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Research and Markets: Global Synthetic Biology Market 2014-2018: Market to Reach $5.6 Billion in 2018, Growing at a CAGR of 24% | Business Wire

Research and Markets: Global Synthetic Biology Market 2014-2018: Market to Reach $5.6 Billion in 2018, Growing at a CAGR of 24% | Business Wire | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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Connecting The Microcosmos and The Macro World

Connecting The Microcosmos and The Macro World | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
By Glen Martin Good luck trying to jam Christina Agapakis into any kind of vocational box. Her CV cites disparate accomplishments as a scientist, writer, and artist — and teacher.
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World’s First Artificial Enzymes Created Using Synthetic Biology

World’s First Artificial Enzymes Created Using Synthetic Biology | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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"A team of researchers have created the world’s first enzymes made from artificial genetic material.
 
The synthetic enzymes, which are made from molecules that do not occur anywhere in nature, are capable of triggering chemical reactions in the lab.
 
The research is published in the journal Nature and promises to offer new insights into the origins of life, as well as providing a potential starting point for an entirely new generation of drugs and diagnostics. In addition, the authors speculate that the study increases the range of planets that could potentially host life.
 
All life on Earth depends on the chemical transformations that enable cellular function and the performance of basic tasks, from digesting food to making DNA. These are powered by naturally-occurring enzymes which operate as catalysts, kick-starting the process and enabling such reactions to happen at the necessary rate.
 
For the first time, however, the research shows that these natural biomolecules may not be the only option, and that artificial enzymes could also be used to power the reactions that enable life to occur.
 
The findings build on previous work in which the scientists, from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge and the University of Cambridge, created synthetic molecules called “XNAs”. These are entirely artificial genetic systems that can store and pass on genetic information in a manner similar to DNA.
 
Using these XNAs as building blocks, the new research involved the creation of so-called “XNAzymes.” Like naturally occurring enzymes, these are capable of powering simple biochemical reactions.
 
Dr. Alex Taylor, a Post-doctoral Researcher at St John’s College, University of Cambridge, who is based at the MRC Laboratory and was the study’s lead author, said: “The chemical building blocks that we used in this study are not naturally occurring on Earth, and must be synthesized in the lab. This research shows us that our assumptions about what is required for biological processes– the ‘secret of life’– may need some further revision. The results imply that our chemistry, of DNA, RNA and proteins, may not be special and that there may be a vast range of alternative chemistries that could make life possible.”..."


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Mind-controlled transgene expression by a wireless-powered optogenetic designer cell implant

Mind-controlled transgene expression by a wireless-powered optogenetic designer cell implant | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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*Human thoughts used to switch on genes* 
 http://bit.ly/1yA7vNy

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*Mind-controlled transgene expression by a wireless-powered optogenetic designer cell implant*

by
Marc Folcher, Sabine Oesterle, Katharina Zwicky, Thushara Thekkottil, Julie Heymoz, Muriel Hohmann, Matthias Christen, Marie Daoud El-Baba, Peter Buchmann & Martin Fussenegger


"Synthetic devices for traceless remote control of gene expression may provide new treatment opportunities in future gene- and cell-based therapies. Here we report the design of a synthetic mind-controlled gene switch that enables human brain activities and mental states to wirelessly programme the transgene expression in human cells. An electroencephalography (EEG)-based brain–computer interface (BCI) processing mental state-specific brain waves programs an inductively linked wireless-powered optogenetic implant containing designer cells engineered for near-infrared (NIR) light-adjustable expression of the human glycoprotein SEAP (secreted alkaline phosphatase). The synthetic optogenetic signalling pathway interfacing the BCI with target gene expression consists of an engineered NIR light-activated bacterial diguanylate cyclase (DGCL) producing the orthogonal second messenger cyclic diguanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP), which triggers the stimulator of interferon genes (STING)-dependent induction of synthetic interferon-β promoters. Humans generating different mental states (biofeedback control, concentration, meditation) can differentially control SEAP production of the designer cells in culture and of subcutaneous wireless-powered optogenetic implants in mice."

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194 Countries Agree to Regulate Synthetic Biology

194 Countries Agree to Regulate Synthetic Biology | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
The Best in Uncensored News Information and Analysis
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Synthetic Biology Unlocks Nature's Nano-Tech Secrets - Informilo

Synthetic Biology Unlocks Nature's Nano-Tech Secrets - Informilo | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
The world’s first synthetic biology accelerator program was run in Cork. If the companies can deliver what they say it could change the way we think about manufacturing
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EMBO Practical Course - Synthetic Biology in Action - 8 - 20 June 2015

EMBO Practical Course - Synthetic Biology in Action - 8 - 20 June 2015 | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
This course focuses on the exploitation of tools and concepts of SynBio for multi-scale engineering of biological systems. The program consists of practicals with two daily lectures on closely related topics.
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Connecting the microcosmos and the macro world - O'Reilly Radar

Connecting the microcosmos and the macro world - O'Reilly Radar | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
This is part of our investigation into synthetic biology and bioengineering. For more, download the new BioCoder Fall 2014 issue here. Good luck trying to jam Christina Agapakis into any...
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Christina Agapakis explores the microbiological matrix that binds everything from pecorino to people http://oreil.ly/10Aa0o2

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Accurate Predictions of Genetic Circuit Behavior from Part Characterization and Modular Composition

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by
Noah Davidsohn , Jacob Beal , Samira Kiani , Aaron Adler , Fusun Yaman , Yinqing Li , Zhen Xie , and Ron Weiss

"A long-standing goal of synthetic biology is to rapidly engineer new regulatory circuits from simpler devices. As circuit complexity grows, it becomes increasingly important to guide design with quantitative models, but previous efforts have been hindered by lack of predictive accuracy. To address this, we developed Empirical Quantitative Incremental Prediction (EQuIP), a new method for accurate prediction of genetic regulatory network behavior from detailed characterizations of their components. In EQuIP, precisely calibrated time-series and dosage-response assays are used to construct hybrid phenotypic/mechanistic models of regulatory processes. This hybrid method ensures that model parameters match observable phenomena, using phenotypic formulation where current hypotheses about biological mechanisms do not agree closely with experimental observations. We demonstrate EQuIP’s precision at predicting distributions of cell behaviors for six transcriptional cascades and three feed-forward circuits in mammalian cells. Our cascade predictions have only 1.6-fold mean error over a 261-fold mean range of fluorescence variation, owing primarily to calibrated measurements and piecewise-linear models. Predictions for three feed-forward circuits had a 2.0-fold mean error on a 333-fold mean range, further demonstrating that EQuIP can scale to more complex systems. Such accurate predictions will foster reliable forward engineering of complex biological circuits from libraries of standardized devices."


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Synthetic biology could be big boost to interplanetary space travel

Synthetic biology could be big boost to interplanetary space travel | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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by
Robert Sanders

"Genetically engineered microbes could help make manned missions to Mars, the moon and other planets more practical, according to a new analysis by UC Berkeley and NASA scientists.

In the cover story of today’s issue of the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, four bioengineers describe how synthetic biology – what some have termed “genetic engineering on steroids” – could allow space travelers to use microbes to produce their own fuel, food, medicines and building materials from raw feedstocks readily available on Mars or the moon, instead of carrying all supplies aboard the spacecraft or making them at the destination with conventional non-biological methods...."


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Orthogonal optogenetic triple-gene control in mammalian cells

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by
Konrad Müller , Raphael Engesser , Jens Timmer , Matias D. Zurbriggen , and Wilfried Weber

"Optogenetic gene switches allow gene expression control at an unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution. Recently, light-responsive transgene expression systems that are activated by UV-B, blue or red light have been developed. These systems perform well on their own, but their integration into genetic networks has been hampered by the overlapping absorbance spectra of the photoreceptors. We identified a lack of orthogonality between UV-B and blue light-controlled gene expression as the bottleneck and employed a model-based approach that identified the need for a blue light-responsive gene switch that is insensitive to low-intensity light. Based on this prediction we developed a blue light-responsive and rapidly-reversible expression system. Finally, we employed this expression system to demonstrate orthogonality between UV-B, blue and red/far-red light-responsive gene switches in a single mammalian cell culture. We expect this approach to enable the spatiotemporal control of gene networks and to expand the applications of optogenetics in synthetic biology."



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Programming Nature - Entrepreneurs are Transforming Synthetic Biology into Real Dollars - YouTube

When: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 Where: Cemex Auditorium at Knight Management Center (Parking and Directions) Event Description: Synthetic biology was once-up...
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iGEM Uppsala 2014 - YouTube

We are the Uppsala iGEM team of 2014. iGEM is a research competition for University students from all over the World, and we are one of Three Swedish Viking ...
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New device could make large biological circuits practical

New device could make large biological circuits practical | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Innovation from MIT could allow many biological components to be connected to produce predictable effects.
Gerd Moe-Behrens's insight:

by
David L. Chandler 

"Researchers have made great progress in recent years in the design and creation of biological circuits — systems that, like electronic circuits, can take a number of different inputs and deliver a particular kind of output. But while individual components of such biological circuits can have precise and predictable responses, those outcomes become less predictable as more such elements are combined.

A team of researchers at MIT has now come up with a way of greatly reducing that unpredictability, introducing a device that could ultimately allow such circuits to behave nearly as predictably as their electronic counterparts. The findings are published this week in the journal Nature Biotechnology, in a paper by associate professor of mechanical engineering Domitilla Del Vecchio and professor of biological engineering Ron Weiss.
The lead author of the paper is Deepak Mishra, an MIT graduate student in biological engineering. Other authors include recent master’s students Phillip Rivera in mechanical engineering and Allen Lin in electrical engineering and computer science.
There are many potential uses for such synthetic biological circuits, Del Vecchio and Weiss explain. “One specific one we’re working on is biosensing — cells that can detect specific molecules in the environment and produce a specific output in response,” Del Vecchio says. One example: cells that could detect markers that indicate the presence of cancer cells, and then trigger the release of molecules targeted to kill those cells.
It is important for such circuits to be able to discriminate accurately between cancerous and noncancerous cells, so they don’t unleash their killing power in the wrong places, Weiss says. To do that, robust information-processing circuits created from biological elements within a cell become “highly critical,” Weiss says.
To date, that kind of robust predictability has not been feasible, in part because of feedback effects when multiple stages of biological circuitry are introduced. The problem arises because unlike in electronic circuits, where one component is physically connected to the next by wires that ensure information is always flowing in a particular direction, biological circuits are made up of components that are all floating around together in the complex fluid environment of a cell’s interior.
Information flow is driven by the chemical interactions of the individual components, which ideally should affect only other specific components. But in practice, attempts to create such biological linkages have often produced results that differed from expectations.
“If you put the circuit together and you expect answer ‘X,’ and instead you get answer ‘Y,’ that could be highly problematical,” Del Vecchio says.
The device the team produced to address that problem is called a load driver, and its effect is similar to that of load drivers used in electronic circuits: It provides a kind of buffer between the signal and the output, preventing the effects of the signaling from backing up through the system and causing delays in outputs.
While this is relatively early-stage research that could take years to reach commercial application, the concept could have a wide variety of applications, the researchers say. For example, it could lead to synthetic biological circuits that constantly measure glucose levels in the blood of diabetic patients, automatically triggering the release of insulin when it is needed.
The addition of this load driver to the arsenal of components available to those designing biological circuits, Del Vecchio says, “could escalate the complexity of circuits you could design,” opening up new possible applications while ensuring that their operation is “robust and predictable.”
James Collins, a professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University who was not associated with this research, says, “Efforts in synthetic biology to create complex gene circuits are often hindered by unanticipated or uncharacterized interactions between submodules of the circuits. These interactions alter the input-output characteristics of the submodules, leading to undesirable circuit behavior.”..."



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Neri Oxman creates 3D-printed structures for interplanetary voyages

Neri Oxman creates 3D-printed structures for interplanetary voyages | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Neri Oxman's team at MIT Media Lab has created 3D-printed "skins" designed to facilitate synthetic biological processes for travelling to other planets.
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Edinburgh wins gold in iGEM 2014

Edinburgh wins gold in iGEM 2014 | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Each year, it begins with 30 or so Edinburgh University applicants. Everyone is highly qualified; their interest in the subject has propelled them to the top of their respective classes for the bet...
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Congratulations!

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Synthesizing AND gate genetic circuits based on CRISPR-Cas9 for identification of bladder cancer cells

Synthesizing AND gate genetic circuits based on CRISPR-Cas9 for identification of bladder cancer cells | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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by
Yuchen Liu, Yayue Zeng, Li Liu, Chengle Zhuang, Xing Fu, Weiren Huang & Zhiming Cai

"The conventional strategy for cancer gene therapy offers limited control of specificity and efficacy. A possible way to overcome these limitations is to construct logic circuits. Here we present modular AND gate circuits based on CRISPR-Cas9 system. The circuits integrate cellular information from two promoters as inputs and activate the output gene only when both inputs are active in the tested cell lines. Using the luciferase reporter as the output gene, we show that the circuit specifically detects bladder cancer cells and significantly enhances luciferase expression in comparison to the human telomerase reverse transcriptase-renilla luciferase construct. We also test the modularity of the design by replacing the output with other cellular functional genes including hBAX, p21 and E-cadherin. The circuits effectively inhibit bladder cancer cell growth, induce apoptosis and decrease cell motility by regulating the corresponding gene. This approach provides a synthetic biology platform for targeting and controlling bladder cancer cells in vitro."


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Léo Felippe Dias's curator insight, November 10, 2014 8:36 AM

Sintetizando circuitos biológicos para serem utilizados na terapia genética do cancer.

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Conditional Control of Mammalian Gene Expression by
Tetracycline-Dependent Hammerhead Ribozymes | CodonOps

Conditional Control of Mammalian Gene Expression by<br/>Tetracycline-Dependent Hammerhead Ribozymes | CodonOps | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Kim Beilstein, Alexander Wittmann, Manuel Grez and Beatrix Suess
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Wearables, the quantified self and synthetic biology: The Day Before Tomorrow ... - The Drum

Wearables, the quantified self and synthetic biology: The Day Before Tomorrow ... - The Drum | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
The Drum's Day Before Tomorrow series exploring technological disruption kicked off last night with the first episode’s...
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Can Bio-Computers Kill Cancer Cells

Can Bio-Computers Kill Cancer Cells | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Gerd Moe-Behrens's insight:

*Can Bio-Computers Kill Cancer Cells*

by
Chuck Seegert

"New research from ETH Zurich has made progress towards achieving bio-computers by developing a biological circuit that controls individual sensory components. Future developments of this technology could enable complex, cancer-hunting bio-computers.

Creating logic-based circuits from biological components has been challenging because of the nature of neural cells and how they interact. While an electronic computer is based on the discrete on and off signals that ones and zeros represent, biological circuits are much less predictable. Action potentials, the primary signal type that is transmitted by neural circuits, are subject to many influences, making signal transfer more unpredictable.
A reliable computer must be predictable, which is what researchers from ETH Zurich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich) may have done for biological computer systems. The technology may soon come to a point where a bio-computer could be feasible, according to a recent press release from the university.
“The ability to combine biological components at will in a modular, plug-and-play fashion means that we now approach the stage when the concept of programming as we know it from software engineering can be applied to biological computers,” said Yaakov Benenson, professor of synthetic biology in the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering at ETH Zurich in Basel, in the press release. “Bio-engineers will literally be able to program in future.”
The technology combines genetics and signals from a special enzyme — called a recombinase — to activate a biological sensor only when it is signaled to do so. Essentially, the active gene is installed in the biosensor’s DNA in the wrong orientation, which makes it inactive, according to the press release. When a recombinase enzyme is put in the cellular environment, the gene is reoriented into the proper position, making the circuit active.
The new method enables sensors with a dynamic range that is up to 1,000-fold that of the originally configured systems, according to study published by the team in Nature Chemical Biology. The team foresees that this technology may be able to force cancer cells to undergo programmed cell death, while normal cells would remain inactivated.
While controlling the internal cellular machinery may be critical to generating bio-computers, directing and controlling where neurons grow may also be important in the design process. Directing neural cell growth in culture using fluid flow was recently discussed in an article published on Med Device Online."




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New tool could help reshape the limits of synthetic biology

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Yeast geneticists developed a novel tool — “the telomerator” — that could redefine the limits of synthetic biology http://bit.ly/1tEsw8Y

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Synthetic biology: Just add water -programmable in vitro diagnostics

Synthetic biology: Just add water -programmable in vitro diagnostics | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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*Just add water* — *programmable in vitro diagnostics*

by
Linda Koch

"Concerns about biosafety, practicality and costs have traditionally confined engineered synthetic gene circuits hosted in living cells to research environments, despite the great potential that these molecular tools hold for biotechnology and medical applications. Now, US researchers have circumvented these difficulties by using porous materials such as paper as host substrates for cell-free synthetic…"


 http://bit.ly/1uBp8zi

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Synthetic chemistry fuels interdisciplinary approaches to the production of artemisinin

Synthetic chemistry fuels interdisciplinary approaches to the production of artemisinin | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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by
Michael A. Corsello and    Neil K. Garg

"In the developing world, multi-drug resistant malaria caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum is an epidemic that claims the lives of 1–3 million people per year. Artemisinin, a naturally occurring small molecule that has seen little resistance from malarial parasites, is a valuable weapon in the fight against this disease. Several easily accessible artemisinin derivatives, including artesunate and artemether, display potent antimalarial activity against drug-resistant malaria strains; however, the global supply of artemisinin from natural sources alone remains highly inconsistent and unreliable. As a result, several approaches to artemisinin production have been developed, spanning areas such as total synthesis, flow chemistry, synthetic biology, and semi-synthesis. This review highlights achievements in all areas, in addition to the interplay between synthetic biology and synthetic chemistry that has fueled the recent industrial-scale production of artemisinin."


 http://rsc.li/ZVvuLl

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'Starfish' crystals could lead to 3D-printed pills - Futurity

'Starfish' crystals could lead to 3D-printed pills - Futurity | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
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*‘STARFISH’ CRYSTALS COULD LEAD TO 3D-PRINTED PILLS*

by
Nicole Casal Moore-Michigan 

"Engineers have figured out how to make rounded crystals with no facets, a design that mimics the hard-to-duplicate texture of starfish shells.

The discovery could one day lead to 3D-printed medications that absorb better into the body.
Both the crystals’ shape and the way they’re made—using organic vapor jet printing—have other promising applications, researchers say. The geometry could potentially be useful to guide light in advanced LEDs, solar cells, and nonreflective surfaces...."


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Next Generation: Freeze-Dried Gene Networks - Scientist

Next Generation: Freeze-Dried Gene Networks - Scientist | SynBioFromLeukipposInstitute | Scoop.it
Researchers devise a way to preserve bits of paper containing synthetic gene networks, which can be easily stored and widely distributed. Rehydrated, transcription and translation “come to life.”
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