Navigation Links
Boston University researchers expand synthetic biology's toolkit
Date:8/2/2012

BOSTON (8/2/12) -- Through the assembly of genetic components into "circuits" that perform logical operations in living cells, synthetic biologists aim to artificially empower cells to solve critical problems in medicine, energy and the environment. To succeed, however, they'll need far more reliable genetic components than the small number of "off-the-shelf" bacterial parts now available.

Now a new method developed by Boston University biomedical engineers Ahmad S. Khalil and James J. Collins -- and collaborators at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and MIT -- could significantly increase the number of genetic components in synthetic biologists' toolkit and, as a result, the size and complexity of the genetic circuits they can build. The development could dramatically enhance their efforts not only to understand how biological organisms behave and develop, but also to reprogram them for a variety of practical applications.

Described in the August 2 online edition of Cell, the method offers a new paradigm for constructing and analyzing genetic circuits in eukaryotes -- or organisms whose cells contain nuclei, which include everything from yeasts to humans. Instead of constructing these circuits with off-the-shelf parts from bacteria and porting them into eukaryotes, as most synthetic biologists do, Khalil and his collaborators have engineered these circuits using modular, functional parts from the eukaryotes themselves.

With funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and other sources, the research team built their synthetic genetic circuit parts from a class of proteins, known as zinc fingers, which can be programmed to bind desired DNA sequences. The modularity of the new parts enables a wide range of functions to be engineered, the construction of much larger and more complex genetic circuits than what's now possible with bacteria-based parts, and ultimately, the development of much more powerful applications.

"Our research may lead to therapeutic applications, such as the dynamic modification and control of genes and genetic networks that are important in human disease," said Khalil. Potential medical applications include stem cell therapeutics for a wide variety of injuries and diseases and in-cell devices and circuits for diagnosing early stages of cancer and other diseases. The new method may also equip groups of cells to perform higher-order computational tasks for processing signals in the environment in sensing applications.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mike Seele
mseele@bu.edu
617-353-9766
Boston University College of Engineering
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Leaders in childrens health to gather in Boston
2. Boston researcher, surgical oncologist receives national award
3. SLEEP 2012 presents latest in sleep medicine and research June 11-13 in Boston
4. Snoring Isn’t Sexy Member, Dr. Mark Levy attends the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine Meeting in Boston, MA
5. University of Cincinnati researchers win $3.7M grant from US Department of Defense
6. Leading experts on congenital muscular dystrophy convene at University of Nevada, Reno
7. Rice University student engineers automate limb lengthening for kids
8. Louisiana Tech University professor earns NSF Early Career Development grant
9. Neuropsychologist receives University of Houstons highest faculty honor
10. University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work announces partnership with MD Anderson
11. Columbia University Medical Center and NY-Presbyterian experts at APA meeting
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Boston University researchers expand synthetic biology's toolkit
(Date:3/24/2017)... NY (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... scale; from third world countries to hospitals in the United States, it’s a ... conversation on the current obstacles facing infection prevention and offers strategies for the ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... According to a new study by NCPA ... does not obey the rules Congress has directed the CBO to follow. The CBO ... reform would restore. Yet, it estimates a reduction in employer-based coverage due to the ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... planning, and related services to families and business owners across eastern Michigan, is ... feeding regional families struggling with financial difficulties. , The Oxford/Orion FISH Food Pantry ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... Society (ONS) wanted to create a communications platform that positions them as the ... Elliance and ONS reinvented their online publication as an always-on, always-fresh news, views ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Westchester County, NY (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... in Somers and White Plains, N.Y., is pleased to announce Westchester resident Lauren C. ... as a law clerk for the firm, will concentrate her practice in elder law, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)...   The Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs ... the pharmaceutical industry has appointed Dr. Jane ... formed scientific advisory board. Dr. Chin will be ... ever medical affairs think tank within the pharmaceutical ... ACMA, please visit  www.medicalaffairsspecialist.org .  Connect with ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , Mar. 24, 2017 Research and Markets ... Pipeline Analysis, 2016" report to their offering. ... The IPF pipeline is very strong with a ... Merck & Co., Inc., Biogen and Sanofi are involved in the development ... of which one is in Phase III stage, 15 are in Phase ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... March 24, 2017 Today Stock-Callers.com have ... which are: Neovasc Inc. (NASDAQ: NVCN), Hologic Inc. (NASDAQ: HOLX), ... SSH ). These companies are part of the ... on Thursday, March 23 rd , 2017, with the NYSE ... of health care companies in the S&P 500 were down ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: