2-19-2018 Francesca Storici and Havva Keskin with yeast samples in their lab

‘Fully customizable’ genome: Replacing yeast’s 12.5 million base pairs piece by piece

Homo sapiens has had a tight relationship with Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the unicellular fungus better known as brewer’s yeast. … That doesn’t mean S ...
2-14-2018 bilayerchip-2

Perfecting microbes to biomanufacture cells like computer chips

[Researcher Alec] Nielsen heads a startup called Asimov that is trying to automate the design of sophisticated genetic modifications. Its software, called ...
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Harnessing bacteria like E. coli to dispense medicines shows promise, but hurdles remain

We’ve already seen the first cellular medicines, human immune cells genetically reprogrammed to attack cancer cells. Now the first bacterial medicines ...
Ginkgo Bioworks' mission to make GMOs fun, cool and socially conscious

Ginkgo Bioworks’ mission to make GMOs fun, cool and socially conscious

Out on an old Navy dry dock, a biotech company called Ginkgo Bioworks is growing genetically modified organisms by the ...
Genetic engineering promises cornucopia of future products—but biotechnology critics take lethal aim

Genetic engineering promises cornucopia of future products—but biotechnology critics take lethal aim

Genetic engineering may soon be giving us products that appear to be pulled from the realm of science fiction. Researchers ...
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‘Jean editing’: Genetically engineered bacteria could reduce denim’s environmental impact

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley are trying to make the process of making blue jeans greener, by engineering ...
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We’re about to see an expansion of life’s genetic code

With recent innovations in gene editing, it may seem as if the field of synthetic biology is just starting to ...
Nanofabrication: Technology to manufacture almost anything

Nanofabrication: Technology to manufacture almost anything

James Burke has a vision for the future. He believes that by the middle of this century, perhaps as early as ...
Milk without cows: Commercialization of synthetic dairy products in the works

Milk without cows: Commercialization of synthetic dairy products in the works

Berkeley-based Perfect Day – which is creating ‘vegan’ dairy proteins without cows – is in talks with food industry partners ...
Video: MIT scientists create plants that glow in the dark

Video: MIT scientists create plants that glow in the dark

Imagine that instead of switching on a lamp when it gets dark, you could read by the light of a ...
Ginkgo Bioworks: $1 billon company uses genetically engineered microbes to make food, fragrances

Ginkgo Bioworks: $1 billon company uses genetically engineered microbes to make food, fragrances

Ginkgo Bioworks, the biotech startup that’s genetically engineering microbes to make everything from fragrances to food, is ramping up production ...
MIT-3D_0 12/6/17

‘Living tattoo’ made with 3D-printed bacteria responds to stimuli

A team at MIT has genetically modified bacteria cells and developed a new 3D printing technique to create a "living ...
Future of heart medicine: Stem cells to grow cardiac muscle and smaller medical implants

Future of heart medicine: Stem cells to grow cardiac muscle and smaller medical implants

If heart transplantation - 50 years after Christiaan Barnard carried out the first operation - has become routine, what exactly ...
Building and coding your own video games with jellyfish DNA

Building and coding your own video games with jellyfish DNA

[Engineer Helene Steiner] has developed a bio-pixel display that can play games such as Tetris, Snake or Pong using the ...
Genetic engineering, synthetic biology poised to boost photosynthesis and carbon capture

Genetic engineering, synthetic biology poised to boost photosynthesis and carbon capture

In a feature article published in the open access journal eLife, an international team of experts led by Dr Bonnie Wintle ...
‘Semi-synthetic’ organism expands DNA base alphabet

‘Semi-synthetic’ organism expands DNA base alphabet

Every living thing on Earth stores the instructions for life as DNA, using the four genetic bases A, G, C, ...
So much data to store: Can DNA solve our problem?

So much data to store: Can DNA solve our problem?

Many pundits predict it’s just a matter of time till DNA pips magnetic tape as the ultimate way to store ...
GM yeast grows non-psychoactive marijuana compound for potential epilepsy treatment

GM yeast grows non-psychoactive marijuana compound for potential epilepsy treatment

A non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana plants called cannabidivarin (CBDV) has shown promise in the treatment of severe cases of epilepsy ...
Gene circuit triggers immune system to battle cancer

Gene circuit triggers immune system to battle cancer

A research team at MIT has used synthetic biology to create a gene circuit that triggers the immune system to ...
Bioethics: What are CRISPR's real threats and rewards?

Bioethics: What are CRISPR’s real threats and rewards?

[S]cientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Morgridge Institute for Research participated in an international think tank this month ...
Genetically modified skin grafts could monitor glucose, end needle sticks for diabetes

Genetically modified skin grafts could monitor glucose, end needle sticks for diabetes

Painful and inconvenient, needle sticks are part of daily life for many people with diabetes. Wouldn’t it be great if ...
Growing cancer drugs in chicken eggs could lower costs by 90%

Growing cancer drugs in chicken eggs could lower costs by 90%

Researchers in Japan may have found a way to produce cheaper drugs that could be used to treat a range ...
Modeling human tumors in mice can be problematic—here's why

Modeling human tumors in mice can be problematic—here’s why

[A] new study [read full study] suggests that an unfortunate side effect of ... evolutionary changes is that human tumors are ...
We're a long way from Blade Runner-like organic androids

We’re a long way from Blade Runner-like organic androids

[Editor's note: Fumiya Iida is a lecturer in mechatronics at the University of Cambridge.] The new Blade Runner sequel will return ...
Mass tragedies underscore desperate need for synthetic blood

Mass tragedies underscore desperate need for synthetic blood

Scientists have been working on creating synthetic blood for years now. The hope is that this substance will have a ...
Synthetic bionics: E. coli pills could boost body's ability to absorb ammonia in the gut

Synthetic bionics: E. coli pills could boost body’s ability to absorb ammonia in the gut

Synlogic of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the company behind the unusual study, is testing what it calls “synthetic biotics,” or bacteria engineered ...
Human embryoids push bioethical boundaries

Human embryoids push bioethical boundaries

Scientists are using stem cells to create clumps of cells that increasingly resemble bits of brain, lungs, or intestine. […] ...
Mini 'brains' aid study of dementia and mental illness

Mini ‘brains’ aid study of dementia and mental illness

[A] brain organoid begins as a single skin cell taken from an adult. With the right biochemical prodding, that cell ...