Navigation Links
Predictability: The brass ring for synthetic biology

Predictability is often used synonymously with "boring," as in that story or that outcome was soooo predictable. For practioners of synthetic biology seeking to engineer valuable new microbes, however, predictability is the brass ring that must be captured. Researchers with the multi-institutional partnership known as BIOFAB have become the first to grab at least a portion of this ring by unveiling a package of public domain DNA sequences and statistical models that greatly increase the reliability and precision by which biological systems can be engineered.

The DNA sequences produced by BIOFAB provide precise control of gene expression in Escherichia coli, the rod-shaped bacterium that is one of the principal model organisms for genetic engineering. While these DNA sequences serve as standardized parts specific to E. coli, they also provide a set of rules for how the sequences fit together that should apply to other microbes as well. Controlling the expression of genes is essential for engineering a microbe to produce a specific product or carry out a specific function.

As BIOFAB co-director Adam Arkin, a computational biologist and director of Berkeley Lab's Physical Biosciences Division, has noted, "Fulfilling the great promise of synthetic biology hinges on making the design and construction of biological systems as predictable as the assembly of computer hardware."

Yet even with a microbe as well-characterized and understood as E. coli, the introduction of new genes has in the past been met with as much failure as success.

"You would think after a generation of genetic engineering, expressing genes with precision in an organism as well utilized as E. coli would be pretty straightforward but it's not," says BIOFAB's other co-director Drew Endy, a synthetic biologist at Stanford University.

Arkin and Endy are the corresponding authors of a pair of research papers published simultaneously in the journal Nature Methods, and a third to be published in Nucleic Acids Research, that collectively describe this major BIOFAB breakthrough.

BIOFAB's success is based on two major achievements - the design of independent DNA promoter and ribosome binding site sequences for specific E. coli genes, and the development of mathematical models that provide rules for engineering gene expression that should be applicable to nearly all organisms. This work establishes a much-needed technological foundation for the field of synthetic biology, which in turn should facilitate more precise and predictable genetic engineering in the future.


Contact: Lynn Yarris
DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Related biology news :

1. Synthetic molecule first electricity-making catalyst to use iron to split hydrogen gas
2. Synthetic Biologics to Present at the 2013 BIO CEO & Investor Conference
3. Developing microbial cell factories by employing synthetic small regulatory RNAs
4. Oscillating gel gives synthetic materials the ability to speak
5. Synthetic and biological nanoparticles combined to produce new metamaterials
6. New report finds increase in media coverage of synthetic biology
7. Synthetic fuel could eliminate US need for crude oil
8. Microchoreography: Researchers use synthetic molecule to guide cellular dance
9. Nottingham part of £20m investment for UK synthetic biology
10. Synthetic biofilter wins through to the top Sweet 16 in Boston
11. Collagen-seeking synthetic protein could lead doctors to tumor locations
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Predictability: The brass ring for synthetic biology
(Date:5/16/2017)... N.J. , May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, ... provider of online age and identity verification solutions, announced ... K(NO)W Identity Conference 2017, May 15 thru May 17, ... Regan Building and International Trade Center. ... the globe and in today,s quickly evolving digital world, ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing solutions, has ... features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing TeraFaces ® ... be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo Big Sight ... Las Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image of the ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% ... Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market ... landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Singh Biotechnology today ... designation to SBT-100, its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3) ... able to cross the cell membrane and bind intracellular STAT3 and inhibit its ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... Oct. 10, 2017 International research firm Parks Associates ... speak at the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in ... the residential home security market and how smart safety and security products ... Parks Associates: Smart ... "The residential security market ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... The award-winning American Farmer television ... quarter 2018. American Farmer airs Tuesdays at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. , With global ... the challenge of how to continue to feed a growing nation. At the same ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 06, ... ... leader in Hi-C-based genomic technologies, launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, ... Hi-C kit and accompanying cloud-based bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution ...
Breaking Biology Technology: