Synthetic biology

Synthetic biology is the design and construction of new biological parts, devices, and systems, and the re-design of existing, natural biological systems for useful purposes.

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Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    Synthetic gene circuits regulated by small molecules have been used to fine-tune glycosyltransferase expression in CHO cells, providing a method to produce therapeutic monoclonal antibodies with precise glycosylation states.

    • Michelle M. Chang
    • , Leonid Gaidukov
    • , Giyoung Jung
    • , Wen Allen Tseng
    • , John J. Scarcelli
    • , Richard Cornell
    • , Jeffrey K. Marshall
    • , Jonathan L. Lyles
    • , Paul Sakorafas
    • , An-Hsiang Adam Chu
    • , Kaffa Cote
    • , Boriana Tzvetkova
    • , Sepideh Dolatshahi
    • , Madhuresh Sumit
    • , Bhanu Chandra Mulukutla
    • , Douglas A. Lauffenburger
    • , Bruno Figueroa Jr.
    • , Nevin M. Summers
    • , Timothy K. Lu
    •  & Ron Weiss
  • Research |

    Rewiring of bacterial two-component systems (TCSs) was achieved by DNA-binding domain swapping of the two largest response regulator families, which enables cross-species porting and provides a tool for identifying ligands for uncharacterized TCSs.

    • Sebastian R. Schmidl
    • , Felix Ekness
    • , Katri Sofjan
    • , Kristina N.-M. Daeffler
    • , Kathryn R. Brink
    • , Brian P. Landry
    • , Karl P. Gerhardt
    • , Nikola Dyulgyarov
    • , Ravi U. Sheth
    •  & Jeffrey J. Tabor
  • Research |

    High-fidelity convergent total synthesis is used to produce Escherichia coli with a 61-codon synthetic genome that uses 59 codons to encode all of the canonical amino acids.

    • Julius Fredens
    • , Kaihang Wang
    • , Daniel de la Torre
    • , Louise F. H. Funke
    • , Wesley E. Robertson
    • , Yonka Christova
    • , Tiongsun Chia
    • , Wolfgang H. Schmied
    • , Daniel L. Dunkelmann
    • , Václav Beránek
    • , Chayasith Uttamapinant
    • , Andres Gonzalez Llamazares
    • , Thomas S. Elliott
    •  & Jason W. Chin
    Nature 569, 514-518
  • Research |

    Optogenetically controlling the assembly of enzyme clusters enhances product formation and specificity during deoxyviolacein biosynthesis by decreasing concentrations of intermediate metabolites and reducing flux through competing pathways.

    • Evan M. Zhao
    • , Nathan Suek
    • , Maxwell Z. Wilson
    • , Elliot Dine
    • , Nicole L. Pannucci
    • , Zemer Gitai
    • , José L. Avalos
    •  & Jared E. Toettcher
  • Research | | open

    Control of CRISPR-Cas9 activity allows for fine-tuning of editing and gene expression. Here the authors use gRNAs modified with RNA aptamers to enable small molecule control in bacterial systems.

    • Kale Kundert
    • , James E. Lucas
    • , Kyle E. Watters
    • , Christof Fellmann
    • , Andrew H. Ng
    • , Benjamin M. Heineike
    • , Christina M. Fitzsimmons
    • , Benjamin L. Oakes
    • , Jiuxin Qu
    • , Neha Prasad
    • , Oren S. Rosenberg
    • , David F. Savage
    • , Hana El-Samad
    • , Jennifer A. Doudna
    •  & Tanja Kortemme

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    In biological systems, order typically emerges from out-of-equilibrium molecular processes that control both static patterns and dynamic changes. Now, the self-regulating assembly and disassembly of a synthetic system has been achieved on the micrometre scale, by coupling the growth of a DNA nanotube to a biochemical oscillator.

    • Tim Liedl
    Nature Chemistry 11, 497-499
  • Comments and Opinion | | open

    Biofoundries provide an integrated infrastructure to enable the rapid design, construction, and testing of genetically reprogrammed organisms for biotechnology applications and research. Many biofoundries are being built and a Global Biofoundry Alliance has recently been established to coordinate activities worldwide.

    • Nathan Hillson
    • , Mark Caddick
    • , Yizhi Cai
    • , Jose A. Carrasco
    • , Matthew Wook Chang
    • , Natalie C. Curach
    • , David J. Bell
    • , Rosalind Le Feuvre
    • , Douglas C. Friedman
    • , Xiongfei Fu
    • , Nicholas D. Gold
    • , Markus J. Herrgård
    • , Maciej B. Holowko
    • , James R. Johnson
    • , Richard A. Johnson
    • , Jay D. Keasling
    • , Richard I. Kitney
    • , Akihiko Kondo
    • , Chenli Liu
    • , Vincent J. J. Martin
    • , Filippo Menolascina
    • , Chiaki Ogino
    • , Nicola J. Patron
    • , Marilene Pavan
    • , Chueh Loo Poh
    • , Isak S. Pretorius
    • , Susan J. Rosser
    • , Nigel S. Scrutton
    • , Marko Storch
    • , Hille Tekotte
    • , Evelyn Travnik
    • , Claudia E. Vickers
    • , Wen Shan Yew
    • , Yingjin Yuan
    • , Huimin Zhao
    •  & Paul S. Freemont