Innovating research, policy and education in synthetic and systems biology


A fuzzy felt festival of science

An enthusiastic gang of SynthSys researchers took synthetic biology to the Edinburgh Science Festival from March 31st to April 4th.

International collaboration to expedite rational design in synbio

Dr Filippo Menolascina, Chancellor’s Fellow in Institute for Bioengineering (School of Engineering) and a member of SynthSys, has been awarded with a Royal Society-MoST (the Taiwanese Ministry of Science and Technology) grant to work with Prof.

Leadership Award

Dr Filippo Menolascina, a Chancellor’s Fellow in Biosystems Modeling and Control in the Institute for BioEngineering at the University of Edinburgh has won a place in the 2016 cohort of the prestigious Scottish Crucible, run by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

SynBioBlog - SynBioBeta London 2016

Edinburgh was well represented at this year’s SynBioBeta UK 2016 conference on April 6th to 8th. This annual event goes from strength to strength and could soon outgrow its current venue at Imperial College London.

SynBio Perspectives: Automation, expectations, and laboratory work - a robot in every lab?

The robot scientist

There is, so it is said, a coming wave of automation, with effects on everything from cancer surgery, to hotel concierge services to self-driving cars.  As this most recent story about 550 job-losses through automating financial advice at RBS demonstrates, these issues are now more consistently hitting mainstream media thanks to their tangible real-world effects on people and institutions. This puts automatizing work in science and engineering in a much broader context, and leads me to the question: is everyone talking about the same thing when they talk about the rise in robotics and laboratory automation?

Royal Society Award for Innovation

March 10th 2016

Edinburgh Genome Foundry installation begins

In early February a newly refurbished laboratory space on Swann Level 2 was handed over to the Edinburgh Genome Foundry team. This purpose built facility is now ready to be the new home for the Edinburgh Genome Foundry, an automated platform for construction of large scale DNA.

Next steps for synthetic biology – scale up and automation

Several members of SynthSys headed to a cold and sunny Manchester on 24th and 25th of February to participate in two workshops run by the Knowledge Transfer Networks on ‘Effective Scale-Up’ and ‘Automation and Robotics.’  

SynBioBlog: You can’t beat the benefits of a face-to-face

Dr Hannah Florance, Metabolomics Specialist, Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology

The value of seeing the ‘whites of the eyes’ of a potential collaborator really hit home over the past week when I went to the US with the Rosser Lab to visit three synthetic biology labs.

Biology by design – the road ahead for UK synbio

On February 24th George Freeman MP, Minister for Life Sciences, launched the long anticipated UK Synthetic Biology Strategic Plan 2016 and so set the stage for the next chapter in the growth and investment in this fast growing sector.