Researchers at the University of California San Diego and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have come up with a strategy for using synthetic biology in therapeutics. The approach enables continual production and release of drugs at disease sites in mice while simultaneously limiting the size, over time, of the populations of bacteria engineered to produce the drugs. The findings are published in the July 20 online issue of Nature.
Planning to express a gene in an heterologous system? Learn how rebalancing codon usage is important for optimizing protein expression. While there are no known methods to predict protein expression, as numerous factors contribute to ultimate protein yield, codon optimization plays a critical role.
Scientists from the University of Southampton have reengineered the fundamental process of photosynthesis to power useful chemical reactions that could be used to produce biofuels, pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals.
Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst report in the current issue of Small that they have genetically designed a new strain of bacteria that spins out extremely thin and highly conductive wires made up solely of non-toxic, natural amino acids.
Over 9000 years ago the first domesticated varieties of wheat were created in South West Asia. What was remarkable about these plants is that they were selected by humans to retain their seeds rather than dispersing them by wind. This meant that wheat became dependent on farmers for propagation, but allowed people to harvest grain without the pods shattering in their hands.
Ever wondered why humans have not colonized Mars, or traveled further into space? We have. It is not because the technology is lacking – in fact, using the technology we have today it might be possible to achieve these aims (Wall 2013). The main limiting factor is the cost. For instance, the Curiosity mission cost 2.8 billion US dollars. During the mission, a rover was sent to Mars to investigate the composition of the soil. The cost of this was not insanely high, but with a budget for space exploration that keeps being cut by governments of developed countries around the globe (Luxton 2016); it is hard to find the money for longer, manned missions in space.
Ginkgo Bioworks, a Boston-based startup that says it is the biggest consumer of synthetic DNA on the planet, just nabbed a big payday. The plan: custom-design living cells for companies in the fragrance, flavor and food industries.
MIT researchers have developed a technique to integrate both analogue and digital computation in living cells, allowing them to form gene circuits capable of carrying out complex processing operations.
In this video, a team of collaborators led by Wyss Core Faculty member James Collins discuss a low-cost, paper-based diagnostic system that they developed for detecting specific strains of the Zika virus, with the goal that it could soon be used in the field to easily screen blood, urine, or saliva samples.
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