Cambridge website for Synthetic Biology resources

www.synbio.org.uk

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.

Google: Synthetic Biology news

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Meetings: Synthetic Biology

  • 04 Aug 2014
    01:00 to 01:00

    Integrative Biology-2014 is a remarkable event for scientists/experts from academia and industry nationwide to catalyze the networking between the branches of computational biology and bioinformatics and

  • 30 Aug 2014
    01:00 to 01:00

    This conference will focus on the advancement of synthetic biology, especially its application in the field of antibiotic production in filamentous fungi and actinomycete bacteria, including the implementation

  • 14 Sep 2014
    01:00 to 01:00

    This year's conference theme Systems Biology: The Fifth Element seeks to capture the multiple facets that comprise a systems understanding of life, as a single common thread that unifies seemingly different

04 Aug 19 Sep

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www.synbio.org.uk

Amyris cuts production target

From: ICIS Green Chemicals

I actually saw tweets last week about Amyris' announcement to scale back its 2012 farnesene "Biofene" production but I wasn't sure if I should wait further for the company's fourth quarter earnings results, which will be out on February 27, before posting this.

However, given that I will cover NatureWorks' bioplastic conference "Innovation Takes Roots" in Orlando on February 20, and the Jefferies Global CleanTech Conference on February 22 and 23, PLUS, Gevo and Solazyme will also post their quarter earnings results in the next few days, there will be lots more news piling up my draft box (Codexis' earnings result that came out on February 7 is already waiting in there...)

So let's get on with this one.

When Amyris announced its unexpected "not-so-positive"earnings guidance on late February 9, several investment firms downgraded the company such as Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Piper Jaffray, Raymond James and RW Baird. The company's shares dropped 29% to $6.93 on February 10, well below it's previous 52-week low of $8.77.

Amyris told analysts that:

  • It is scrapping its plans for its second industrial-scale production facility, which is owned by penicillin producer Antibioticos S.A. in Leon, Spain. Instead, Amyris will only complete its initial industrial-scale plant project in Piracicaba, Sao Paulo, where it has formed joint ventures with Paraiso Bioenergia and Grupo Sao Martinho. Last year, Amyris received $12.6m in financing from the Brazilian Development Bank for the Piracicaba project.

  • In conjunction with the cut, it will no longer produce 40-50 million liters of Biofene the company projected for 2012. Amyris said it has produced over 1m liters of Biofene from three contract facilities -Biomin in Piracicaba, Brazil; Antibioticos in Leon, Spain; and Tate & Lyle in Illinois, US. The company set production target at 9m liters in early 2011 and was reduced to 1-2m liters in the latter months.

  • Another in conjunction, Amyris will not be able to forecast positive cashflow this year and instead needs to raise additional equity financing. The financing is expected to close in the coming weeks, according to Amyris.

  • The company will also eliminate reporting production forecasts on its quarterly earnings, and instead will only provide production results and updates on their progress.

  • Another big change is refocusing its Biofene commercialization in higher-margin markets like polymers, cosmetics, flavors and fragrances, and branded consumer products, instead of higher-volume markets such as biofuel and base oil. Development in the biofuel/base oil areas will instead be pursued through joint ventures with partners "capable of driving these products to scale," the company said. Amyris, emphasized, however, that it is not stopping its relatively small scale biofuel production, where some of is already being used to make diesel fuel for buses in Sao Paulo (supply contract ends in 2012) and Rio de Janeiro (fleet test ends in July 2012)

"We showed conclusively that our technology does work at scale, but also learned that it takes time to translate from peak yield levels in the lab to maintaining those yields over longer operational periods in the field. Our priority is now to establish reliable production across our facilities. We need to retain flexibility in how we optimize between production volume, cost, customer demand and cash, rather than driving to deliver a predetermined production volume." - John Melo, CEO.


More information will be shared next week during Amyris' presentation at the Jefferies CleanTech conference as well as the company's quarterly financial results on February 27.

Amyris cuts production target: "

(Via ICIS Green Chemicals.)

Research news at Cambridge University

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www.marchantia.org

Online resources, including bibliography, weblinks and posters, for work with the simple plant system, Marchantia polymorpha.

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OpenLabTools: open technology in Cambridge

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The OpenLabTools Project is a new initiative for the development of low cost and open access scientific tools at the University of Cambridge. With support from the Raspberry Pi Foundation, student projects include data acquisition, sensing, actuating, processing and 3D manufacturing, see the openlabtools.org website.

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