Innovating research, policy and education in synthetic and systems biology


Opening the door on iron ‘megastores’

December 15th 2015

Iron is an essential cofactor in nearly 10% of all enzymes because of its ability to participate in oxidoreduction reactions. However, this can be detrimental for cells when iron reacts with the products of aerobic metabolism to produce radicals that can damage proteins, lipids and DNA. Cells use a family of proteins called ferritins, which form nanocages to oxidise and safely store iron.

Industrial Partnership Award for metal reclamation

December 15th 2015

Dr Louise Horsfall was a recent recipient of a BBSRC Industrial Partnership Award (IPA) with Diageo – a global leading company in beverage alcohol – to use microbes to reclaim metals from industrial waste.

Team to create a molecular toolbox to boost cyanobacterial pigment production

Cyanobacteria (Creative Commons)

December 7th 2015

SynthSys PIs Dr Alistair McCormick and Br Baojun Wang are joining forces with Scottish SME Scottish Bioenergy to develop a toolkit to boost the production of commercially valuable pigments from cyanobacteria.

Scottish synbio takes off

SynthSys has been keen to promote synthetic biology in Scotland and have been working with Scottish Enteprise’s Life and Chemical Sciences team and the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre to do this.

Feel good hit of the summer: EdiGEM Giant Jamboree success

A summer spent toiling at the lab bench and interviewing drug policy experts has paid off for our iGEM team with their success at the iGEM Giant Jamboree in Boston this September.

Report: Provision of Biological Data Management systems

Practical evaluation of SEEK and OpenBIS for biological data management in SynthSys; first report.


Opening Doors on SynthSys

On September 26th, SynthSys opened the Waddington Building to the public for the first time during the Doors Open event. Over the course of the day we had 75 visitors come to explore about our multidisciplinary research that brings biology together with engineering.

Collaborative research reveals new view of cell division

Congratulations to Marcin Leda and Andrew Goryachev whose paper “Activator-inhibitor coupling between Rho signalling and actin assembly makes the cell cortex an excitable medium” is featured on the front page of Nature Cell Biology.

UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology Launched

The UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology, funded by the BBSRC, EPSRC and MRC, was formally opened on October 7th by Caroline Strain, Head of Chemical Sciences, Scottish Enterprise.

Launch of the UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology

On October 7th we will formally launch the UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology, funded by the BBSRC, EPSRC and MRC.