Synthetic biology can enable us to sustainably produce everday products. Here’s a discussion on a paper that shows us how to do just that. Continue reading How to Build an Industry with Biology, Part 2
Isoprenoids include nutrients, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and more. Can we build them with biology? Continue reading How to Build an Industry with Biology
This review can teach us the basics of synthetic biology, seen through the lens of emerging photosynthetic chassis strains. Continue reading Engineering with Light and Air: A Review (2)
Concluding our review of this TNT bioremediation paper, we here dive into the science behind the study. Continue reading Can Plants Contribute to TNT Bioremediation? Part 2
Apparently, they can. Many plants are capable of detoxifying TNT pollution in soils. Unfortunately (but not surprisingly), plants get sick and don’t grow that well when exposed to TNT. Here’s a paper by some scientists who wondered if we can change that, giving plants an edge in TNT bioremediation. Continue reading Can Plants Contribute to TNT Bioremediation?
Here, we finish up our look at a paper about optimizing metabolic pathways. Continue reading How Do I Increase Bioreactor Efficiency?, Part 3
In our last post on this paper, we introduced the topic and went over the logic of their approach. Today we will be looking at what goes on in lab to begin tackling this challenge. Continue reading How Do I Increase Bioreactor Efficiency?, Part 2
This paper deals with cells as bioreactors. What exactly is a bioreactor? Industries produce chemicals to make everyday materials, from the polyester in the incredibly soft blanket I’m warming up with at the moment, to the bisphenol-A (BPA) used to harden and protect plastic surfaces. The current materials industry is based off of petrochemistry – we use synthetic chemistry methods to get these molecules from oil-based sources. This can be done in a tank, a chemical reactor. In a bioreactor, the tank is full of living culture, where microbes are performing the chemical reaction for us. The cells themselves can each be considered a bioreactors, and the tank itself is an industrial-sized one. Continue reading How Do I Increase Bioreactor Efficiency?
Hey guys! The next paper we’ll be going over is a Nature Communications article, “Two-dimensional isobutyl acetate production pathways to improve carbon yield,” from Tashiro, Desai, & Atsumi (2015). You can find it here. Continue reading Up Next: Increasing Efficiency in a Biosynthetic Pathway
n this post we continue our overview of the paper Biosynthesis of neurotoxin. Last time we learned that Brunson et al. (2018) had guessed that a redox enzyme was needed as part of the pathway Pseudo-nitzschia uses to synthesize domoic acid (DA). They then studied the Pseudo-nitzschia’s transcriptome to answer the questions: Which genes are upregulated under low phosphate conditions? and Of those genes, which are upregulated still more under increased pCO2 conditions? Since those are the conditions previously observed to induce DA production, genes fitting both descriptions were highly suspect to be involved in DA biosynthesis. Continue reading What Makes Algal Blooms Toxic?, Part 2
The algae in the ocean are a diverse bunch, one type of which is the silica-based diatom genus Pseudo-nitzschia. Pseudo-nitzschia species are pennate eukaryotes: long, glass microscopic pens in waters along the California coast. When algae grow in large numbers, changing the color of the seawater, they are said to bloom. Pseudo-nitzschia blooms every year, and sometimes, when it does, it produces domoic acid. Continue reading What Makes Algal Blooms Toxic?