Applied Technotopia

We scan the digital environment to examine the leading trends in emerging technology today to know more about future.

We have added a few indices around the site. Though we look to the future, we need to keep an eye on the present as well:

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Posts tagged "synthbio"

Bioengineering sounds good to me.


Engineering Life

Cellular “tinkering” is critical for establishing a new engineering discipline that will lead to the next generation of technologies based on life’s building blocks.

Engineering began as an outgrowth of the craftwork of metallurgical artisans. In a constant quest to improve their handiwork, those craftsmen exhaustively and empirically explored the properties—alone and in combination—of natural materials. The knowledge accumulated from this exploration and experimentation with natural building blocks eventually led to today’s modern technologies. We can now readily build things like super-lightweight cars and electrical circuits containing billions of transistors that encode highly sophisticated functions, using reliable design and manufacturing frameworks—a vast leap from artisanal craft.

Today, there is a parallel progression unfolding in the field of synthetic biology, which encompasses the engineering of biological systems from genetically encoded molecular components.1-7 The first decade or so of synthetic biology can be viewed as an artisanal exploration of subcellular material. Much as in the early days of other engineering disciplines, the field’s focus has been on identifying the building blocks that may be useful for constructing synthetic biological circuits—and determining the practical rules for connecting them into functional systems. This artisanal tinkering with cells is necessary for arriving at a rigorous understanding of subcellular construction material and for determining the extent to which it can be manipulated. (via Engineering Life | The Scientist Magazine®)

DNA2.0 is pushing for open-source synthetic biology solutions.


Bioengineers look beyond patents

Synthetic-biology company pushes open-source models.

When DNA2.0, a company that synthesizes made-to-order genes, needed to conduct a few routine experiments using a fluorescent protein, its lawyers dug up more than 1,000 US patents covering their use. DNA2.0 decided to avoid the legal thicket by engineering several dozen fluorescent proteins from scratch. But the company, based in Menlo Park, California, was convinced that something had to change.

Last month, DNA2.0 deposited gene sequences encoding three of its fluorescent proteins into an open-access collection of recipes for DNA ‘parts’, molecular building blocks used to engineer organisms — often bacteria — to carry out specific functions. The company vows not to pursue its patent rights against anyone using the sequences. (via Bioengineers look beyond patents : Nature News & Comment)

What a future! Synthmeat, 3D printing, Synthbio, sustainability. All it needs is to be served in orbit by a bot and it will be near perfect!


Solve for X: Sustainable, Scalable Meat

Google’s Solve for X is a plattform to encourage and amplify technology-based moonshot thinking and collaboration. In this video, Andras Forgacs - CEO of Modern Meadow (3D printed Meat and leather company) - talks about the problem of water usage, a suggested solution and the potential of 3D printing and tissue engineering. 

Problem: 8% of the world’s water supply and one third of the world’s non-ice landmass is used for raising livestock for meat and leather. At least 18% of the greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere are from the livestock industry.

Solution: Fundamentally change the way meat is produced by growing the meat directly instead of raising the entire animal.

Technology: 3D printing and tissue engineering now allow bioprinting: the design and fabrication of three-dimesional tissues. The meat created in this process could be carefully designed to have the same mouth feel, texture and flavor as traditional meat.

Be sure to read his IAmA at reddit.

[via nextbigfuture] [Solve for X] [Modern Meadow]

(via futurescope)

Human jelly babies? Nah, not really but now that I have your attention. The benefits of any synthetic meat or protein products cannot be denied. However, the marketing and PR campaign needed to make inroads into the market would be truly unique and would have to be magnificent.


We may not have the appetite for human-derived gelatin but it has its health benefits, says Andrew Marszal . Reports last week that researchers could be just six months away from producing the world’s first artificial meat, using thousands of stem cells bred in a laboratory, sent a wave of fascination around the world. Yet there is an even more ghoulish prospect ahead: the idea of eating artificial food made from humans. This may sound like science fiction, yet a new technique for making gelatin from human DNA is attracting “increasing interest from research and industrial circles”, according to a new study by scientists from the Beijing University of Chemical Technology. The paper, published recently in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, revealed that successful experiments had been carried out in which human genes were inserted into a strain of yeast to “grow” large amounts of recombinant (genetically engineered) human gelatin. Gelatin has a long history of use as a gelling agent by the food industry – and, according to the journal’s publisher, the American Chemical Society, human-derived gelatin “could become a substitute for some of the 300,000 tons of animal-based gelatin produced annually for desserts, marshmallows, candy and innumerable other products”. (via Do you fancy a jelly baby made from human DNA? - Telegraph)

Synthbio: Craig Venter`s world of printed lifeforms.


Craig Venter Imagines a World with Printable Life Forms

Craig Venter imagines a future where you can download software, print a vaccine, inject it, and presto! Contagion averted.

“It’s a 3-D printer for DNA, a 3-D printer for life,” Venter said here today at the inaugural Wired Health Conference in New York City.

The geneticist and his team of scientists are already testing out a version of his digital biological converter, or “teleporter.”

Full Story: Wired

(via futuramb)

Synthetic Biology: Artificial life could help in the colonization of Mars.


Synthetic Life Could Help Colonize Mars, Biologist Says

Many proponents of colonizing Mars have brought forth the interesting method of terraforming. But in it lies other biological feats we must perfect here on Earth before attempting it in other planets. And it looks like biologists have geared to do just that.

Synthetic organisms engineered to use carbon dioxide as a raw material could help humans settle Mars one day, a prominent biologist says:

Man-made, CO2-munching lifeforms are already in the works, geneticist Craig Venter told a crowd here during an event called TEDxNASA@SiliconValley Wednesday night (Aug. 17). Venter and his team, who made headlines last year by creating the world’s first synthetic organism, are trying to design cells that can use atmospheric carbon dioxide to make food, fuel, plastics and other products.

This ability would obviously have huge implications here on Earth, but it could also help make Mars — whose thin atmosphere is mostly carbon dioxide — a more livable place, Venter said. “These kinds of processes will allow us to make almost anything needed there from that CO2 environment,” Venter said in a video presentation.>

Synthetic Life

Venter and his team announced in May 2010 that they had created the first living organism with a synthetic genome.

The biologists constructed the genome of the bacterium Mycoplasma mycoides from many preassembled units of DNA. Then they transplanted the genome into the cell of a closely related species that had been emptied of its own genome. The “host” bacterium soon began to function and reproduce just as a naturally occurring M. mycoides would.

The feat was more than just a neat trick. It showed that custom-designing organisms to do all sorts of helpful tasks is eminently possible — and may not be that far off. Creating new lifeforms could help “solve some of the fundamental problems of providing sufficient energy, food, clean water and medicines,” Venter said.

Read More

(via scinerds)

What a superb breakthrough in synthetic biology:

"In a breakthrough effort for computational biology, the world’s first computer model of an organism has been completed, Stanford researchers reported last week in the journal Cell.

A team used data from more than 900 scientific papers to account for every molecular interaction that takes place in the life cycle of Mycoplasma genitalia, the world’s smallest free-living bacterium.”