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Trending Papers in synthetic biology

Engineered yeast to produce highly useful drugs
From Paper: Biosynthesis of medicinal tropane alkaloids in yeast
Prashanth Srinivasan, Christina D. Smolke
Published: Sep 2020
  • Tropane alkaloids are highly useful drugs that can treat neurological disorders and are classified as essential medicines by the WHO
  • There are shortages of these drugs, and global access is an issue
Escherichia coli-Based Cell-Free Synthesis of Virus-Like Particles
Published: Nov 2007
  • VLPs can be used for vaccines, drug delivery, diagnostics, and gene therapies - as delivery vehicles
  • Virus like particles (VLP) are genome free virus capsids that are formed from the structural proteins of viruses
Genetically engineered B cells can create antibodies against HIV
From Paper: Vaccine Elicitation of HIV Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies from Engineered B cells
Published: Mar 2020
  • Mice that received the engineered B-cells showed on average 10-fold higher total antigen-specific titers one week after the first boost
  • This paper describes how genetically engineered B-cells can produce antibodies against HIV - representing a potential future treatment
The second decade of synthetic biology: 2010–2020
From Paper: The second decade of synthetic biology: 2010–2020 | EndNote Click
Published: Oct 2020
  • In 2020 synthetic biology turned 20 years old. It’s first decade saw some impressive research papers, lots of visionary thinking and unprecedented excitement, but its second decade—from 2010 to 2020—was when the hype really needed to be replaced by some real achievements. So how has it done?
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How synthetic biology will be used for biocrime
From Paper: A Systematic Review of the Criminogenic Potential of Synthetic Biology and Routes to Future Crime Prevention
Published: Oct 2020
  • This paper reviews the history of cases involving criminal activity using synthetic biology and discusses how new technologies might be co-opted by individuals with criminal intent
  • Despite the concerns raised about the misuse of synthetic biology, no previous work has been conducted from a Crime Science perspective to systematically collate and assess the academic literature
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Garrett Young
A synthetic DNA gene therapy injected into a specific tissue can mitigate symptoms of autoimmune diseases
From Paper: Synthetic DNA Delivery of an Engineered Arginase Enzyme Can Modulate Specific Immunity In Vivo
Published: Jun 2020
  • Pretreatment of animals with the synthetic DNA-encoded arginase led to significant decreases in skin acanthosis, proinflammatory cytokines, and costimulatory molecules in extracted macrophages and dendritic cells
  • Significant in vivo immunosuppression was observed in the presence of DNA-encoded arginase
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Engineering Stem Cell Self-organization to Build Better Organoids
Published: Jun 2019
  • Useful
  • Four areas of focus are needed to generate better organoids: 1) controlling initial culture conditions 2) directing symmetry breaking 3) imposing boundary conditions to guide cellular self-patterning 4) rationally engineered scale-up
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Programmable protein circuits in living cells
  • The authors demonstrate Boolean logic using their CHOMP circuits
  • Viral proteases are highly specific for short cognate sites and there is wide natural diversity - the authors focused on tobacco etch virus protease (TEVP) and related proteases to build a complex protein circuit in HEK293 cells
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A novel protocol for transforming skin cells into cells that make up the human retina in order to treat diseases like macular degeneration
From Paper: Inducing Human Retinal Pigment Epithelium-like Cells from Somatic Tissue
Woogeng, Ivo Ngundu, et al
Published: Jul 2020
  • The authors anticipate that their system may enable robust retinal cell induction for regenerative medicine research and affordable autologous human RPE tissue for cell therapy
  • iRPE cells showed features of modern RPE benchmarks and significant in-vivo integration in transplanted chimeric hosts
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Plant Synthetic Biology: Quantifying the “Known Unknowns” and Discovering the “Unknown Unknowns”
Jennifer Nemhauser
  • This paper reviews this state of the art in measuring plant signaling, using principles and tools borrowed from and inspired by engineering, as well as efforts to use this knowledge to enable rapid, rational re-engineering of plant development.
  • Sensitive, genetically encoded reporters (biosensors), in combination with emerging single-cell transcriptomics approaches, are providing increasingly detailed molecular descriptions of cells undergoing developmental transitions
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