Scientists develop electrochemical platform for cell-free synthetic biology

Eurekalert  November 25, 2019 To date, gene-circuit-based sensors have primarily used optical proteins as reporter outputs, which has limited the potential to measure multiple distinct signals. An international team of researchers (Canada, USA – Arizona State University) has engineered a scalable system of reporter enzymes that cleave specific DNA sequences in solution, which results in an electrochemical signal when these newly liberated strands are captured at the surface of a nanostructured microelectrode. They describe the development of this interface and show its utility using a ligand-inducible gene circuit and toehold switch-based sensors by demonstrating the detection of multiple antibiotic resistance […]

Scientists chart course toward a new world of synthetic biology

UC Berkeley  June 19, 2019 According to a road map  released by the Engineering Biology Research Consortium partially funded by the National Science Foundation and centered at the UC Berkeley, the 20-year-old field of synthetic biology is now mature enough to provide solutions to a range of societal problems. The consortium is made up of 80 scientists and engineers from a range of disciplines, representing more than 30 universities and a dozen companies. The roadmap identifies five research areas that the federal government needs to invest in to fuel the bioeconomy and keep the U.S. at the forefront of the field. […]

The synthetic biology revolution is now – here’s what that means

Cosmos magazine  September 10, 2018 Synthetic biology was recognised as a priority area in the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap. In 2015 the synthetic biology component market (DNA parts) was worth $US5.5 billion – by 2020, it will approach $US40 billion. Those figures don’t count sales revenue from synthetic biology products. Road-maps and associated development structures have been developed through public agencies in many advanced economies, including the US , UK , EU , China , Singapore  and Finland  … read more.

New DNA synthesis technique promises rapid, high-fidelity DNA printing

Phys.org  June 18, 2018 An international team of researchers (USA – DOE, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley, Sandia National Laboratory, Germany, Denmark) has developed an oligonucleotide synthesis strategy that uses the template-independent polymerase terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT). They securely tether an unblocked nucleotide to TdT, so that after the nucleotide is added to a growing DNA molecule, the enzyme remains attached and itself protects the end of the chain from further additions. After the DNA molecule has been extended, they cut the linking tether to release the enzyme and re-expose the end for the next addition. With greater accuracy, […]

SynBioHub: A Standards-Enabled Design Repository for Synthetic Biology

ACS Synthetic  Biology January 9, 2018 The SynBioHub repository (https://synbiohub.org) is an open-source software project that facilitates the sharing of information about engineered biological systems. SynBioHub provides computational access for software and data integration, and a graphical user interface that enables users to search for and share designs in a Web browser. By connecting to relevant repositories (e.g., the iGEM repository, JBEI ICE, and other instances of SynBioHub), the software allows users to browse, upload, and download data in various standard formats, regardless of their location or representation… read more.