Keeping Bacteria Under Lock and Key

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.

How Cells “Read” Artificial Ingredients Tossed into Genetic Recipe

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.

SLAS Discovery’s “A Perspective on Synthetic Biology in Drug Discovery and Development—Current Impact and Future Opportunities” Available Now

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).

Synthetic Biology and Machine Learning Speed the Creation of Lab-Grown Livers

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.

Biofriendly protocells pump up blood vessels

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.

Gut Microbiome Manipulation Could Result from Virus Discovery

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.

Microbe “Rewiring” Technique Promises a Boom in Biomanufacturing

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.

Machine Learning Takes on Synthetic Biology: Algorithms Can Bioengineer Cells for You

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 reveal new understandings of synthetic gene circuits

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.

The Wild World of Microbe-Made Products – Skis Now Included

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.