Archive for the ‘biological’ category: Page 149

Jan 2, 2017

Amino Labs present the Amino

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, education

Amino is a bioengineering platform that allows anyone to learn and create with synthetic biology and bioengineering, at home, school or in the lab!

Find us on Indiegogo

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Dec 30, 2016

The Ethics of Synthetic Biology

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, ethics, law

Nice article raising old concerns and debates on ethics. Synbio like any technology or science can in the wrong hands be used to do anything destructive. Placing standards and laws on such technologies truly does get the law abiding researchers, labs and companies aligned and sadly restricted. However, it does not prevent an ISIS, or the black market, or any other criminal with money from trying to meet an intended goal. So, I do caution folks to at least step back assess and think before imposing a bunch of restrictions and laws on a technology that prevents it from helping those in need v. criminals who never follow ethics or the law.

When artists use synthetic biology, are they playing God, or just playing with cool new toys? Scientists Drew Endy and Christina Agapakis weigh in on the ethics.

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Dec 29, 2016

Mixing biology with technology: what could possibly go wrong?

Posted by in categories: biological, security

Biology and technology are moving closer and experts are wondering if this poses a new security threat.

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Dec 29, 2016

Model‐guided combinatorial optimization of complex synthetic gene networks

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, genetics

Constructing gene circuits that satisfy quantitative performance criteria has been a long‐standing challenge in synthetic biology. Here, we show a strategy for optimizing a complex three‐gene circuit, a novel proportional miRNA biosensor, using predictive modeling to initiate a search in the phase space of sensor genetic composition. We generate a library of sensor circuits using diverse genetic building blocks in order to access favorable parameter combinations and uncover specific genetic compositions with greatly improved dynamic range. The combination of high‐throughput screening data and the data obtained from detailed mechanistic interrogation of a small number of sensors was used to validate the model. The validated model facilitated further experimentation, including biosensor reprogramming and biosensor integration into larger networks, enabling in principle arbitrary logic with miRNA inputs using normal form circuits. The study reveals how model‐guided generation of genetic diversity followed by screening and model validation can be successfully applied to optimize performance of complex gene networks without extensive prior knowledge.

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Dec 26, 2016

Biology’s ‘breadboard’

Posted by in categories: biological, computing, food, neuroscience

Nice; using gene regulatory protein from yeast as a method for reducing the work required for making cell-specific perturbations.

The human brain, the most complex object in the universe, has 86 billion neurons with trillions of yet-unmapped connections. Understanding how it generates behavior is a problem that has beguiled humankind for millennia, and is critical for developing effective therapies for the psychiatric disorders that incur heavy costs on individuals and on society. The roundworm C elegans, measuring a mere 1 millimeter, is a powerful model system for understanding how nervous systems produce behaviors. Unlike the human brain, it has only 302 neurons, and has completely mapped neural wiring of 6,000 connections, making it the closest thing to a computer circuit board in biology. Despite its relative simplicity, the roundworm exhibits behaviors ranging from simple reflexes to the more complex, such as searching for food when hungry, learning to avoid food that previously made it ill, and social behavior.

Understanding how this dramatically simpler nervous system works will give insights into how our vastly more complex brains function and is the subject of a paper published on December 26, 2016, in Nature Methods.

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Dec 21, 2016

The Goals of Extraterrestrial AI May “Conflict With Those of Biological Life”

Posted by in categories: alien life, biological, robotics/AI

In Brief

  • An expert on the intersection of science and philosophy posits that our current transition to “postbiological” life could have already been undertaken by extraterrestrial species.
  • She warns that these alien lifeforms could by artificially intelligent, in which case they could pose a tremendous threat to life on Earth.

Susan Schneider is a fellow at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET). She is also an associate professor of philosophy at the University of Connecticut, and her expertise includes the philosophy of cognitive science, particularly with regards to the plausibility of computational theories of mind and theoretical issues in artificial intelligence (AI).

In short, Schneider has a keen understanding of the intersection between science and philosophy. As such, she also has a unique perspective on AI, offering a fresh (but quite alarming) view on how artificial intelligence could forever alter humanity’s existence. In an article published by the IEET, she shares that perspective, talking about potential flaws in the way we view AI and suggesting a possible connection between AI and extraterrestrial life.

Continue reading “The Goals of Extraterrestrial AI May ‘Conflict With Those of Biological Life’” »

Dec 21, 2016

Molecular Velcro boosts microalgae’s potential in biofuel, industrial applications

Posted by in categories: biological, solar power, sustainability

Michigan State University scientists have engineered “molecular Velcro” into to cyanobacteria, boosting this microalgae’s biofuel viability as well as its potential for other research.

The findings, featured in the current issue of ACS Synthetic Biology, show how MSU researchers have designed a surface display system to attach cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, to yeast and other surfaces. The proof-of-concept may improve the efficiency of harvesting algae as well as open avenues to improve the construction of artificial microbial communities for sustainable biofuel production or other industrial projects.

“Inadequate cyanobacterial toolkits limited our ability to come up with biological solutions,” said Derek Fedeson, MSU graduate student and the study’s co-lead author. “So, we wanted to add another tool to the toolbox to expand the capacity of these bacteria, which can harness solar energy for the production of useful compounds.”

Continue reading “Molecular Velcro boosts microalgae’s potential in biofuel, industrial applications” »

Dec 19, 2016

Cellular reprogramming turns back the aging clock in mice

Posted by in categories: biological, life extension

This cartoon depicts turning back the aging clock through cellular regeneration of progeria mice (credit: Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte Lab/Salk Institute)

Salk Institute scientists have extended the average lifespan of live mice by 30 percent, according to a study published December 15 in Cell. They did that by rolling back the “aging clock” to younger years, using cellular reprogramming.

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Dec 10, 2016

Counting Cells

Posted by in categories: biological, computing

Scientists from MIT and Boston University have developed biological cells that can count and ‘remember’ cellular events by creating simple circuits through a series of genes that are activated in a precise order. These circuits, which the scientists say simulate computer chips, could be employed to tally the number of times a cell divides or to track a cycle of developmental stages. Such counting cells could also be used as biosensors to count the number of toxin exposures present in an environment.

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Dec 8, 2016

The CellAge long form AMA Starts Friday with questions answered Monday 11am PST/2pm EST/6pm GMT

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, life extension

Senolytics meets Synthetic biology so come along and ask them anything!

Hey folks, We are excited to announce that the CellAge longform AMA opens Friday for questions and the CellAge team will answer them from Monday 11am PST/2pm EST/6pm GMT. We will update the link to the Futurology AMA once it is ready.

CellAge are using synthetic biology to create new biomarkers for senescent cell detection, developing a new therapy to remove senescent cells which drive the aging process using custom synthetic biology. Come along and ask them all about it.

Continue reading “The CellAge long form AMA Starts Friday with questions answered Monday 11am PST/2pm EST/6pm GMT” »