Synthetic biology is an approach to engineer biology. Core to the discipline is genetic engineering, which is made more akin to engineering by adding the levels of standardization, automation, and abstraction.

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Colormetric assay for a phenol product?

I am working on an assay for phenol products created by a colony of bacteria. I have searched up a paper that involves gibbs reageant but the protocol is kind of unclear. Does any of you know where I ...
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27 views

What's it like to be a synthetic biologist? [closed]

I find the field of synthetic biology very interesting and I would like to know what people in the field work on. Where do you work and what do you do there? What did you study to become a synthetic ...
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15 views

What is the spacing between stop codon and transcription terminator?

When one tries to express a protein from a synthetic plasmid in E. coli, how many base pairs should there be between stop codon and the transcription terminator site?
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32 views

His Tag location in gene circuit

I am part of an undergraduate research group and we are trying to produce a protease in an E.coli gene circuit. We are not sure where to place the His tag in our circuit. The sequence is ...
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1answer
15 views

Will tagging a protease with HlyA for secretion inactivate the protease?

We are looking to secrete the protease proline iminopeptidase by attaching the secretion signal HlyA to the protease in a gene circuit. Since the natural HlyA secretion sequence in Escherichia coli ...
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1answer
24 views

Proline Iminopeptidase v Proline Aminopeptidase

We're an undergraduate independent research team and we are having trouble purchasing commercial proline iminopeptidase as it is unavailable on Sigma Aldrich and very expensive on other websites. We ...
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26 views

T7 Tagging Next to Met

Will a T7 tag still work if it is placed next to a start codon? Meaning, will it still work with a Met attached to it in the amino acid sequence? Thank you!
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1answer
26 views

T7 Tagging in Synthetic Biology

What is a T7 tag and can if be used to purify synthesized proteins? Is it charge based like a His tag?
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81 views

Do DNA supply houses maintain a watch list for dangerous oligos (Anthrax, Smallpox, etc.)?

The recent work by DeLoache, et al. on a synthetic opiate-precursor production pathway in yeast has generated a lot of scare stories in the media about people homebrewing heroin as easily as they ...
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30 views

Some kind of better oxygen-transport protein or something… Can you help me find it?

I remember reading about artificial or man-made, oxygen-transport protein that is somehow an improvement on hemoglobin, and that it is possibly immune to sickle-cell anemia, or something... But I ...
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1answer
105 views

How would you affect bulk DNA gene therapy for a human?

Let's imagine that we understood DNA programming and our genome very well and realized that there were some significant flaws (we die, we need sleep, etc.) And let's imagine that we understand how to ...
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1answer
70 views

Is it possible to insert DNA without cutting the recognition site with CRISPR/Cas9?

We are looking for a way to insert DNA into a genome, but we would like to do it in a way that the recognition site stay intact to be able to add again DNA at the same location. Do you know if it is ...
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137 views

Can genetic engineering be performed without a laboratory setting? [closed]

I'm becoming more interested in genetic engineering as I learn more about it, and it's becoming more and more apparent that there's very few resources on genetic engineering at home. A similar ...
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32 views

How do I get recombinant proteins into the nucleus of mammal cells?

I know that there are Nuclear Localisation Sequencenes (NLS). They can be taken from endogenous or viral proteins and fused to the N or C terminus of my recombinant protein. Which is the best one? ...
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2answers
85 views

Balanced vs Maximized Codon Optimization

I have worked with the optimization of several viral proteins, from different viruses/families, with different results. When Menzella, 2011 was published I tried that method. I found quite the ...
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2answers
198 views

What are the rules for plasmid names?

What are best practices for naming newly created plasmids? For example, a common format is pABC123. What is the exact specification? Must there be 3 letters? What ...
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1answer
45 views

Forum on synthetic biology and hypothetical biology?

I am interested in synthetic biology, but not a scientist, and would like some advice on where to look for an online forum on synthetic biology and creating fictional species and animals or if someone ...
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2answers
61 views

Are there known downsides to removing UV mutation hotspots to prevent some skin cancers (Genetic sunblock)?

Khavari et al. recently demonstrated that a significant fraction of one of the major forms of skin cancer (cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas) are associated with a mutated KNSTRN gene (a protein ...
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40 views

Assembling DNA fragments with ~10kb overlap in vitro

Let's say I have two fragments of bacterial DNA (~50kb in length each) that overlap on the ends by roughly ~10kb; the overlap sequences are unknown. I would like to assemble these into longer ...
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1answer
223 views

Ribosomal Turing Machines, DNA/RNA computation

I'm a computer science guy, recently crossing over to do some research in computational biology on RNA secondary structure prediction. While looking through the materials I got a crazy idea, what if ...
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2answers
583 views

How can CI repressor both activate and repress $P_{RM}$ promoter found in $\lambda$ phage?

I'm reading a paper where the authors constructed a toggle switch that uses bidirectional $P_R/P_{RM}$ promoter found in the $\lambda$ phage. There are 3 binding sites - $O_{R1}$, $O_{R2}$, $O_{R3}$ - ...
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1answer
38 views

Activity of glucokinase

From Solomon et al, 2013 ACC Synthetic biology and from this video : Here, there are 2 competing reactions for glucose - one with glk as enzyme and other with gdh as enzyme. In the graph, y axis ...
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1answer
88 views

What is the relation between plasmid concentration and mRNA levels?

Suppose a simple synthetic construct, consisting of a constitutive promoter and a single gene: One of the simplest ways to model GFP transcription is to use an ODE: $\frac{d [GFP_{mRNA}]}{dt} = a - ...
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How predictably will RNA polymerase not transcribe repetitive sequences?

I am working on an (expensive) synthetic construct, which happens to have many "repetitive" sequences within it that are integral to its function. Primarily, the two sequences that are worrying me ...
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1answer
107 views

Can a plant be programmed to produce any arbitrary object?

I'm wondering if a plant can be programmed (by modifying its genes) to grow into any shape that it's programming instructs. I understand that a plants genes are its instructions of how to convert the ...
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1answer
162 views

Synthetic construct with multiple ORFs not expressing

I designed a synthetic construct on paper and got it synthesized from a company. The objective was to make a vector which can be used to study both transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation ...
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1answer
548 views

Is there an optimal composition and length for protein linkers in FRET?

I'm designing a protein that I'd like to use in FRET reporting. General idea on the shape is: FRETprotein1--Linker--CleavageSite--Linker--FRETprotein2. I would like to know what AA are best for the ...
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108 views

How significant is RNA degradation with removal of cap/polyA's in eukaryotes, or UTR's in prokaryotes?

Question is rather self-explanatory, but segmented into two parts. I'm attempting to make use of a repression system that employs cleaving RNA at specific areas with ribozymes with the intent of ...
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1answer
831 views

How to secrete a recombinant protein from E. coli?

What are some secretory pathways that can be used to secrete a recombinant bacterial enzyme from E. coli? I have a recombinant protein (29kDa) that I will express in E. coli BL21 cells. For now I ...
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2answers
724 views

What can cause incompatible sticky ends to be ligated?

Actual question I have reason to believe (details see below) that in a ligation I carried out, an EcoRI sticky end (EcoRI: G'AATT_C) and an XmaI sticky end (XmaI: C'CCGG_G) were somehow ligated ...
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2answers
392 views

What are common causes of unexpected ligation products?

I digested two plasmids, one with EcoRI and AgeI and the other with EcoRI and XmaI. Digests looked as expected, so I purified the respective fragments and set up the T4 DNA ligation (AgeI and XmaI ...
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1answer
33 views

Do the phage repressors CI and Mnt exhibit crosstalk?

I am interested in using the CI and Mnt proteins as well as their respective promoters (pR and Pmnt) within the same synthetic system, but am concerned as to their similarity and potential crosstalk. ...
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3answers
449 views

Why isn't there a standard unit of promoter strength?

Sometimes in synthetic biology, we need to know rates of transcription of one promoter in relation to others (particularly inducible vs constitutive) in order to perform tasks like balancing ...
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271 views

Has synthetic biology created new plants or animals as of 2013?

I've seen a Ted.com talk where the speaker suggests that modern science can create new micro organisms, like bacteria with a pre- defined new set of traits. But has anyone create a new species of ...
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73 views

Can two hammerhead ribozymes simultaneously cleave each other?

I am working on a project in which an XOR gate is being built by having two hammerhead ribozymes simultaneously cleave each other when both are expressed, but have these ribozymes cleave a target ...
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1answer
64 views

How can I accurately predict proper transgenic protein function/structure from different species?

I am currently building a synthetic system in E.coli, and am often faced with the need to use genes from other distant prokaryotes. I know that myself and most of my colleagues resort to an educated ...
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316 views

Is there a practical upper limit to amount of nucleotides or genes in a transformed plasmid?

I'm currently working on a synthetic biology project which involves working with lots of different parts. I would ultimately like to integrate these genes by transforming a single plasmid. I've heard ...
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337 views

Can spider silk be synthesized for 3D printing with spider silk?

With the recent rise in 3D printing, I keep hearing about more novel ways to use the technology: cell 3D printing, liquid aluminum or plastic 3D printing. For example, this Ted talk deals with ...
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155 views

Has anyone ever sucessfully translated xRNA or yRNA? [closed]

I've recently been researching the subject of size-expanded nucleobases in alternative genetic sets. Many papers describe the, at least, partial success in replicating xDNA and yDNA, as well as ...
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177 views

What is the difference between xDNA and yDNA?

Wikipedia states that: xDNA contains expanded bases, in which a benzene ring has been added, which may pair with canon bases, resulting in four possible base-pairs (8 bases:xA-T,xT-A,xC-G,xG-C, 16 ...
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108 views

How are Genetic Circuits Modelled?

I've read a recent Nature Methods paper by Moon T.S. et al, in which a synthetic genetic circuit consisting of layered logic gates was created. For example, the paper, a circuit is modelled in Figure ...
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Creating a cell, not from another cell. Will it be possible?

If some time in the future, we can know exactly what a cell (for example simple prokaryote bacteria) contains, (I mean, exactly which molecules, the shape of them, the density of each, everything), ...
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Difference between genetic engineering and synthetic biology

I've recently seen the term synthetic biology being used to describe research involving genetic modification of organisms. What is the difference between synthetic biology and genetic engineering? Is ...
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1answer
132 views

How realistic is to use DNA for long term storage?

This is mainly a followup question to the recent paper Next-Generation Digital Information Storage in DNA. Personally, while I agree about the data density of the format, I can't help point out the ...
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1answer
225 views

What's the state of the art in designing and creating your own life forms?

What's the state of the art for solving the following problem. You imagine a set of features that you want a life-form to have. Just to take an arbitrary example, say you want your life-form to have ...
6
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1answer
138 views

Designing genes with DNAWorks: Maximum nonzero score?

I'm designing a gene in DNAWorks, and I'm unable to find a set of conditions that gives an "overall score" of zero (which is what I normally insist on). People that have used DNAWorks: what's the ...
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6answers
417 views

Introductory literature for synthetic / systems biology?

I'm a computer engineer (MsC Computer Engineering) who's looking to switch into the field of synthetic / systems biology. I've got a comprehensive layman's understanding of evolution, genetics, ...
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1answer
334 views

T7 phage promoter action in mammals

Does anyone know if the T7 phage promoter is efficient in mammalian systems?
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532 views

What is the highest competency possible for E coli?

I am looking to find a highly competent E coli strain. I am making a library of a ~6.6kb plasmid and I am not getting high enough efficiency. Does anyone have a suggestion of a strain/protocol with ...
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Synthetic biology using existing cells

I was watching the video at this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17436365 The speaker says that a cell is taken and its original DNA content is stripped out and replaced with ...