Imagine if humans could ‘talk’ to plants and warn them of approaching pest attacks or extreme weather. A team of plant scientists at the Sainsbury Laboratory Cambridge University (SLCU) would like to turn this science fiction into reality using light-based messaging to ‘talk’ to plants.
Berkeley Lab scientists are accelerating and streamlining the process of engineering microbes to produce important compounds with commercial-ready efficiency.
The Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) is seeking biological and environmental science project proposals for the Fiscal Year 2024 Exploratory Research Call through 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 6.
Nature-based solutions are an effective tool to combat climate change triggered by rising carbon emissions, whether it’s by clearing the skies with bio-based aviation fuels or boosting natural carbon sinks. At the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, scientists are leading research to transform plants into key drivers of decarbonization, from creating biomass crops for new fuels to enhancing the ability of plants to absorb and store carbon.
Plastics transformed engineering in the past century, but they also transformed the environment in ways that will take millennia to repair. Washington University in St. Louis is leading a new effort to address the grand challenge of developing the next generation of high-performance, sustainably sourced and biodegradable plastics that advance engineering while also protecting the environment.
In a step forward for genetic engineering and synthetic biology, researchers have modified a strain of Escherichia coli bacteria to be immune to natural viral infections while also minimizing the potential for the bacteria or their modified genes to escape into the wild.
A University of Maryland School of Medicine researcher and his colleagues at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill have unveiled the structure of DREADDs (Designer Receptors Activated by Designer Drugs) that will pave the way for creating the next generation of these tools. This step ultimately will bring them closer to an elusive goal — understanding the underpinnings of brain disorders and develop new treatments.
UC San Diego and its collaborating partners have been awarded $10 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to leverage the biomedical promise of viruses known as bacteriophages as new therapeutic agents in the fight against the rising crisis of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.
In new research published by Biophysical Reports, researchers from Florida State University and Cleveland State University lay out a mathematical model that explains how bacteria communicate within a larger ecosystem. By understanding how this process works, researchers can predict what actions might elicit certain environmental responses from a bacterial community.
NIBIB has established the Center for Biomedical Engineering Technology Acceleration—BETA Center, a new intramural research program to solve a range of medicine’s most pressing problems. The BETA Center will serve the wider NIH intramural research program as a biotechnology resource and catalyst for NIH research discoveries.
The enzymes polyketide synthases and nonribosomal peptide synthetases can shuffle their parts, allowing them to produce new chemicals. To help scientists design these enzymes, researchers have improved ClusterCAD. This tool helps users modify these enzymes for synthetic biology applications. New improvements include an expanded database, powerful search tools, and helpful new features within the interface.
Scientists working on a solution for plastic waste have developed a two-step chemical and biological process to break down and upcycle mixed plastics into valuable bioproducts.
Researchers at the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a synthetic chemistry approach to polymerize proteins inside of engineered microbes.
Scientists used an oddball molecule made by bacteria to develop a new class of biofuels predicted to have greater energy density than any petroleum product, including the leading aviation and rocket fuels.
A $2.3 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant will fund Jianjun Guan and Fuzhong Zhang’s effort to develop and deliver therapeutic proteins to help treat injured limbs.
Industry produces acetone and isopropanol using processes that release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Researchers have now developed a new fermentation process that efficiently converts waste carbon oxide gases into acetone and isopropanol. This use of engineered bacteria advances progress on “carbon-negative” biomanufacturing for more sustainable industrial production and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Biologists at Sandia National Laboratories developed comprehensive software that will help scientists in a variety of industries create engineered chemicals more quickly and easily. Sandia is now looking to license the software for commercial use, researchers said.
University of Delaware’s Aditya Kunjapur, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and an emerging leader in biosecurity with expertise in teaching cells to create and harness chemical building blocks not found in nature, is the lead author of a new paper published in Science Advances that describes progress on the stability of a biocontainment strategy that uses a microbe’s dependence on a synthetic nutrient to keep it contained.
A change of instructions in a computer program directs the computer to execute a different command. Similarly, synthetic biologists are learning the rules for how to direct the activities of human cells.
UC San Diego School of Medicine researchers discovered that the enzyme RNA polymerase II recognizes and transcribes artificially added base pairs in genetic code, a new insight that could help advance the development of new vaccines and medicines.
The June edition of SLAS Discovery features the cover article, “A Perspective on Synthetic Biology in Drug Discovery and Development—Current Impact and Future Opportunities” by Florian David, Ph.D. (Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden), Andrew M. Davis, Ph.D. (AstraZeneca, Cambridge, England, UK). Michael Gossing, Ph.D., Martin A. Hayes, Ph.D., and Elvira Romero, Ph.D., and Louis H. Scott, Ph.D. (AstraZeneca, Gothenburg, Sweden), and Mark J. Wigglesworth, Ph.D. (AstraZeneca, London, England, UK).
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have combined synthetic biology with a machine learning algorithm to create human liver organoids with blood and bile handling systems. When implanted into mice with failing livers, the lab-grown replacement livers extended life.
In a new study published today in Nature Chemistry, Professor Stephen Mann and Dr Mei Li from Bristol’s School of Chemistry, together with Associate Professor Jianbo Liu and colleagues at Hunan University and Central South University in China, prepared synthetic protocells coated in red blood cell fragments for use as nitric oxide generating bio-bots within blood vessels.
Scientists have discovered how a common virus in the human gut infects and takes over bacterial cells – a finding that could be used to control the composition of the gut microbiome, which is important for human health. The Rutgers co-authored research, which could aid efforts to engineer beneficial bacteria that produce medicines and fuels and clean up pollutants, is published in the journal Nature.
Berkeley Lab researchers have achieved unprecedented success in modifying a microbe to efficiently produce a compound of interest using a computational model and CRISPR-based gene editing. Their approach could dramatically speed up the research and development phase for new biomanufacturing processes, getting advanced bio-based products, such as sustainable fuels and plastic alternatives, on the shelves faster.
James J. Collins, Ph.D., an innovator in synthetic biology whose ideas have contributed to novel diagnostics and treatments targeting infections and complex diseases, has been awarded the 2020 Dickson Prize in Medicine, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine’s highest honor.
Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a new tool that adapts machine learning algorithms to the needs of synthetic biology to guide development systematically. The innovation means scientists will not have to spend years developing a meticulous understanding of each part of a cell and what it does in order to manipulate it.
Researchers develop the new “transient vibrational sum-frequency generation microscope,” giving them a thorough view of molecular systems—not just single traits of molecules.
Engineers are developing a no-touch, mail-in, fast-scan diagnostic sensing system that could be used to quickly test for COVID-19 or other outbreaks. The system would also produce a real-time outbreak map with demographic details.
Taking a bottom-up approach to synthetic biology, UC San Diego chemists and physicists show that lipid sponge droplets can be programmed to internally concentrate specific proteins, host and accelerate biochemical transformations and control enzymatic reactions.
Recent discoveries by two research teams in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University are advancing the field of synthetic biology. Results from a research collaboration between the lab groups of Assistant Professor Xiaojun Tian and Associate Professor have revealed novel ways that engineered gene circuits interact with biological host cells.
Scientists repurposed living frog cells—and assembled them into entirely new life-forms. These tiny “xenobots” can move toward a target and heal themselves after being cut. These novel living machines are neither a traditional robot nor a known species of animal. They’re a new class of artifact: a living, programmable organism.
Biomanufacturing – harnessing biological processes in cells and microbes to design and manufacture products – is revolutionizing how we make everything from futuristic consumer goods to sustainable fuels to breakthrough medicines. Every biomanufactured product can be traced back to discoveries in the lab, but translating that science into a real-world product can be tricky. Berkeley Lab helps move great ideas, like outdoor gear made from algae oil, from conception to commercialization.
Researchers have designed a more precise and versatile genome editing system, named prime editing, that harnesses the power of CRISPR-Cas9 in combination with another protein, reverse transcriptase, to directly edit DNA in human cells.