Innovating research, policy and education in synthetic and systems biology

News

Exploring Grand Challenges

The Centre has continued to explore the potential opportunities for synthetic biology in developing regions of the world over the past month with funding from two Global Challenge Research Funding (GCRF) awards.

Five synthetic yeast chromosomes built

Yeast

A significant new milestone in the Synthetic Yeast Chromosome project has been reached with five yeast chromosomes now fully constructed. The development could have widespread benefits for improved understanding of fundamental biology as well as food security, healthcare and biofuels.

Microsoft and Edinburgh to make biological computation a reality

Electronic circuits in cells

Microsoft has teamed up with SynthSys Principal Investigator, Dr Baojun Wang, to build the genetic ‘hardware’ needed to turn living cells into biological computers.

Exploring Grand Challenges in Uganda

African researchers in a brainstorm session

On February 8-10, Prof Susan Rosser, Prof Alistair Elfick and Dr Liz Fletcher attended the AGM of the MUII-Plus DELTAS programme held in Entebbe, Uganda, at the Uganda Virus Research Institute.

Inside the Black Box: Heterogeneity, modelling and healthcare

Black box exhibit

Luis Montano, a Wellcome Trust funded PhD student in the lab of Professor Peter Swain, developed an interactive exhibit for the Future Health Hackathon in Edinburgh. Here he explains the thinking behind the exhibit.

 

Engineering eco-evolutionary feedbacks with synbio

Cells can cooperate and cheat and researches at SynthSys have shown that synthetic biology can be used to test novel hypothesis on the way cellular cooperation is preserved. 

Award to enable scale-up of valuable blue dye

dried spirulina powder

The ability to mass produce a high-value natural blue dye for use in the food, pharmaceutical and other industries is being developed with help from SynthSys researchers, Drs Baojun Wang and Alistair McCormick, in a partnership with Scottish Bioenergy.

Delivering Impact with Industrial Biotech: Conference 2017

marcu standing by his poster

Ambitiously entitled 'Delivering Impact', the third Annual Conference of the Industrial Biotech Innovation Centre (IBioIC) attracted over 400 delegates over two days in late January.

Engineering Rubisco to increase plant productivity

Arabidopsis plants

Generating new crop varieties with increased yields is critical for safeguarding future food security. One of the key limiting factors for productivity is the poor efficiency of the photosynthetic enzyme, Rubisco, which is responsible for net CO2 uptake in all plants.

Optical density: the risks of making assumptions

With the surge of interest in antimicrobial resistance, microbial synthetic biology and biotechnology applications, optical density measurements - the standard way to estimate cell numbers in microbiology - are rapidly becoming automated and high throughput.