Today we launched a new website funded by NSF that will provide researchers around the world with access to the rapidly growing sets of data and tools around the plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. This species was adopted as a model for studies in plant genomics, physiology and ecology because of its small size, short life cycle and ease of laboratory manipulation. As a research platform, it has provided insights into many fundamental processes such as flowering, circadian rhythm, stress tolerance and environmental adaptation. The new data portal will deliver a variety of data types being generated by a range of new technologies, facilitating more powerful methods for data integration and query and hypothesis development.
The fields of metallic nanoparticle study and synthetic biology have a great deal to offer one another. Metallic nanoparticles as a class of material have many useful properties. Their small size allows for more points of contact than would be the case with a similar bulk compound, making nanoparticles excellent candidates for catalysts or for when increased levels of binding are required. Some nanoparticles have unique optical qualities, making them well suited as sensors, while others display para-magnetism, useful in medical imaging, especially by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Many of these metallic nanoparticles could be used in creating tools for synthetic biology, and conversely the use of synthetic biology could itself be utilised to create nanoparticle tools. Examples given here include the potential use of quantum dots (QDs) and gold nanoparticles as sensing mechanisms in synthetic biology, as well as ways of using synthetic biology to create ways of sensing metal nanoparticles based on current methods of detecting metals and metalloids such as arsenate. There are a number of organisms which are able to produce a range of metallic nanoparticles naturally, such as species of the fungus Phoma which produces anti-microbial silver nanoparticles. The biological synthesis of nanoparticles may have many advantages over their more traditional industrial synthesis. If the proteins involved in biological nanoparticle synthesis can be put into a suitable bacterial chassis then they might be manipulated and the pathways engineered in order to produce more valuable nanoparticles.
The creators of FOX's new science-fiction buddy-cop show, Almost Human focuses the uncontrollable evolution of emerging tech. The solution is real cops need robot cop partners to help control crime. Bio-3D printers, DNA swipes, machines that prick your finger and dispense a pill with the nutrients your body needs, robotic policemen [...]
Billy Joe's insight:
Biohacking could literally change the world as we know it — Ryan Bethencourt, CEO, Berkley Bio Lab
Analog versus digital computation in living cells. Our analysis is based on fundamental laws of noise in gene and protein expression, which set limits on the energy, time, space, molecular count and part-count resources needed to compute at a given level of precision. We conclude that analog computation is signiﬁcantly more efﬁcient in its use of resources than deterministic digital computation even at relatively high levels of precision in the cell.
One of science’s strongest dogmas is that complex life on Earth could only evolve when oxygen levels in the atmosphere rose to close to modern levels. But now studies of a small sea sponge fished out of a Danish Fjord shows that complex life does not need high levels of oxygen in order to live...
Billy Joe's insight:
On the question: ¿How complex life evolve from primitive forms?
Carbon nanotubes combined with silicon make optoelectronic logic that could speed computing
Billy Joe's insight:
Engineers trying to speed up communication between computer chips have been working on using beams of light to replace the copper traces that shuttle data between microprocessors. Now a pair of researchers at Northeastern University in Boston think they can turn up the speed even more by doing some of the computing with light as well.
Electronic oscillators are circuits that produce a periodic electronic signal, and they are used to regulate a variety of devices from radio and television transmitters to cellphones and computers. Biological systems are also regulated by complex molecular oscillators, from the level of individual cells up to entire organisms.
The field of synthetic biology seeks to engineer reliable and predictable behaviors in organisms from collections of standardized genetic parts. However, unlike other types of machines, genetically encoded biological systems are prone to changes in their designed sequences due to mutations in their DNA sequences af
This class analyzes complex biological processes from the molecular, cellular, extracellular, and organ levels of hierarchy. Emphasis is placed on the basic biochemical and biophysical principles that govern these processes.
Biofilms are multifunctional and environmentally responsive assemblies of living and non-living components. By using synthetic gene networks in engineered cells to regulate the production of extracellular amyloid fibrils, and by interfacing the fibrils with inorganic materials such as metal nanoparticles, stimuli-responsive synthetic biofilms with switchable functions and tunable composition and structure have now been produced.
London designer and researcher Shamees Aden is developing a concept for running shoes that would be 3D-printed from synthetic biological material and could repair themselves overnight. Shamees Aden’s Protocells trainer would be 3D-printed to the exact size of the user’s foot from a material that would fit like a second skin. It would react to...
Billy Joe's insight:
A new Biodesign, coming into our daily lives, the Biological shoes, that can regenerate every time, just like a plant.
You're looking at a rabbit's heart beating outside the animal that once hosted it. It's alive, pumping blood on its own thanks to a revolutionary electronic membrane that may save your life by keeping your heart beating at a perfect rate.
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.
Billy Joe's insight:
A new approximation allows us to simplify the problem by using synthetic cellular consortia where the output of the computation is distributed over multiple engineered cells. By evolving circuits in silico, we can obtain the minimal sets of Boolean units required to solve the given problem at the lowest cost using cellular consortia.
Compartmentalization of complex chemical networks is an essential step towards the creation of cell-scale molecular systems. The encapsulation of a synthetic biochemical oscillating reaction system into cell-sized emulsion droplets is now demonstrated; a large variability in its oscillatory dynamics is observed, which is attributed to partitioning effects.
In a surprising breakthrough for the world of materials science, researchers have created some of the most powerful artificial muscles we've ever seen. And they did it with simple fishing line. These freakishly strong and cheap muscles could revolutionize robotics, and perhaps one day our own bodies.
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