www.synbio.org.uk

Synthetic Biology Resources at Cambridge

Compiled by Jim Haseloff at the University of Cambridge. SpannerPlantLogo140This site contains details of recent papers and activity in Synthetic Biology, with particular emphasis on: (i) development of standards in biology and DNA parts, (ii) microbial and (iii) plant systems, (iv) research and teaching in the field at the University of Cambridge, (v) hardware for scientific computing and instrumentation, (vi) tools for scientific productivity and collected miscellany.

Similar to the Cambridge-based Raspberry Pi and OpenLabTools initiatives, we promote the use of low cost and open source tools - in our case for use in biological engineering.

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Recent News

IMAGE A Mitochondrial DNA Transplant Could Help Treat Hundreds Of Diseases
Thursday, 08 January 2015
For the first time ever, researchers in New Zealand have shown that mitochondrial DNA can move between cells in an animal tumor. It's an extraordinary finding that could lead to an entirely new field of synthetic biology and the treatment of hundreds of diseases. Read more... Read More...
IMAGE Impossibly imaginative food landscapes. Warning: don't look if hungry.
Thursday, 08 January 2015
" 'Processed Views,' a photography series by Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman.   From the artists:   Processed Views interprets the frontier of industrial food production: the seductive and alarming intersection of nature and technology. As we move further away from the sources of our food, we... Read More...
IMAGE This tiny button could solve the IoT’s big headache
Thursday, 08 January 2015
Controlling your digital life from your smartphone, or even by voice, is great, but there are times when it'd be a whole lot more convenient to reach out and stab a physical button. That's the idea behind Flic, crowdfunding success from late last year, and here at CES to show off what you can do... Read More...
IMAGE Intel’s “Compute Stick” is a full Windows or Linux PC in an HDMI dongle
Thursday, 08 January 2015
Andrew Cunningham The Intel Compute Stick is a full PC in an HDMI dongle. 3 more images in gallery // LAS VEGAS, NEVADA—Set-top boxes and streaming sticks are decent, cost-effective ways to turn the TV you already have into a 'smart TV,' but Intel has an intriguing new option for those of you... Read More...
IMAGE A microbe found in a grassy field appears to contain a remarkably powerful antibiotic.
Thursday, 08 January 2015
A microbe found in a grassy field appears to contain a remarkably powerful antibiotic. Called teixobactin, it kills dangerous pathogens without any observable resistance (at least not yet). Moreover, it destroys many types of drug-resistant bacteria and it's safe in mammals. Its use may be limited,... Read More...
IMAGE To Save Our Ecosystems, Will We Have to Design Synthetic Creatures?
Wednesday, 07 January 2015
To Save Our Ecosystems, Will We Have to Design Synthetic Creatures?BY LIZ STINSON   Imagine someday in the distant future, years after the ‘sixth extinction’ went from theory to undeniable reality. Our ecosystems are failing, our biodiversity is dropping like flies (at least the ones that... Read More...
Synthetic Biology Market worth $5,630.4 Million by 2018 - Major Market Players - Amyris, Inc. (U.S.), DuPont (U.S.), GenScript USA Inc. (U.S.), Intrexon Corporation (U.S.) - WhaTech
Wednesday, 07 January 2015
Synthetic Biology Market worth $5,630.4 Million by 2018 - Major Market Players - Amyris, Inc. (U.S.), DuPont (U.S.), GenScript USA Inc. (U.S.), Intrexon Corporation (U.S.) WhaTech Channel: Industrial Market Research Reports The global synthetic biology market is segmented on the basis of tools,... Read More...
IMAGE 3 Tech Giants Quietly Investing in Synthetic Biology (ADSK, INTC, MSFT)
Wednesday, 07 January 2015
3 Tech Giants Quietly Investing in Synthetic Biology By Maxx Chatsko | More Articles January 7, 2015 | Comments (0) The introduction and widespread adoption of fun new gadgets, games, and services in the last 15 years has provided billions of dollars of revenues and profits to the technology... Read More...

Featured News

Impossibly imaginative food landscapes. Warning: don't look if hungry.
Thursday, 08 January 2015
" 'Processed Views,' a photography series by Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman.   From the artists:   Processed Views interprets the frontier of industrial food production: the seductive and alarming intersection of nature and technology. As we move further away from the sources of our food, we head into uncharted territory replete with unintended consequences for the environment and for our... Read More...
This tiny button could solve the IoT’s big headache
Thursday, 08 January 2015
Controlling your digital life from your smartphone, or even by voice, is great, but there are times when it'd be a whole lot more convenient to reach out and stab a physical button. That's the idea behind Flic, crowdfunding success from late last year, and here at CES to show off what you can do with a tiny stick-on button, … Continue reading" 
Intel’s “Compute Stick” is a full Windows or Linux PC in an HDMI dongle
Thursday, 08 January 2015
Andrew Cunningham The Intel Compute Stick is a full PC in an HDMI dongle. 3 more images in gallery // LAS VEGAS, NEVADA—Set-top boxes and streaming sticks are decent, cost-effective ways to turn the TV you already have into a 'smart TV,' but Intel has an intriguing new option for those of you who want something a little more versatile. The Intel Compute Stick is a full Bay Trail PC complete... Read More...

Synthetic Biology at the Wellcome Trust

wtx058378.jpg

Synthetic Biology features in the new window display at the headquarters of the Wellcome Trust at 215 Euston Road, London.
The display features six different projects created by students, graduates and staff from the Design Interactions department at the Royal College of Art, each offering an alternative view of how science could influence our future. The purpose is not to offer predictions, but to inspire debate about the human consequences of different technological futures, both positive and negative, by asking 'What If…?'

Curated by leading London based design duo Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, 'What If...?' features a range of works by designers who have explored everything from clouds engineered to 'snow' ice cream, through to the social consequences of machines that could read your every emotion - and includes displays exploring the theme of Synthetic Biology by Daisy Ginsberg, James King and Michael Burton.

What if...bacteria recoloured our world? 
E. chromi: James King and Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, 2009
For the 2009 International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM), seven Cambridge University undergraduates modified E. coli to secrete coloured pigments. These bacteria, which were named 'E. chromi', have many potential uses, including biosensors to test for pollutants in drinking water. How might the use of bacteria to produce pigments develop? What are the broader implications? The timeline considers products we might buy that use 'E. chromi', people whose livelihood might depend on it, and laws that might be needed to regulate it.

 What if...we accept co-evolution with bacteria, microbes and parasites as a healthy option? 
The Race: Michael Burton, 2007
For every human cell in the body there are ten nonhuman cells - bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes - living inside and on you. They are vital to many of your daily functions. 'The Race' responds to this and to human meta-genomic research to reconsider our approach to healthcare as a co-evolved organism and conglomeration of vital bacteria, microbes and parasites. The project scrutinises our inadvertent assistance of super-bugs like MRSA through the overuse of antibiotics. Instead it offers alternative enhancements, new behaviours and objects for a more symbiotic future.

What if...everyday products contained synthetically produced living components? 
The Synthetic Kingdom: A natural history of the synthetic future: Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, 2009
How will we classify what is natural or unnatural when life is built from scratch? Synthetic biology is turning to the living kingdoms for its materials library. No more petrochemicals: instead, pick a feature from an existing organism, locate its DNA and insert into a biological chassis. Engineered life will compute, produce energy, clean up pollution, kill pathogens and even do the housework. Meanwhile, we add an extra branch to the Tree of Life. 'The Synthetic Kingdom' is part of our new nature. Biotech promises us control over nature, but living machines need controlling. Are promises of sustainability and healthiness seductive enough to accept such compromise?

Senior Curator at the Wellcome Trust, James Peto said: "It's great that there will be so much change built into the designs for the Euston Road windows this year. By next Christmas 'What If...?' will have showcased projects by 15 different students, graduates and staff from the Design Interactions course. The windows offer a great platform for asking some gently provocative questions about humanity's relationship with technology. We estimate that around 5000 people pass by them every day, on foot alone."The display will be refreshed with new designs throughout the year with the first instalment unveiled on Thursday 4 February.

From: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/News/Media-office/Press-releases/2010/WTX058379.htm

Research news at Cambridge University

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European Association of Students & Postdocs in Synthetic Biology (EUSynBioS)

EUSynBioSprelimLogo240The European Association of Students & Postdocs in Synthetic Biology (EUSynBioS) invites you to join its pre-launch community. The EUSynBioS initiative seeks to shape and foster a network of young researchers active the nascent scientific discipline of synthetic biology within the European Union by means of providing an integrative central resource for interaction and professional development.

Key objectives of EUSynBioS include i) the implementation of a central web platform for sharing news and opportunities relevant to members of the community as well as for academic networking, ii) the arrangement and support of events for academic exchange and professional development, iii) liaison with representatives of industry, and iv) establishment of a primary contact for collaboration and exchange with related communities of synthetic biology students and postdocs abroad.

Registering as a member is free and can be completed within 30 seconds via the following link http://www.eusynbios.org/students-and-postdocs/join Students and postdocs who register as a EUSynBioS member will be able to:
o Access a large network of young researchers in synthetic biology for academic collaboration and exchange
o Share technical resources and teaching materials
o Stay informed about relevant events such as conferences, workshops, or social outings o Browse relevant jobs in academia and industry
o Use site visits and mentoring opportunities to interact with prospective employers
o Connect with members of related communities all over the world

By registering as a member prior to the official launch of EUSynBioS, you will not only make a statement of support which will have an impact on the resources available to the community in the future; you will also be given the chance to actively shape EUSynBioS right from the start, and have an edge when applying for a position on the Steering Committee. We are looking forward to your joining us ! Christian Boehm, University of Cambridge.