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Design Evolution

Design Evolution | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Using the words evolution and design in the same paragraph, let alone together in the title of a blog post, can make biologists very uncomfortable. Design is something that humans do on purpose, and natural selection doesn’t “do” anything on purpose. Anthropomorphizing and giving intention to evolution is a big time no-no.

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Synthetic Biology
All about the growing field of synthetic biology
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iGEM Success Using High Quality Gene Fragments

The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition is fast paced, and teams need a good plan and quick access to materials if they are going to be successful. IDT has been a regular sponsor of iGEM teams and would like to offer our help and insights to this year’s teams, as well as provide some free DNA to get you started. In this webinar, we will introduce you to gBlocks® Gene Fragments. We will present some examples of past iGEM projects to illustrate how gBlocks Gene Fragments can make your project a success. Finally, we will explain how to order your gene fragments and how to take advantage of the exclusive offer for 2015 iGEM teams.

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Find the Right DNA Tool for the Job – Accelerate Synthetic Biology with IDT at ASM 2015

Find the Right DNA Tool for the Job – Accelerate Synthetic Biology with IDT at ASM 2015 | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

IDT demonstrates how to enhance research methods with innovative new DNA tools 

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Opiate-producing yeast raises spectre of 'home-brewed heroin'

Opiate-producing yeast raises spectre of 'home-brewed heroin' | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Science policy experts have called for urgent measures to be put in place to prevent strains of yeast that are capable of producing opiate drugs from falling into the hands of criminals. The prospect of ‘home-brewed heroin’ has been raised after new research describes how a key enzyme in the pathway from glucose to morphine and other opiates has for the first time been successfully expressed in yeast. The finding means that the complete biosynthetic pathway for the family of compounds that includes codeine and morphine is close to being achieved in yeast. However, opinion on the potential dangers to society of the new technology is divided, with other experts suggesting that there are unlikely to be major problems.

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Biologists to engineer bacteria for vaccine delivery

Biologists to engineer bacteria for vaccine delivery | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

An eight million Euro project has been launched with the aim of engineering bacteria to deliver vaccines against antibiotic-resistant infections.

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Tiny light bulb in a cell could improve biological devices

Tiny light bulb in a cell could improve biological devices | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Scientists have developed a tiny fluorescing light bulb for detecting potential problems in biological devices.

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Engineered Bacteria Shine Light On Air Pollution

Engineered Bacteria Shine Light On Air Pollution | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Biosensors: A pollutant-detecting device contains bioluminescent bacteria that glow if the surrounding air contains toxic chemicals

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Synthesizing tomorrow

Synthetic biology could be seen as a natural development of traditional biotechnology and applied genetics. However, the exuberant culture that it has embraced should ensure it has a very bright future.

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Mobilizing the Planet’s Genetic Diversity with Synthetic Biology

Mobilizing the Planet’s Genetic Diversity with Synthetic Biology | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

1,4-BUTANEDIOL ISN’T EXACTLY the flashiest product on the market: with a four-carbon chain bounded by alcohol groups, the thick, colorless liquid is one of those “industrial chemicals” that makes the eyes glaze over. But the diminutive molecule is worth some serious cash, with an estimated global market cap of $2 billion. Ultimately, 1,4-butanediol, also known as BDO, facilitates the production of a range of plastics, polyurethanes, and elastic fibers, making everything from skateboards to Spandex possible.

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Bacteria Could Help Clean Up Radioactive Soil

Bacteria Could Help Clean Up Radioactive Soil | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

A highly acidic protein from salt-loving bacteria could be used to remove radioactive cesium from contaminated soil. 

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The DIY biohacking revolution is here

The DIY biohacking revolution is here | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Just as big tech companies like Google found their start in garages, the future of biology will be built in garages and kitchens, too.

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Would you wear yeast perfume? Microbes used to brew scent

Would you wear yeast perfume? Microbes used to brew scent | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Genetically engineered microorganisms could replace flowers as sources of ingredients for perfumes - and even recreate scents from plants long extinct

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Color-Changing Flowers—Biotechnology for Everyone

Color-Changing Flowers—Biotechnology for Everyone | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

A start-up synthetic biology company is bioengineering color-changing flowers to capture the imagination of the general public and make genetically modified organisms (GMOs) more accessible, personal, and ultimately, better understood.

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Lessane K.'s curator insight, March 9, 1:00 PM

I chose this article because my senior project requires me to spend time researching career opportunities in different engineering fields. This start-up is planning on making a profit through the engineering of flowers that can change color. I have mixed feelings about these and other GMO's in general. I believe in consumer rights, and so the concealment of the information that a certain organism is genetically modified is to me a great breach of ethics. Here, most people would realize that the flowers are genetically modified. As far as the health risks involved, I doubt that these flowers cause any harm to humans or animals (since the scientists are just using chemicals naturally present in the flowers), so the company is going to do well, I think. My deepest reservations about this issue go back to something more fundamental than GMO's--the nature of beauty (or rather, the beauty of nature). Though good and beautiful, art is art, and will never be equal to nature. The process which created the object is just as important as the object itself (why else do we say "hand-crafted" is better than "factory-made"). For this reason, I think the work of these bioengineers should be admired, but we should always be wary that what we do cannot always compare to what is in nature already. Instead, we should learn to use nature while altering it as little as possible. Because of my views on this kind of engineering, I think it would be better for me to avoid bioengineering and to look further into electrical or mechanical engineering.

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Synthetic biology breakthrough leads to cheaper statin production

Synthetic biology breakthrough leads to cheaper statin production | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

University of Manchester researchers, together with industrial partner DSM, have developed a single-step fermentative method for the production of leading cholesterol-lowering drug, pravastatin, which will facilitate industrial-scale statin drug production.

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Intelligent bacteria for detecting disease

Intelligent bacteria for detecting disease | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Another step forward has just been taken in the area of synthetic biology. Research teams from Inserm and CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research) Montpellier, in association with Montpellier Regional University Hospital and Stanford University, have transformed bacteria into “secret agents” that can give warning of a disease based solely on the presence of characteristic molecules in the urine or blood. To perform this feat, the researchers inserted the equivalent of a computer programme into the DNA of the bacterial cells. The bacteria thus programmed detect the abnormal presence of glucose in the urine of diabetic patients. This work, published in the journal Science TranslationalMedicine, is the first step in the use of programmable cells for medical diagnosis

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Microdomains set the stage for breakthroughs in study of human disease

Microdomains set the stage for breakthroughs in study of human disease | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

J. Andrew MacKay builds on his team’s attempt to control polypeptide-based structures.

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Drugs: Regulate 'home-brew' opiates

Drugs: Regulate 'home-brew' opiates | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

The research community and the public require a fast, flexible response to the synthesis of morphine by engineered yeasts, urge Kenneth Oye, Tania Bubela and J. Chappell H. Lawson.

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Engineering Efficiency

Engineering Efficiency | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Genetically engineered bacterial cells that produce high volumes of proteins are the workhorses of synthetic biology. However, churning out an endless stream of foreign proteins can exhaust cells’ resources. Is there a way to lighten the load?

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Scientists a step closer to developing renewable propane

Scientists a step closer to developing renewable propane | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Researchers at The University of Manchester have made a significant breakthrough in the development of synthetic pathways that will enable renewable biosynthesis of the gas propane. This research is part of a programme of work aimed at developing the next generation of biofuels.

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Microbes Engineered to Prevent Obesity

Microbes Engineered to Prevent Obesity | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Genetically engineered bacteria ward off obesity in mice, showing how the microbiome could be used treat chronic diseases in people.

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Synthetic biologists seek standards for nascent field

Synthetic biologists seek standards for nascent field | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Common language and methods are needed to fulfil biofactory dream.

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What Does Synthetic Biology Mean to Architects?

What Does Synthetic Biology Mean to Architects? | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it
What if you could design a house that would be encapsulated in a seed? Then to build that house you just had to plant the seed and add water. The Bio/Nano/Programmable Matter group at Autodesk Research is working to make this possible.
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Synthetic biology: How to peel fruits’ chemicals

Synthetic biology: How to peel fruits’ chemicals | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

New method of producing nootkatone offers the best combination of affordability and sustainability

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Design and build of synthetic DNA goes back to 'BASIC'

Design and build of synthetic DNA goes back to 'BASIC' | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

A new technique for creating artificial DNA that is faster, more accurate and more flexible than existing methods has been developed by scientists.

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Changing the World with Color Changing Flowers

Changing the World with Color Changing Flowers | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Keira Havens is the co-founder of Revolution Bioengineering, and this week the company launched a crowd funding campaign to produce flowers that can change colors.


And what is the revolution?


“We want to change the world,” says Keira. “We really want to make a difference in the way people think about biotechnology. For a long time it’s been the realm of large companies and behind-the-scenes labs, and we want to make it a part of folks' everyday lives.”


Keira hopes that a genetically engineered plant product which is not eaten or produced by a big company will not be as threatening to those afraid of GMOs and might possible affect the ongoing debate over genetically modified products.


The flower will not be available until 2017. So it will be some time before Keira and her team are turning a pumpkin into a stagecoach.

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Richard Spencer's curator insight, March 6, 1:37 PM

Wow  this  will be  fascinating  it is  known  that  our  common  Hydranga  changes  colour  with  the  different  PH  levels  but  now  we  can  have  biogentic  plants  thats  does  that  too 

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Review of RevBio’s Crowd Funding Campaign

Review of RevBio’s Crowd Funding Campaign | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Art’s primary function is to cause people to re-evaluate their environment. A synthetic biology artists’ responsibility is to communicate to the public what the field of synthetic biology is capable of and evaluate how it affects their lives. At SynBioBeta San Francisco’s 2014 Conference, Revolution Biology (RevBio) Founder and CEO, Kiera Havens, announced her company would have a crowdfunding campaign in early 2015 for a synthetic biology art project.

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