Download Synthetic Biology: From iGEM to the Artificial Cell by Manuel Porcar, Juli Peretó PDF

By Manuel Porcar, Juli Peretó

Synthetic Biology (SB) is a innovative self-discipline with an unlimited diversity of functional functions, yet is SB learn particularly in accordance with engineering ideas? Does it contributing to the bogus synthesis of existence or does it utilise ways sufficiently complex to fall open air the scope of biotechnology or metabolic engineering? This quantity reports the advance of SB and comprises the most important milestones of the self-discipline, the ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ methods in the direction of the development of a man-made telephone and the improvement of the “iGEM” pageant. We finish that SB is an rising box with outstanding technological capability, yet that the majority examine tasks really are an extension of metabolic engineering because the complexity of residing organisms, their tight dependence on evolution and our restricted wisdom of the interactions among the molecules, truly make existence tricky to engineer.

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Additional resources for Synthetic Biology: From iGEM to the Artificial Cell

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Top-down strategies seek simplification of genomes, their chemical synthesis and transplantation into a cell chassis. In the long term, scientists hope to have genomic platforms to reinvent metabolic networks capable of producing molecules of biotechnological interest. On the other hand, a bottom-up strategy relies on the chemical implementation of fundamental concepts such as self-reproduction, self-replication and self-maintaining systems. In addition to the artificial synthesis of simplified genomes and protocells, some scientists explore xenobiology, or making life as we do not know it, for example, with different genetic alphabets or with artificially designed metabolic pathways.

A previously unimplemented stage is the one involving computational simulation prior to experimental intervention. Indeed, quantitative theoretical computer models and simulations play a significant role in this type of approach to synthetic biology. One of the most striking examples in this area is the proposal by MIT engineers who launched the idea of standardization and cataloguing of so-called interchangeable components known as Biobrick parts (see Chap. 6). These can be combined to design new genetic and metabolic circuits, new properties in host cells, which act as a mere ‘chassis’.

In his first work, dating back to 1924, Oparin adopted an eclectic position that would allow biochemical innovations to be incorporated to his explanatory outline. Although his 1924 pamphlet in Russian was not translated into English until 1967, his more comprehensive treatise published in 1936 took just 2 years to come out in English, and became widely known and readily accepted. This book begins with a rational argument against spontaneous generation and panspermia. The Russian author then went on to give a detailed explanation of the origin of life by chemical evolution.

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