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Trending Papers in Synthetic Biology

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3
From Paper: High-Speed Nanomechanical Mapping of the Early Stages of Collagen Growth by Bimodal Force Microscopy
Published: Jan 2021
From Paper: High-Speed Nanomechanical Mapping of the Early Stages of Collagen Growth by Bimodal Force Microscopy
Published: Jan 2021
High-speed atomic force microscopy (AFM) enabled the imaging of protein interactions with millisecond time resolutions (10 fps). However, the acquisition of nanomechanical maps of proteins is about 100 times slower. Here, we developed a high-speed bimodal AFM that provided high-spatial resolution maps of the elastic modulus, the loss tangent, and the topography at imaging rates of 5 fps. The microscope was applied to identify the initial stages of the self-assembly of the collagen structures. By following the changes in the physical properties, we identified four stages, nucleation and growth of collagen precursors, formation of tropocollagen molecules, assembly of tropocollagens into microfibrils, and alignment of microfibrils to generate microribbons. Some emerging collagen structures never matured, and after an existence of several seconds, they disappeared into the solution. The elastic modulus of a microfibril (∼4 MPa) implied very small stiffness (∼3 × 10–6 N/m). Those values amplified the amplitude of the collagen thermal fluctuations on the mica plane, which facilitated microribbon build-up.
11
From Paper: An ultrapotent synthetic nanobody neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 by stabilizing inactive Spike
Published: Dec 2020
From Paper: An ultrapotent synthetic nanobody neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 by stabilizing inactive Spike
Published: Dec 2020
Nanobodies that neutralizeMonoclonal antibodies that bind to the spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) show therapeutic promise but must be produced in mammalian cells and need to be delivered intravenously. By contrast, single-domain antibodies called nanobodies can be produced in bacteria or yeast, and their stability may enable aerosol delivery. Two papers now report nanobodies that bind tightly to spike and efficiently neutralize SARS-CoV-2 in cells. Schoof et al. screened a yeast surface display of synthetic nanobodies and Xiang et al. screened anti-spike nanobodies produced by a llama. Both groups identified highly potent nanobodies that lock the spike protein in an inactive conformation. Multivalent constructs of selected nanobodies achieved even more potent neutralization.Science, this issue p. 1473, p. 1479The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus enters host cells via an interaction between its Spike protein and the host cell receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). By screening a yeast surface-displayed library of synthetic nanobody sequences, we developed nanobodies that disrupt the interaction between Spike and ACE2. Cryo–electron microscopy (cryo-EM) revealed that one nanobody, Nb6, binds Spike in a fully inactive conformation with its receptor binding domains locked into their inaccessible down state, incapable of binding ACE2. Affinity maturation and structure-guided design of multivalency yielded a trivalent nanobody, mNb6-tri, with femtomolar affinity for Spike and picomolar neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 infection. mNb6-tri retains function after aerosolization, lyophilization, and heat treatment, which enables aerosol-mediated delivery of this potent neutralizer directly to the airway epithelia.Potent neutralizers of SARS-CoV-2 are identified by screening either synthetic or llama-produced nanobodies.Potent neutralizers of SARS-CoV-2 are identified by screening either synthetic or llama-produced nanobodies.
14
From Paper: A monogenic and fast-responding Light-Inducible Cre recombinase as a novel optogenetic switch
From Paper: A monogenic and fast-responding Light-Inducible Cre recombinase as a novel optogenetic switch
Compared to other light-inducible Cre recombinases, LiCre displayed faster and stronger activation by light as well as a lower residual activity in the dark
This paper reports the development of LiCre, a novel light-inducible Cre recombinase - that allows for toggleable gene expression only in tissues actively exposed to blue light
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305
Published: Jun 2018
Published: Jun 2018
The goal of this synthetic circuit is to fine-tune therapeutic transgene expression in response to the routine intake of beverages, such as tea and coffee without supplementation of any additional chemicals.
This paper describes the design of a caffeine-inducible gene switch
203
Published: Jul 2019
Published: Jul 2019
Current media coverage about synthetic biology is relatively positive. • Public attitudes vary according to different applications of synthetic biology. • The public prioritise environmental enhancement, healthy food and food packaging. • Research on societal responses to specific synthetic biology applications is needed. • Better framing of synthetic biology is required for public engagement/communication.
303
From Paper: Applications of phage-derived RNA-based technologies in synthetic biology
Published: Oct 2020
From Paper: Applications of phage-derived RNA-based technologies in synthetic biology
Published: Oct 2020
Bacteriophages (also known as phages) are viruses that infect bacteria, fungi, algae, actinomycetes or spirochetes.
202
From Paper: Engineering cell fate: Applying synthetic biology to cellular reprogramming
Published: Sep 2020
From Paper: Engineering cell fate: Applying synthetic biology to cellular reprogramming
Published: Sep 2020
Roadblocks to cellular reprogramming can be overcome with synthetic biology tools. • Highly interconnected aspects of latent donor cell identity affect reprogramming. • Recent systems-level studies of reprogramming identify key drivers of reprogramming. • Advances in synthetic biology offer new tools for coordinating reprogramming processes.
209
From Paper: Can Bottom-Up Synthetic Biology Generate Advanced Drug-Delivery Systems?
Published: Sep 2020
From Paper: Can Bottom-Up Synthetic Biology Generate Advanced Drug-Delivery Systems?
Published: Sep 2020
Nanomedicine has demonstrated the potential of nanotechnology in treating diseases by selectively targeting pathogenic cells and releasing their cargo on site, but the complexity of molecular engineering such drug-delivery vehicles impedes their broad application and clinical translation. New methodologies to generate more advanced and intelligent systems are required.
206
Published: Dec 2020
Published: Dec 2020
Synthetic biology enables efficient phage genome engineering. • Phages with tunable host range and antimicrobial payload delivery enhance efficacy. • Phage design principles may be guided by computational approaches in the future.
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