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DOE researchers achieve important genetic breakthroughs to help develop cheaper biofuels
Date:12/22/2011

the first of its kind to set up and adjust a RNA system in a predictable way.

Specifically, researchers focused their design-driven approach on RNA sequences that can fold into complicated three dimensional shapes, called ribozymes and aptazymes. By using JBEI-developed computer-assisted models and simulations, researchers then created complex RNA-based control systems that are able to program a large number of genes. In microorganisms, "commands" that are sent into the cell will be processed by the RNA-based control systems, enabling them to help develop desired products.

One of the major goals of synthetic biology is to produce valuable chemical products from simple, inexpensive and renewable starting materials in a sustainable manner. Computer-assisted models and simulations like the one JBEI developed are essential for doing so. Up to this point, such tools for biology have been very limited and JBEI's breakthrough in applying computer assisted design marks an important technical and conceptual achievement for this field.


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Contact: Jeff Sherwood
jeff.sherwood@doe.gov
202-586-4940
DOE/US Department of Energy
Source:Eurekalert

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