Engineering metabolic pathways, whether for pharmaceuticals or fuels, involves many trade-offs. Flux imbalances (for example where flux through the first step exceeds flux through the second) can lead to the accumulation of toxic intermediates. Moreover, expressing heterologous proteins beyond that which is necessary can place a burden upon the cell for protein, rather than product, synthesis. Sometimes lowering expression levels of heterologously expressed proteins improves product titers (e.g. here and here). Continue reading
Cas9 – could it change Biotech forever? Well, you’ll have to follow that link to find out. In the meantime, here’s a very brief introduction.
CRISPR – clustered, regularly interspersed, short palindromic repeats – are used by bacteria and archaea to provide protection against foreign nucleic acid sequences. Continue reading
Any would-be Exeter iGEMers may be interested in this article, appearing in Nature, about the current state of play in biocomputing: i.e. using biological molecules to perform computation. The article introduces the work presented in the paper, “Synthetic circuits integrating logic and memory in living cells” Continue reading
This collection aims to highlight PLOS ONE’s role in the emerging interdisciplinary field of synthetic biology. The collection has its roots in PLOS ONE’s very first issue, which included two publications from the field and since then, the number of synthetic biology articles published by the journal has grown steadily. As the field continues to develop, this collection will be updated to include new publications, thereby tracking the evolution of this dynamic research area.
Moreover, there is a comment section for each paper, allowing post peer-review, peer-review:
One overarching theme of synthetic biology is standardization, which can only be achieved through concerted community effort. To this end, each article published in PLOS ONE can be the start of a lively conversation. The ability to comment on articles provides the community with a means to engage in a dialogue focused on specific articles, and the “Share this Article” feature allows readers to quickly send an article they find interesting to their entire networks, because all the content is openly accessible.
There’s plenty to be getting on with. The Synthetic Biology (2012) PLOS Collections can be found here: http://www.ploscollections.org/syntheticbiology
The iGEM team from Harvard 2010, and their iGarden have found their way to publication in the Journal of Biological Engineering. Their new paper, “A BioBrick compatible strategy for genetic modification of plants” Continue reading
There’s a lot of interest (including at the Beeb) in a new paper from Drew Endy published in PNAS: rewritable digital data storage in live cells via engineered control of recombination directionality. Continue reading