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Novel DNA Assembly Strategies

Novel DNA Assembly Strategies | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

One of the major goals of the emerging area of synthetic biology is to design and build engineered biological systems in a reliable way, as engineers today design integrated circuits based on the known physical properties of their materials. It is foreseeable, thereby, that the last two steps in such a workflow would be to convert a large digitized sequence stored in a computer into a real DNA molecule (as large as a chromosome) and then to install it in the right contextual host.

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Synthetic Biology
All about the growing field of synthetic biology
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iGEM Students Engineer Biological Tools for a Better World

iGEM Students Engineer Biological Tools for a Better World | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

The International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM) is the preeminent, multinational, undergraduate synthetic biology competition that takes place each year. The competition focuses on engineering aspects of synthetic biology as a foundation to develop research skills and foster collaboration among student participants. The duration of the competition is fairly short, with most of the work occurring over the summer months, when most students take time off from their studies. It is truly impressive the types of relevant world issues for which the teams are able to address and test solution in such a short time.

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Turbo Tobacco Borrows Bacteria Genes for Faster Photosynthesis

Turbo Tobacco Borrows Bacteria Genes for Faster Photosynthesis | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

A team of British and American biologists has successfully infused tobacco plants with bacterial genes—paving the way for turbocharged crops that grow faster with less fertilizer.

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Hacked photosynthesis could boost crop yields

Hacked photosynthesis could boost crop yields | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Algal enzyme can speed up rate at which plants make food.

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Macquarie University undergraduate science students to compete in world’s premier synthetic biology competition

Macquarie University undergraduate science students to compete in world’s premier synthetic biology competition | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Twelve undergraduate biomolecular science students from Macquarie University are set to compete in the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition, which will draw students from around the world to a jamboree style event in Boston, Massachusetts, in late October.

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Scientists create renewable fossil fuel alternative using bacteria

Scientists create renewable fossil fuel alternative using bacteria | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Researchers have engineered the harmless gut bacteria E.coli to generate renewable propane.

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Andrew Hessel: Biotechnology, Genetic Engineering and Future of Life Science

Andrew Hessel: Biotechnology, Genetic Engineering and Future of Life Science | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Andrew Hessel is the Distinguished Researcher with Autodesk and co-chair of Bioinformatics and Biotechnology at the Singularity University.

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Microbial DNA, Biobricks and Body Odor, My Post Grad Year with iGEM Paris Bettencourt

Microbial DNA, Biobricks and Body Odor, My Post Grad Year with iGEM Paris Bettencourt | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

The iGEM, or International Genetically Engineered Machine, competition offers a platform for university students across the world interested in synthetic biology to work on creative projects centered around the foundation of synthetic biology: streamlining biology into an engineering science and building biological systems from standard parts that are operated in living cells.

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Yeast turned into morphine and opioid biofactories

Yeast turned into morphine and opioid biofactories | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Scientists hope that biotech route could protect the drug supply chain from harvest failures and problems with illicit use

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Engineered Bacteria Stick To Cancer Cells

Engineered Bacteria Stick To Cancer Cells | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Synthetic Biology: Researchers modified bacterial proteins called adhesins to target proteins expressed on human cells

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Rakesh Yashroy's curator insight, August 20, 8:53 AM

Host-pathogen interface shows how bacterial pathogens get virulent to attack the host cells @ https://www.academia.edu/7328964/YashRoy_R_C_1992_Salmonella_3_10_r_-_surface_interactions_with_intestinal_epithelial_microvilli.Indian_Journal_of_Animal_Sciences._Vol_62_No.6_pp_502-504. Bacterial surface can be artificially modified so that they attack unwanted cancer cells in host body.

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Bacterial Robotics building "bactobots" engineered to destroy skull-based tumors

Bacterial Robotics building "bactobots" engineered to destroy skull-based tumors | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Cincinnati-based Bacterial Robotics is engineering a legion of so-called “bactobots” to do our bidding – in the fields of health care, industrial waste management and a litany of others.

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Engineered Bacteria Produce Aromatic Aldehydes

Engineered Bacteria Produce Aromatic Aldehydes | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Synthetic Biology: The microbes use the aldehydes to synthesize a precursor to the pharmaceutical ephedrine, as well as the artificial flavorants benzaldehyde and vanillin

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Changing the world: Team FerriTALEs

With support from Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures, a group of young scientists out of the University of Calgary are working on a project that might help change the world. Team FerriTALEs have developed a DNA-based biosensor to detect the presence of E. coli in cattle. Using the cutting edge science of synthetic biology, hear how these young people are helping to solve the world's problems.

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Spinning a genetic web, 3-D-printer style

Spinning a genetic web, 3-D-printer style | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Taking nature's cues to build self-assembly into the molecular structure

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Drew Endy: The iGEM Revolution

Drew Endy: The iGEM Revolution | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

iGEM stands for the “International Genetically Engineered Machines” competition.

Thousands of student bioengineers from all over the world construct new life forms and race them every year at the Giant Jamboree in Boston. iGEM has been going on for ten years (2,500 competitors this year, over 32 countries, 20,000+ alumni) and gives a peerless window into the global grassroots synthetic-biology revolution, yet the phenomenon has been largely overlooked by the media, industry, and most governments.

iGEM began with college undergraduates and recently expanded to include high school teams. In making their genetic creations students get from and give back to a repository of over 10,000 genetic components called BioBricks parts. The organisms (mostly microbes) the students engineer range from frivolous (doing a stadium-style “wave”) to beneficial (detecting and eliminating water pollutants) to ingenious (increasing plant root structure to fix carbon while ensuring that no exotic genes can escape). iGEM teams "are also challenged to actively consider and address the safety, security and environmental implications of their work."

Drew Endy, a professor of Bioengineering at Stanford, was one of the creators of iGEM and is co-founder and president of the BioBricks Foundation, an organization whose mission is "to develop biotechnology in an open and ethical manner to benefit all people and the planet." He is a strong proponent of “open source” biotech and public discussion of the techniques, benefits, and potential hazards of synthetic biology.

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Creating 480 varieties of wheat is deserving of the World Food Prize

Creating 480 varieties of wheat is deserving of the World Food Prize | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Improving wheat is a major challenge for agricultural scientists. The world’s population continues to grow – and so does its appetite. Sanjaya Rajaram, winner of the 2014 World Food Prize, used an innovative breeding technique to develop 480 new wheat varieties. Rajaram’s varieties are high-yielding yet resistant to diseases and stresses, which allows them to thrive in a range of environments. Across the world, scientists are currently exploring a range of strategies to increase wheat yield.

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Stanford bioengineers develop a toolkit for designing more successful synthetic molecules

Stanford bioengineers develop a toolkit for designing more successful synthetic molecules | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Synthetic molecules hold great potential for revealing key processes that occur in cells, but the trial-and-error approach to their design has limited their effectiveness. Christina Smolke introduces a computer model that could provide better blueprints for building synthetic genetic tools.

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Teachers Learn and Share the Love for Synthetic Biology

Teachers Learn and Share the Love for Synthetic Biology | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Putting current synthetic biology science and engineering research into the hands of teachers to increase understanding and engagement with these exciting new fields is the job of BioBuilder.org, a program sponsored by the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (SynBERC), an NSF-funded center headquartered at the University of California (UC) at Berkeley. In 2013, 125 teachers received training in one- to five-day workshops, returning to the classroom with new knowledge and teaching materials. Adding in the 75 trainees from 2012, the BioBuilder curriculum has now been brought to over 200 classrooms around the country.

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Crowdsourcing Synthetic Biology

Crowdsourcing Synthetic Biology | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

At first glance, the terms ‘synthetic’ and ‘biology’ seem like parts that wouldn’t quite fit with each other. Ironically though, not only do they fit together, but creating and putting parts together is what synthetic biology is all about. Except in this case, the parts aren’t made out of steel or plastic that are manufactured in a factory. The parts are made out of DNA, RNA and proteins. Building blocks that make up living things. Synthetic biology, as defined by the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (Synberc) consortium “is the design and construction of new biological entities such as enzymes, genetic circuits, and cells or the redesign of existing biological systems.” Synthetic biology, which is equal parts biology and engineering, is emerging as one of the hottest fields in basic and applied research around the world. The applications of synthetic biology are far and wide, ranging from engineering bacteria that can clean up waste to creating more effective vaccines and delivering drugs with precision.

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DNA From This Ugly Fish Is Being Used to Synthesize Bulletproof Slime

DNA From This Ugly Fish Is Being Used to Synthesize Bulletproof Slime | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it
If you have ever seen a picture or a video of a hagfish, it's probably been on some roundup of the ocean's most horrifying creatures. But the DNA within that very creature, often known as a "slime eel," just might be the key to creating sustainable, biodegradable plastic.
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Synthetic Biology Gone Wild? Probably Not. An interview with Tom Ellis.

Synthetic Biology Gone Wild? Probably Not. An interview with Tom Ellis. | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

The first annual Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution & Design (SEED) conference was held last month in Manhattan Beach, CA. Both new and veteran star-studded synthetic biologists shared the podium for four days to showcase cutting-edge technologies being developed in their respective labs. Talks covering metabolic engineering, sensors, genetic circuits, and nanotechnology highlighted the diverse and interdisciplinary nature of SynBio research. In particular, a common theme involved research addressing issues of bio-safety and the potential ecological ramifications of synthetic biology. On the first day of SEED, I interviewed presenter Dr. Tom Ellis, to talk about his research and his views concerning SynBio research.

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Kitchen counter bio hacking

Kitchen counter bio hacking | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

I first heard about Synbiota at SXSWi this year, when they won an Accelerator Award. According to the announcement, “Synbiota is a virtual collaboration site that connects scientists, researchers, universities and others from around the world to solve complex problems using genetic engineering.” That week they announced the world’s first Massive Open Online Science (MOOS) event. Called #ScienceHack, hundreds of researchers from around the globe (some as clueless as us!) would use a new “wetware” kit to produce prohibitively expensive medicine at a fraction of the price.

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iGEM Paris-Bettencourt

This is the promotional video of iGEM Paris-Bettencourt team 2014 Twitter: @iGEM_Paris Facebook: iGEM Paris Bettencourt

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Life-Saving Dividends for Synthetic Biology Research: Microbial-Based Antimalarial Drug Shipped to Africa

Life-Saving Dividends for Synthetic Biology Research: Microbial-Based Antimalarial Drug Shipped to Africa | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

A project begun some 13 years ago by Jay Keasling, the Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences at Berkeley Lab and the CEO of the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), was culminated with an announcement on August 12 from the partnership of Sanofi, the multinational pharmaceutical company, and PATH, the nonprofit global health organization. Sanofi/PATH announced the shipment of 1.7 million treatments of semi-synthetic artemisinin to malaria-endemic countries in Africa. Unlike conventional artemisinin, which is derived from the bark of the sweet wormwood plant, this synthetic version of the World Health Organization’s frontline antimalarial drug is derived from yeast. The addition of a microbial-based source of artemisinin to the botanical source provides a stable new option for treating the millions of victims who are stricken with malaria each year, most of them children.

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Unique nucleotide sequence–guided assembly of repetitive DNA parts for synthetic biology applications

Unique nucleotide sequence–guided assembly of repetitive DNA parts for synthetic biology applications | Synthetic Biology | Scoop.it

Recombination-based DNA construction methods, such as Gibson assembly, have made it possible to easily and simultaneously assemble multiple DNA parts, and they hold promise for the development and optimization of metabolic pathways and functional genetic circuits. Over time, however, these pathways and circuits have become more complex, and the increasing need for standardization and insulation of genetic parts has resulted in sequence redundancies—for example, repeated terminator and insulator sequences—that complicate recombination-based assembly. We and others have recently developed DNA assembly methods, which we refer to collectively as unique nucleotide sequence (UNS)–guided assembly, in which individual DNA parts are flanked with UNSs to facilitate the ordered, recombination-based assembly of repetitive sequences. Here we present a detailed protocol for UNS-guided assembly that enables researchers to convert multiple DNA parts into sequenced, correctly assembled constructs, or into high-quality combinatorial libraries in only 2–3 d. If the DNA parts must be generated from scratch, an additional 2–5 d are necessary. This protocol requires no specialized equipment and can easily be implemented by a student with experience in basic cloning techniques.

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Preparing synthetic biology for the world

Synthetic Biology promises low-cost, exponentially scalable products and global health solutions in the form of self-replicating organisms, or “living devices.” As these promises are realized, proof-of-concept systems will gradually migrate from tightly regulated laboratory or industrial environments into private spaces as, for instance, probiotic health products, food, and even do-it-yourself bioengineered systems. What additional steps, if any, should be taken before releasing engineered self-replicating organisms into a broader user space? In this review, we explain how studies of genetically modified organisms lay groundwork for the future landscape of biosafety. Early in the design process, biological engineers are anticipating potential hazards and developing innovative tools to mitigate risk. Here, we survey lessons learned, ongoing efforts to engineer intrinsic biocontainment, and how different stakeholders in synthetic biology can act to accomplish best practices for biosafety.

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