This paper from Patrick Boyle and Pam Silver at Harvard/the Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering (and who wouldn’t want to work there!) gives a nice comparison of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. If you thought it was all a cut-and-paste process with a large element of luck, then think again.
There’s a piece in the Guardian today from one of the presenters of BBC’s Horizon: Synthetic biology and the rise of the spider-goats. With further programme information here: Playing God which is due to air on BBC2 Tuesday 17th January, at 21:30.
Another clear and simple introductory video to synthetic biology. This video is from Claudia Vickers, Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology. The video gives examples of some of the potential uses of synthetic biology, touching on some of the iGEM projects previously discussed on this blog.
Just a quick post to draw attention to this recent paper in Nature: A sensing array of radically coupled genetic ‘biopixels’ from Jeff Hasty’s lab (link features colonies of engineered E. coli oscillating in synchrony). Christopher Voigt has written a précis Synthetic biology: bacterial cells collaborate to sense arsenic.
This week’s Biosciences seminar speaker will be Professor Les Baillie from Cardiff University. His talk title is: “From Anthrax to Tea via sharks, self cloning, the FBI and cricket!” The seminar will be held at 12 noon on Thursday 12th January in GP328. Please note the change of venue for this week only.
Here’s a typically scary interesting story from the Daily Mail. The article asks: could synthetic biology lead to mind hackers? (Whilst I was surprised that the Mail was aware of synthetic biology, I was even more surprised that there was no mention of whether or not synthetic biology causes or cures cancer).