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Synthetic Biology

8 Free Tools for Genetic Engineers, Molecular and Synthetic Biologists

Having a powerful set of tools is essential in life science research so we’ve compiled the best free platforms for genetic engineers, molecular and synthetic biologists.

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How to Assemble Complex Synthetic Genes in 5 Steps

Are you tired of secondary structures limiting the synthesis of your gene? Researchers trying to synthesise long (>2.5 kb) or complex GC/AT rich genes often encounter problems during synthesis due to the formation of secondary structures within the DNA.

With these 5 steps, it no longer needs to be an issue.

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Synthetic Biology: Miniaturisation for Automation

Synthetic biology holds much promise. Researchers have been working toward using techniques to create new valuable products such as novel therapeutics and drugs, biorenewable fuels, and new biochemicals and biomaterials. It requires a multidisciplinary effort – it calls for biologists, chemists, engineers, software developers (STEM disciplines) to collaborate on finding ways to understand how genetic parts work together, and then combine them to produce useful applications.

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Synthetic Biology Research and Applications: An Open Letter From John Glass

Dear colleagues,

Since the minimal cell idea was proposed by Max Delbruck and his Phage School colleagues in the 1930s, biologists have sought to build a cell that encodes only the minimum set of genes necessary for life. Such a minimal cell could be used to investigate the first principles of cellular life.

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August’s Best Open Access Synthetic Biology Journal Articles

Isn’t it frustrating when you follow a great piece of research back to the publisher, but can’t read it? We’ve compiled 7 of the best synthetic biology journal articles of August and better yet, they’re open access.

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Generating a Library of Orthogonal Genetic Switches

Image credit: Fdardel, Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Georg Fritz is an Independent Group Leader at the LOEWE Center for Synthetic Microbiology, Philipps-University Marburg. We caught up with Georg ahead of 4Bio.

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The Next Big Thing in Synthetic Biology: Artificial mRNA and Gene Therapy

Although the messenger RNA (mRNA) and its roles in the cell were discovered more than half a century ago, it took more than four decades to consider its uses as biologics for human therapeutics. Nowadays, synthetic mRNA, produced in vitro by various enzymatic and non-enzymatic processes, is broadly used in vaccination, immunotherapeutics and even transient gene compensation.

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What Makes an iGEM Grand Prize Winner?

Image credit: The iGEM Foundation and Justin Knight

The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) has recently opened its applications for the next round of competition and jamboree between student teams across the globe. The synthetic biology competition has steadily been growing in popularity since its launch. In 2004 there were just 31 participants. By 2010 this had grown to 2327 and in 2016 a whopping 5600 people took part.

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