Pai and Nicolas Buchler also contributed to the work.

Scientists have known for some time that programmed cell death can be linked to the response of bacteria to stressful conditions, for example starvation of amino acids or the presence of competitor molecules. However, it is not clear why cells should choose to die under such conditions since it gives them no immediate advantages. Some researchers have suggested that programmed cell death allows cells to provide benefits to their survivors but until now it has been difficult to test this directly in experiments..."

http://bit.ly/QZ2hKo

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Paralyzed dogs walk again with cell injections - Technology & Science - CBC News

Paralyzed dogs walk again with cell injections - Technology & Science - CBC News | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Paralyzed dogs have been restored to mobility in a U.K. study thanks to injected cells, letting Cambridge University scientists dare to hope that the technique could eventually aid the treatment of humans.
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*Cryo-EM structure of a 3D DNA-origami object*

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Bai XC, Martin TG, Scheres SH, Dietz H.

"A key goal for nanotechnology is to design synthetic objects that may ultimately achieve functionalities known today only from natural macromolecular complexes. Molecular self-assembly with DNA has shown potential for creating user-defined 3D scaffolds, but the level of attainable positional accuracy has been unclear. Here we report the cryo-EM structure and a full pseudoatomic model of a discrete DNA object that is almost twice the size of a prokaryotic ribosome. The structure provides a variety of stable, previously undescribed DNA topologies for future use in nanotechnology and experimental evidence that discrete 3D DNA scaffolds allow the positioning of user-defined structural motifs with an accuracy that is similar to that observed in natural macromolecules. Thereby, our results indicate an attractive route to fabricate nanoscale devices that achieve complex functionalities by DNA-templated design steered by structural feedback."

http://bit.ly/Tk8Lj3

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Can Synthetic Biology Save the World?

Can Synthetic Biology Save the World? | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
In the past dozen years, scientists have gone way beyond sequencing DNA to actually creating synthetic DNA in  the lab. The next step is to insert that DNA into a cell and create synthetic life.
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Synthetic biology of antimicrobial discovery - ACS Synthetic Biology (ACS Publications)

Synthetic biology of antimicrobial discovery - ACS Synthetic Biology (ACS Publications) | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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Capturing living cells in micro pyramids

Capturing living cells in micro pyramids | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
A field full of pyramids, but on a micro scale. Each of the pyramids hides a living cell. Thanks to 3D micro- and nano scale fabrication, promising new applications can be found.
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The Emerging World of Synthetic Genetics

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John C. Chaput, Hanyang Yu, Su Zhang

"For over 20 years, laboratories around the world have been applying the principles of Darwinian evolution to isolate DNA and RNA molecules with specific ligand-binding or catalytic activities. This area of synthetic biology, commonly referred to as in vitro genetics, is made possible by the availability of natural polymerases that can replicate genetic information in the laboratory. Moving beyond natural nucleic acids requires organic chemistry to synthesize unnatural analogues and polymerase engineering to create enzymes that recognize artificial substrates. Progress in both of these areas has led to the emerging field of synthetic genetics, which explores the structural and functional properties of synthetic genetic polymers by in vitro evolution. This review examines recent advances in the Darwinian evolution of artificial genetic polymers and their potential downstream applications in exobiology, molecular medicine, and synthetic biology."

http://bit.ly/T1GFbJ

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Biosciences - George Osbourne identifies Synthetic Biology and Agri-Science amongst key drivers of UK economy - Articles - Open Innovation

Biosciences - George Osbourne identifies Synthetic Biology and Agri-Science amongst key drivers of UK economy - Articles - Open Innovation | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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uBiome -- Sequencing Your Microbiome

uBiome -- Sequencing Your Microbiome | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Be a citizen scientist and help us sequence the human microbiome. Learn about your health, advance science, and CHANGE THE WORLD!
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Private labs caught in budget crunch

Private labs caught in budget crunch | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
We might need to rethink how we finance and organize basic research:

Biomedical-lab closure highlights plight of independent research institutes that rely heavily on federal grants

http://bit.ly/QzbUzq

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Chemical biology: DNA's new alphabet

Chemical biology: DNA's new alphabet | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
DNA has been around for billions of years — but that doesn't mean scientists can't make it better.
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Trends in Cell Biology - Synthetic multicellularity

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Michel M. Maharbiz

"The ability to synthesize biological constructs on the scale of the organisms we observe unaided is probably one of the more outlandish, yet recurring, dreams humans have had since they began to modify genes. This review brings together recent developments in synthetic biology, cell and developmental biology, computation, and technological development to provide context and direction for the engineering of rudimentary, autonomous multicellular ensembles."

http://bit.ly/RbGfSV

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*Programming stress-induced altruistic death in engineered bacteria*

*Programming stress-induced altruistic death in engineered bacteria* | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it

*Programming stress-induced altruistic death in engineered bacteria*

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Yu Tanouchi, Anand Pai, Nicolas E Buchler & Lingchong You

"Altruistic death is shown to confer a population level advantage in engineered E. coli. Cost-benefit trade-offs are analyzed and altruistic death is shown to account for the 'Eagle effect', whereby bacteria appear to grow better in high antibiotics concentrations."

http://bit.ly/10uxDta

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Computational approaches to predicting essential proteins: a survey

Computational approaches to predicting essential proteins: a survey http://1.usa.gov/Ufm9Iv

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