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Questions tagged [synthetic-biology]

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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25 views

Is it possible to grow a part of a plant independent of the rest?

Is it possible, using modern knowledge of biochemistry and synthetic biology, to grow a tomato without growing the rest of the tomato plant? As an academic exercise, with full knowledge of the fact ...
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56 views

Source for 'EVERY living organism uses ATP as energy carrier', and can we make a synthetic one that doesn't?

I have read it repeatedly that 'all living organisms use ATP as an energy currency etc' and 'some use GTP in addition'. However I am yet to find a reliable resource, rather than just quora/reddit/...
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125 views

Replacing, instead of repairing, DNA

I've been doing some light reading on DNA damage theory of aging. One of the main ideas from that theory that I got is that the accumulation of damage in our DNA is one of the biggest causes of why we ...
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24 views

What are low-accumulating genotypes? [closed]

What are low-accumulating genotypes? And how does it differ from high-accumulating genotypes?
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373 views

Will new proteins incorporating new amino acids trigger an immune response?

This article reported that scientists have succeeded in adding two new bases to the quartet of A, C, G and T, resulting in non-canonical amino acid. Additionally, the bacteria in which this was done ...
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1answer
134 views

What is the purpose of the AraC gene in pGLO?

The AraC gene activates in pGLO from my understanding in the presence of arabinose. Arabinose is present as a metabolite from other metabolic in the e.coli cell. Is it that there's no termination ...
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33 views

Papers where protein oligomerization has been engineered away

I have a protein that acts as a monomer, but appears to have a relatively high self-affinity in vivo (measured using transient transfection of a plasmid coding for the protein), which is annoying ...
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2answers
228 views

A synthetic sieve organ known as kliver?

in this video at 5:28, the narrator talks about a "vat-grown all-purpose sieve organ" called Kliver that would do away with both liver and kidney transplant. But i don't seem to find online resources ...
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1answer
109 views

MIT's Programming Language for Cells

I have read a lot about the programming language, Cello, that MIT created to program DNA; however, I cannot seem to find any sources online that shows you how to program with Cello. Are there any good ...
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1answer
115 views

Could the protein dystrophin be artificially synthesised?

Could the protein dystrophin be artificially synthesised and if so could patients with DMD (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy) benefit from it? //Now I don't have much scientific background other than a ...
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2answers
96 views

Dealing with Repetitive Bases in DNA?

I have been given a project involving a plasmid that contains long stretches of Adenine (60 or 120 bases each). These PolyA stretches are interrupted by the occasional G or C. I understand that ...
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Assay for Glycosyltransferase

I want to do an assay to see, if an ordered enzyme is active or not. It's a glucosyltransferase from S. mutans which hydrolyses sucrose into fructose and glucose. It then connects the glucose-monomers ...
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What does it mean to “write an image and GIF into the DNA of bacteria”?

BBC News recently published an article saying that: An image and short film has been encoded in DNA, using the units of inheritance as a medium for storing information ... The team sequenced the ...
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What happens when you tag a protease with its own degradation tag?

I've been learning about the ClipXP, ClipAP, and Lon proteases. They are proteases from the AAA+ family, which seek out proteins tagged with certain peptide sequences, unfold them, and chop them up. ...
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2answers
123 views

Storage of bacteria

Why are strains of bacteria stored when they are inactive (frozen)? What is the problem with storing growing cultures for long periods?
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1answer
334 views

What's the difference between prions and prion-like proteins?

If I added a prion domain to a protein, does that make the protein a prion-like protein or would it be considered a prion at that point? I'm trying to understand what prions are, how they aggregate ...
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1answer
155 views

Is cell-free Life possible? [closed]

I think most of the people on this site know about the famous Baltimore paper describing the ability of the poliovirus to replicate itself without the need of cells but I want to expand on the issue ...
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212 views

Is it possible to synthesize chiral version of an organism (incompatible with our pathogens)?

In theory, it should be possible to synthesize chiral (mirror image) version of some organism: with all molecules replaced with their enantiomers, e.g. L-sugars in place of our D-sugars. Direct ...
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1answer
2k views

Why we utilize dextro glucose and levo amino acids?

Our body only digest dextro(Right handed) glucose and levo(Left handed) proteins and can't digest Levo glucose and dextro proteins. Why? Our body synthesis levo proteins. What is the reason?
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105 views

Is it possible to have undamaged healthy cell, that is dead?

I am trying to clarify my understanding of how unicellular organisms are alive, given my existing background (computational modelling, unrelated to biology). During my thoughts on subject I have came ...
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1answer
105 views

Is it possible to create DNA of a species that could be any animal [closed]

I was thinking about a fiction world in which all animal (at least vertebrate) could crossbred because they share same number and layout of chromosome but differ in hereditary detail (like human skin ...
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1answer
75 views

How does a bacterium age without cell division?

If somehow a bacterium, let's say E. coli, is engineered in such a way that it loses the formation of ftsZ ring (or other ways that inhibit cell division), and if other conditions are optimal for ...
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0answers
84 views

Molecular Logic GATE

Currently either PET-Fluorophore or FRET is used as output of the molecular/DNA-based logic gate. Likewise, in a logic gate, lets say YES GATE, you provide an input to the logic gate and in return you ...
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1answer
320 views

Is it possible to remove one strand of double stranded DNA in vivo?

Assume we do have a double stranded DNA sequence in human cells, say ...ATCGATATCGATATTGCAGAGCATAGCTATAA... ...TAGCTATAGCTATAAGCTCTCGTATCGATATT... Now I want to ...
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36 views

What is the highest number of genes expressed under one T7 promoter?

What is the highest number of genes expressed under one T7 promoter? Also, what is the longest polycistronic mRNA? I am interested in the context of heterologously expressing biosynthetic gene ...
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1answer
407 views

Why does pETDuet-1 only have one T7 terminator but two T7 promoters?

Why does pETDuet-1 only have one T7 terminator but two T7 promoters (vector map below)? Is there any advantage of having only one terminator? There are going to be two mRNAs transcribed from this ...
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55 views

Barcode exchange between neighbouring cells

I am currently interested in equipping animal cells in a tissue with individual barcodes. These barcodes should get amplified in the cells (not to a cell degrading extent, of course), and also ...
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1answer
131 views

In theory how fast could nerve signals travel if the nerve fibre was perfectly insulated?

My question is purely theoretical and my main aim is to find out the maximum speed that a nerve signal can travel within a nervous system and and whether this speed represents the physical limit of ...
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1answer
106 views

What prevent us from synthesizing a cell from “scratch”?

In this recent article "Design and synthesis of a minimal bacterial genome", they created a minimal cell with only 473 genes. However, they didn't synthesize all of the necessary components of the ...
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1answer
269 views

A career in synthetic biology [closed]

So I am thinking about a career in synthetic biology, but I am not sure what route should/needs to be taken. I don't want to do technician work--I want to be involved in the planning. Y'know, the ...
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209 views

“Antibiotic resistance” equivalent in archaea for selection during cloning

I'm beginning to work with halophilic archaea and I'm trying to figure out a good way to select for cells that have taken up a plasmid. Obviously, one can't use antibiotic resistance since they are ...
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1answer
36 views

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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1answer
2k 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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64 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 ...OmpA(gene)-...
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1answer
63 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
132 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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2answers
48 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
1k 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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1answer
150 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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55 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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217 views

How would you effect 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
118 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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1answer
889 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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65 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
332 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
2k 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
138 views

Forum on synthetic biology and hypothetical biology? [closed]

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
99 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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50 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 ...
3
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1answer
735 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 ...