Archive for 'Synthetic biology' Category:

Flock of seagulls over landfill
By Simon Fitch PhD: Wednesday 4th October, 2017

Industrial biotech – fear, doubt and saving the world

Last week, as part of Cambridge Consultants’ Synthetic Biology initiative, James Hallinan and I attended the Commercialising Industrial Biotechnology conference in San Diego. This bi-annual meeting gathers together companies at the forefront of using biosynthesis to produce commercially viable products to identify challenges, share experience and promote collaboration. Just one of the major challenges that […]

Model of a Tumor-Suppressing Protein Binding to DNA
By Toni Fleming: Wednesday 17th May, 2017

Reflections on cell-free synthetic biology

Cell-free synthetic biology is a young but burgeoning sub-field of synthetic biology and has seen rapid and exciting progress in recent years. As the name implies, cell-free synthetic biology involves the implementation and characterization of biological systems in a cell-free environment and thus builds on advances in synthetic biology and classical biochemistry. The 1st European […]

Synthetic biology
By David Fang: Tuesday 25th April, 2017

The synthetic biology revolution

Just as the industrial revolutions of the previous centuries were enabled by novel technologies such as the spinning jenny, steam engine, and transistor, the tools and techniques for engineering biological machinery, known popularly as synthetic biology, may shepherd in the next great wave of innovations ranging from clean water and energy production to novel therapies […]

Small Molecules
By Guest Author: Fabio Digiacomo: Monday 28th November, 2016

Indentification of small molecule drugs that could benefit from a synbio-based manufacturing process

Synthetic biology has been recognized as one of the most promising technologies that may impact our future and I, for one, believe that its potential applications are remarkable and incredibly diverse. In this series of articles I report the results of the work that I carried out as part of my internship at Cambridge Consultants.  […]

By Guest author: Ciara McCarthy: Wednesday 16th November, 2016

The story behind the gold medal winning project

Whilst the majority of students had long since escaped the labs and libraries of Cambridge for the summer, 10 intrepid students remained in the Plant Sciences department. We were a mixture of engineers and natural scientists taking part in iGEM – an international synthetic biology competition. Teams from universities across the world participate, building genetically […]

Small Molecules
By Guest Author: Fabio Digiacomo: Thursday 27th October, 2016

How to identify opportunity areas for synthetic biology in drug manufacture: a rational approach

In my previous article on synthetic biology, I briefly touched upon the general findings on the application of synthetic biology to small molecule drug manufacturing, obtained from my Cambridge University Master’s industrial placement project at Cambridge Consultants. In my research, one of the goals was to rationally identify opportunity areas for SynBio in drug manufacturing, […]

DNA strand
By Dr Sara Dodd: Wednesday 12th October, 2016

Top 10 things we learned at SynBioBeta SF 2016

Synthetic biology is a rapidly growing field and nowhere more so than in the San Francisco area. It is therefore not surprising that this is the arena for the main annual event in synthetic biology: SynBioBeta SF. This year the event attracted a record number of participants and exhibitors. James Hallinan and I packed our […]

Small Molecules
By Guest Author: Fabio Digiacomo: Wednesday 12th October, 2016

Synthetic Biology: innovative tool for an improved manufacture of small molecule drugs?

In the last few years, the life science sector has been taken by storm by what I like to call the “synthetic biology revolution”. Some believe synthetic biology is just a cooler and catchier way of referring to molecular biology/genetic engineering, others support the idea of it being a new and exciting discipline with a […]

By Guest author: Geoff Ma: Thursday 1st September, 2016

Standardising DNA – why bother?

Standardisation is everywhere. Standardisation has enabled rapid industrial development. Examples could include nuts and bolts in engineering, or even USB protocols in computing. These universally accepted standards provide the necessary platform to encapsulate tasks which are now seen as trivial. Almost inevitably, there has been a desire within the scientific community to standardise elements of […]

By Guest Author: Claire Restarick: Monday 15th August, 2016

Using low-cost, well-documented, open-source hardware for synthetic biology

Since our initial blog post, we’ve spent many hours finalising designs for our genetic assemblies, which are now in the process of being synthesised. Once these are complete, we will begin the challenging task of completing four rounds of experiments before our deadline in September. While our biologists are making significant headway in the lab, […]


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