WorldWideScience

Sample records for bottom-up synthetic biology

  1. Bottom-up synthetic biology: modular design for making artificial platelets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majumder, Sagardip; Liu, Allen P.

    2018-01-01

    Engineering artificial cells to mimic one or multiple fundamental cell biological functions is an emerging area of synthetic biology. Reconstituting functional modules from biological components in vitro is a challenging yet an important essence of bottom-up synthetic biology. Here we describe the concept of building artificial platelets using bottom-up synthetic biology and the four functional modules that together could enable such an ambitious effort.

  2. Construction of membrane-bound artificial cells using microfluidics: a new frontier in bottom-up synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elani, Yuval

    2016-06-15

    The quest to construct artificial cells from the bottom-up using simple building blocks has received much attention over recent decades and is one of the grand challenges in synthetic biology. Cell mimics that are encapsulated by lipid membranes are a particularly powerful class of artificial cells due to their biocompatibility and the ability to reconstitute biological machinery within them. One of the key obstacles in the field centres on the following: how can membrane-based artificial cells be generated in a controlled way and in high-throughput? In particular, how can they be constructed to have precisely defined parameters including size, biomolecular composition and spatial organization? Microfluidic generation strategies have proved instrumental in addressing these questions. This article will outline some of the major principles underpinning membrane-based artificial cells and their construction using microfluidics, and will detail some recent landmarks that have been achieved. © 2016 The Author(s).

  3. Sequential bottom-up assembly of mechanically stabilized synthetic cells by microfluidics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, Marian; Frohnmayer, Johannes Patrick; Benk, Lucia Theresa; Haller, Barbara; Janiesch, Jan-Willi; Heitkamp, Thomas; Börsch, Michael; Lira, Rafael B.; Dimova, Rumiana; Lipowsky, Reinhard; Bodenschatz, Eberhard; Baret, Jean-Christophe; Vidakovic-Koch, Tanja; Sundmacher, Kai; Platzman, Ilia; Spatz, Joachim P.

    2018-01-01

    Compartments for the spatially and temporally controlled assembly of biological processes are essential towards cellular life. Synthetic mimics of cellular compartments based on lipid-based protocells lack the mechanical and chemical stability to allow their manipulation into a complex and fully functional synthetic cell. Here, we present a high-throughput microfluidic method to generate stable, defined sized liposomes termed `droplet-stabilized giant unilamellar vesicles (dsGUVs)’. The enhanced stability of dsGUVs enables the sequential loading of these compartments with biomolecules, namely purified transmembrane and cytoskeleton proteins by microfluidic pico-injection technology. This constitutes an experimental demonstration of a successful bottom-up assembly of a compartment with contents that would not self-assemble to full functionality when simply mixed together. Following assembly, the stabilizing oil phase and droplet shells are removed to release functional self-supporting protocells to an aqueous phase, enabling them to interact with physiologically relevant matrices.

  4. Nanomaterial processing using self-assembly-bottom-up chemical and biological approaches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thiruvengadathan, Rajagopalan; Gangopadhyay, Keshab; Gangopadhyay, Shubhra; Korampally, Venumadhav; Ghosh, Arkasubhra; Chanda, Nripen

    2013-01-01

    Nanotechnology is touted as the next logical sequence in technological evolution. This has led to a substantial surge in research activities pertaining to the development and fundamental understanding of processes and assembly at the nanoscale. Both top-down and bottom-up fabrication approaches may be used to realize a range of well-defined nanostructured materials with desirable physical and chemical attributes. Among these, the bottom-up self-assembly process offers the most realistic solution toward the fabrication of next-generation functional materials and devices. Here, we present a comprehensive review on the physical basis behind self-assembly and the processes reported in recent years to direct the assembly of nanoscale functional blocks into hierarchically ordered structures. This paper emphasizes assembly in the synthetic domain as well in the biological domain, underscoring the importance of biomimetic approaches toward novel materials. In particular, two important classes of directed self-assembly, namely, (i) self-assembly among nanoparticle–polymer systems and (ii) external field-guided assembly are highlighted. The spontaneous self-assembling behavior observed in nature that leads to complex, multifunctional, hierarchical structures within biological systems is also discussed in this review. Recent research undertaken to synthesize hierarchically assembled functional materials have underscored the need as well as the benefits harvested in synergistically combining top-down fabrication methods with bottom-up self-assembly. (review article)

  5. New, national bottom-up estimate for tree-based biological ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitrogen is a limiting nutrient in many ecosystems, but is also a chief pollutant from human activity. Quantifying human impacts on the nitrogen cycle and investigating natural ecosystem nitrogen cycling both require an understanding of the magnitude of nitrogen inputs from biological nitrogen fixation (BNF). A bottom-up approach to estimating BNF—scaling rates up from measurements to broader scales—is attractive because it is rooted in actual BNF measurements. However, bottom-up approaches have been hindered by scaling difficulties, and a recent top-down approach suggested that the previous bottom-up estimate was much too large. Here, we used a bottom-up approach for tree-based BNF, overcoming scaling difficulties with the systematic, immense (>70,000 N-fixing trees) Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) database. We employed two approaches to estimate species-specific BNF rates: published ecosystem-scale rates (kg N ha-1 yr-1) and published estimates of the percent of N derived from the atmosphere (%Ndfa) combined with FIA-derived growth rates. Species-specific rates can vary for a variety of reasons, so for each approach we examined how different assumptions influenced our results. Specifically, we allowed BNF rates to vary with stand age, N-fixer density, and canopy position (since N-fixation is known to require substantial light).Our estimates from this bottom-up technique are several orders of magnitude lower than previous estimates indicating

  6. Bottom up

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ockenden, James

    1999-01-01

    This article presents an overview of the electric supply industries in Eastern Europe. The development of more competitive and efficient plant in Poland and work on emissions control ahead of EU membership; the Czech's complicated tariff system; Hungary's promised 8% return on investment in their electricity supply industry and its tariff problems; Bulgaria and Ukraine's desperate need for investment to build alternative plants to their aging nuclear plants; and demand outstripping supply in Romania are among the topics considered.. The viscous circle of poor service and low utility income is considered, and the top-down approach for breaking the cycle by improving plant efficiency, and the bottom up approach of improving plant income as practiced by Moldavia are explained. (UK)

  7. Mineralization of Synthetic Polymer Scaffolds: A Bottom-upApproach for the Development of Artificial Bone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Song, Jie; Viengkham, Malathong; Bertozzi, Carolyn R.

    2004-09-27

    The controlled integration of organic and inorganic components confers natural bone with superior mechanical properties. Bone biogenesis is thought to occur by templated mineralization of hard apatite crystals by an elastic protein scaffold, a process we sought to emulate with synthetic biomimetic hydrogel polymers. Crosslinked polymethacrylamide and polymethacrylate hydrogels were functionalized with mineral-binding ligands and used to template the formation of hydroxyapatite. Strong adhesion between the organic and inorganic materials was achieved for hydrogels functionalized with either carboxylate or hydroxy ligands. The mineral-nucleating potential of hydroxyl groups identified here broadens the design parameters for synthetic bone-like composites and suggests a potential role for hydroxylated collagen proteins in bone mineralization.

  8. Synthetic biology, inspired by synthetic chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malinova, V; Nallani, M; Meier, W P; Sinner, E K

    2012-07-16

    The topic synthetic biology appears still as an 'empty basket to be filled'. However, there is already plenty of claims and visions, as well as convincing research strategies about the theme of synthetic biology. First of all, synthetic biology seems to be about the engineering of biology - about bottom-up and top-down approaches, compromising complexity versus stability of artificial architectures, relevant in biology. Synthetic biology accounts for heterogeneous approaches towards minimal and even artificial life, the engineering of biochemical pathways on the organismic level, the modelling of molecular processes and finally, the combination of synthetic with nature-derived materials and architectural concepts, such as a cellular membrane. Still, synthetic biology is a discipline, which embraces interdisciplinary attempts in order to have a profound, scientific base to enable the re-design of nature and to compose architectures and processes with man-made matter. We like to give an overview about the developments in the field of synthetic biology, regarding polymer-based analogs of cellular membranes and what questions can be answered by applying synthetic polymer science towards the smallest unit in life, namely a cell. Copyright © 2012 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Bottom-up effects on top-down regulation of a floating aquatic plant by two weevil species: the context-specific nature of biological control

    Science.gov (United States)

    1. Plant nutrition (bottom-up effects) impacts a plant’s ability to sustain herbivory (top-down effects) and affects phytophagous insect fecundity. These factors potentially confound efficacy predictions for biological control projects. We investigated the relative importance of these two forces wi...

  10. Synthetic Biology and Personalized Medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, K.K.

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic biology, application of synthetic chemistry to biology, is a broad term that covers the engineering of biological systems with structures and functions not found in nature to process information, manipulate chemicals, produce energy, maintain cell environment and enhance human health. Synthetic biology devices contribute not only to improve our understanding of disease mechanisms, but also provide novel diagnostic tools. Methods based on synthetic biology enable the design of novel strategies for the treatment of cancer, immune diseases metabolic disorders and infectious diseases as well as the production of cheap drugs. The potential of synthetic genome, using an expanded genetic code that is designed for specific drug synthesis as well as delivery and activation of the drug in vivo by a pathological signal, was already pointed out during a lecture delivered at Kuwait University in 2005. Of two approaches to synthetic biology, top-down and bottom-up, the latter is more relevant to the development of personalized medicines as it provides more flexibility in constructing a partially synthetic cell from basic building blocks for a desired task. PMID:22907209

  11. Parallel- and serial-contact electrochemical metallization of monolayer nanopatterns: A versatile synthetic tool en route to bottom-up assembly of electric nanocircuits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Berson

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Contact electrochemical transfer of silver from a metal-film stamp (parallel process or a metal-coated scanning probe (serial process is demonstrated to allow site-selective metallization of monolayer template patterns of any desired shape and size created by constructive nanolithography. The precise nanoscale control of metal delivery to predefined surface sites, achieved as a result of the selective affinity of the monolayer template for electrochemically generated metal ions, provides a versatile synthetic tool en route to the bottom-up assembly of electric nanocircuits. These findings offer direct experimental support to the view that, in electrochemical metal deposition, charge is carried across the electrode–solution interface by ion migration to the electrode rather than by electron transfer to hydrated ions in solution.

  12. The bottom-up approach to defining life : deciphering the functional organization of biological cells via multi-objective representation of biological complexity from molecules to cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sathish ePeriyasamy

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In silico representation of cellular systems needs to represent the adaptive dynamics of biological cells, recognizing a cell’s multi-objective topology formed by spatially and temporally cohesive intracellular structures. The design of these models needs to address the hierarchical and concurrent nature of cellular functions and incorporate the ability to self-organise in response to transitions between healthy and pathological phases, and adapt accordingly. The functions of biological systems are constantly evolving, due to the ever changing demands of their environment. Biological systems meet these demands by pursuing objectives, aided by their constituents, giving rise to biological functions. A biological cell is organised into an objective/task hierarchy. These objective hierarchy corresponds to the nested nature of temporally cohesive structures and representing them will facilitate in studying pleiotropy and polygeny by modeling causalities propagating across multiple interconnected intracellular processes. Although biological adaptations occur in physiological, developmental and reproductive timescales, the paper is focused on adaptations that occur within physiological timescales, where the biomolecular activities contributing to functional organisation, play a key role in cellular physiology. The paper proposes a multi-scale and multi-objective modelling approach from the bottom-up by representing temporally cohesive structures for multi-tasking of intracellular processes. Further the paper characterises the properties and constraints that are consequential to the organisational and adaptive dynamics in biological cells.

  13. Plant synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wusheng; Stewart, C Neal

    2015-05-01

    Plant synthetic biology is an emerging field that combines engineering principles with plant biology toward the design and production of new devices. This emerging field should play an important role in future agriculture for traditional crop improvement, but also in enabling novel bioproduction in plants. In this review we discuss the design cycles of synthetic biology as well as key engineering principles, genetic parts, and computational tools that can be utilized in plant synthetic biology. Some pioneering examples are offered as a demonstration of how synthetic biology can be used to modify plants for specific purposes. These include synthetic sensors, synthetic metabolic pathways, and synthetic genomes. We also speculate about the future of synthetic biology of plants. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Designing synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agapakis, Christina M

    2014-03-21

    Synthetic biology is frequently defined as the application of engineering design principles to biology. Such principles are intended to streamline the practice of biological engineering, to shorten the time required to design, build, and test synthetic gene networks. This streamlining of iterative design cycles can facilitate the future construction of biological systems for a range of applications in the production of fuels, foods, materials, and medicines. The promise of these potential applications as well as the emphasis on design has prompted critical reflection on synthetic biology from design theorists and practicing designers from many fields, who can bring valuable perspectives to the discipline. While interdisciplinary connections between biologists and engineers have built synthetic biology via the science and the technology of biology, interdisciplinary collaboration with artists, designers, and social theorists can provide insight on the connections between technology and society. Such collaborations can open up new avenues and new principles for research and design, as well as shed new light on the challenging context-dependence-both biological and social-that face living technologies at many scales. This review is inspired by the session titled "Design and Synthetic Biology: Connecting People and Technology" at Synthetic Biology 6.0 and covers a range of literature on design practice in synthetic biology and beyond. Critical engagement with how design is used to shape the discipline opens up new possibilities for how we might design the future of synthetic biology.

  15. Is synthetic biology mechanical biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holm, Sune

    2015-12-01

    A widespread and influential characterization of synthetic biology emphasizes that synthetic biology is the application of engineering principles to living systems. Furthermore, there is a strong tendency to express the engineering approach to organisms in terms of what seems to be an ontological claim: organisms are machines. In the paper I investigate the ontological and heuristic significance of the machine analogy in synthetic biology. I argue that the use of the machine analogy and the aim of producing rationally designed organisms does not necessarily imply a commitment to mechanical biology. The ideal of applying engineering principles to biology is best understood as expressing recognition of the machine-unlikeness of natural organisms and the limits of human cognition. The paper suggests an interpretation of the identification of organisms with machines in synthetic biology according to which it expresses a strategy for representing, understanding, and constructing living systems that are more machine-like than natural organisms.

  16. Models for synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaznessis, Yiannis N

    2007-11-06

    Synthetic biological engineering is emerging from biology as a distinct discipline based on quantification. The technologies propelling synthetic biology are not new, nor is the concept of designing novel biological molecules. What is new is the emphasis on system behavior. The objective is the design and construction of new biological devices and systems to deliver useful applications. Numerous synthetic gene circuits have been created in the past decade, including bistable switches, oscillators, and logic gates, and possible applications abound, including biofuels, detectors for biochemical and chemical weapons, disease diagnosis, and gene therapies. More than fifty years after the discovery of the molecular structure of DNA, molecular biology is mature enough for real quantification that is useful for biological engineering applications, similar to the revolution in modeling in chemistry in the 1950s. With the excitement that synthetic biology is generating, the engineering and biological science communities appear remarkably willing to cross disciplinary boundaries toward a common goal.

  17. Synthetic biological networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Archer, Eric; Süel, Gürol M

    2013-01-01

    Despite their obvious relationship and overlap, the field of physics is blessed with many insightful laws, while such laws are sadly absent in biology. Here we aim to discuss how the rise of a more recent field known as synthetic biology may allow us to more directly test hypotheses regarding the possible design principles of natural biological networks and systems. In particular, this review focuses on synthetic gene regulatory networks engineered to perform specific functions or exhibit particular dynamic behaviors. Advances in synthetic biology may set the stage to uncover the relationship of potential biological principles to those developed in physics. (review article)

  18. Culture from the Bottom Up

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Dwight; Sohn, Jija

    2013-01-01

    The culture concept has been severely criticized for its top-down nature in TESOL, leading arguably to its falling out of favor in the field. But what of the fact that people do "live culturally" (Ingold, 1994)? This article describes a case study of culture from the bottom up--culture as understood and enacted by its individual users.…

  19. Creating biological nanomaterials using synthetic biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rice, MaryJoe K; Ruder, Warren C

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a new discipline that combines science and engineering approaches to precisely control biological networks. These signaling networks are especially important in fields such as biomedicine and biochemical engineering. Additionally, biological networks can also be critical to the production of naturally occurring biological nanomaterials, and as a result, synthetic biology holds tremendous potential in creating new materials. This review introduces the field of synthetic biology, discusses how biological systems naturally produce materials, and then presents examples and strategies for incorporating synthetic biology approaches in the development of new materials. In particular, strategies for using synthetic biology to produce both organic and inorganic nanomaterials are discussed. Ultimately, synthetic biology holds the potential to dramatically impact biological materials science with significant potential applications in medical systems. (review)

  20. Creating biological nanomaterials using synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, MaryJoe K; Ruder, Warren C

    2014-02-01

    Synthetic biology is a new discipline that combines science and engineering approaches to precisely control biological networks. These signaling networks are especially important in fields such as biomedicine and biochemical engineering. Additionally, biological networks can also be critical to the production of naturally occurring biological nanomaterials, and as a result, synthetic biology holds tremendous potential in creating new materials. This review introduces the field of synthetic biology, discusses how biological systems naturally produce materials, and then presents examples and strategies for incorporating synthetic biology approaches in the development of new materials. In particular, strategies for using synthetic biology to produce both organic and inorganic nanomaterials are discussed. Ultimately, synthetic biology holds the potential to dramatically impact biological materials science with significant potential applications in medical systems.

  1. Opportunities in plant synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Charis; Martin, Lisa; Bastow, Ruth

    2014-05-01

    Synthetic biology is an emerging field uniting scientists from all disciplines with the aim of designing or re-designing biological processes. Initially, synthetic biology breakthroughs came from microbiology, chemistry, physics, computer science, materials science, mathematics, and engineering disciplines. A transition to multicellular systems is the next logical step for synthetic biologists and plants will provide an ideal platform for this new phase of research. This meeting report highlights some of the exciting plant synthetic biology projects, and tools and resources, presented and discussed at the 2013 GARNet workshop on plant synthetic biology.

  2. Space Synthetic Biology Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, David; Roman, Monsi; Mansell, James (Matt)

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology is an effort to make genetic engineering more useful by standardizing sections of genetic code. By standardizing genetic components, biological engineering will become much more similar to traditional fields of engineering, in which well-defined components and subsystems are readily available in markets. Specifications of the behavior of those components and subsystems can be used to model a system which incorporates them. Then, the behavior of the novel system can be simulated and optimized. Finally, the components and subsystems can be purchased and assembled to create the optimized system, which most often will exhibit behavior similar to that indicated by the model. The Space Synthetic Biology project began in 2012 as a multi-Center effort. The purpose of this project was to harness Synthetic Biology principals to enable NASA's missions. A central target for application was to Environmental Control & Life Support (ECLS). Engineers from NASA Marshall Space Flight Center's (MSFC's) ECLS Systems Development Branch (ES62) were brought into the project to contribute expertise in operational ECLS systems. Project lead scientists chose to pursue the development of bioelectrochemical technologies to spacecraft life support. Therefore, the ECLS element of the project became essentially an effort to develop a bioelectrochemical ECLS subsystem. Bioelectrochemical systems exploit the ability of many microorganisms to drive their metabolisms by direct or indirect utilization of electrical potential gradients. Whereas many microorganisms are capable of deriving the energy required for the processes of interest (such as carbon dioxide (CO2) fixation) from sunlight, it is believed that subsystems utilizing electrotrophs will exhibit smaller mass, volume, and power requirements than those that derive their energy from sunlight. In the first 2 years of the project, MSFC personnel conducted modeling, simulation, and conceptual design efforts to assist the

  3. Analog synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarpeshkar, R

    2014-03-28

    We analyse the pros and cons of analog versus digital computation in living cells. Our analysis is based on fundamental laws of noise in gene and protein expression, which set limits on the energy, time, space, molecular count and part-count resources needed to compute at a given level of precision. We conclude that analog computation is significantly more efficient in its use of resources than deterministic digital computation even at relatively high levels of precision in the cell. Based on this analysis, we conclude that synthetic biology must use analog, collective analog, probabilistic and hybrid analog-digital computational approaches; otherwise, even relatively simple synthetic computations in cells such as addition will exceed energy and molecular-count budgets. We present schematics for efficiently representing analog DNA-protein computation in cells. Analog electronic flow in subthreshold transistors and analog molecular flux in chemical reactions obey Boltzmann exponential laws of thermodynamics and are described by astoundingly similar logarithmic electrochemical potentials. Therefore, cytomorphic circuits can help to map circuit designs between electronic and biochemical domains. We review recent work that uses positive-feedback linearization circuits to architect wide-dynamic-range logarithmic analog computation in Escherichia coli using three transcription factors, nearly two orders of magnitude more efficient in parts than prior digital implementations.

  4. Synthetic biology and occupational risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, John; Murashov, Vladimir; Schulte, Paul

    2017-03-01

    Synthetic biology is an emerging interdisciplinary field of biotechnology that involves applying the principles of engineering and chemical design to biological systems. Biosafety professionals have done an excellent job in addressing research laboratory safety as synthetic biology and gene editing have emerged from the larger field of biotechnology. Despite these efforts, risks posed by synthetic biology are of increasing concern as research procedures scale up to industrial processes in the larger bioeconomy. A greater number and variety of workers will be exposed to commercial synthetic biology risks in the future, including risks to a variety of workers from the use of lentiviral vectors as gene transfer devices. There is a need to review and enhance current protection measures in the field of synthetic biology, whether in experimental laboratories where new advances are being researched, in health care settings where treatments using viral vectors as gene delivery systems are increasingly being used, or in the industrial bioeconomy. Enhanced worker protection measures should include increased injury and illness surveillance of the synthetic biology workforce; proactive risk assessment and management of synthetic biology products; research on the relative effectiveness of extrinsic and intrinsic biocontainment methods; specific safety guidance for synthetic biology industrial processes; determination of appropriate medical mitigation measures for lentiviral vector exposure incidents; and greater awareness and involvement in synthetic biology safety by the general occupational safety and health community as well as by government occupational safety and health research and regulatory agencies.

  5. Synthetic Biology: Advancing Biological Frontiers by Building Synthetic Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Chen, Yvonne Yu-Hsuan; Galloway, Kate E; Smolke, Christina D

    2012-01-01

    Advances in synthetic biology are contributing to diverse research areas, from basic biology to biomanufacturing and disease therapy. We discuss the theoretical foundation, applications, and potential of this emerging field.

  6. Finding Hope in Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takala, Tuija

    2017-04-01

    For some, synthetic biology represents great hope in offering possible solutions to many of the world's biggest problems, from hunger to sustainable development. Others remain fearful of the harmful uses, such as bioweapons, that synthetic biology can lend itself to, and most hold that issues of biosafety are of utmost importance. In this article, I will evaluate these points of view and conclude that although the biggest promises of synthetic biology are unlikely to become reality, and the probability of accidents is fairly substantial, synthetic biology could still be seen to benefit humanity by enhancing our ethical understanding and by offering a boost to world economy.

  7. [From synthetic biology to synthetic humankind].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nouvel, Pascal

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we propose an historical survey of the expression "synthetic biology" in order to identify its main philosophical components. The result of the analysis is then used to investigate the meaning of the notion of "synthetic man". It is shown that both notions share a common philosophical background that can be summed up by the short but meaningful assertion: "biology is technology". The analysis allows us to distinguish two notions that are often confused in transhumanist literature: the notion of synthetic man and the notion of renewed man. The consequences of this crucial distinction are discussed. Copyright © 2015 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  8. The Ethics of Synthetic Biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Andreas

    The dissertation analyses and discusses a number of ethical issues that have been raised in connection with the development of synthetic biology. Synthetic biology is a set of new techniques for DNA-level design and construction of living beings with useful properties. The dissertation especially...

  9. Synthetic biology of polyketide synthases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yuzawa, Satoshi; Backman, Tyler W.H.; Keasling, Jay D.

    2018-01-01

    ). The modules are composed of enzymatic domains that share sequence and functional similarity across all known PKSs. We have used the nomenclature of synthetic biology to classify the enzymatic domains and modules as parts and devices, respectively, and have generated detailed lists of both. In addition, we...... realize the potential that synthetic biology approaches bring to this class of molecules....

  10. Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2012-11-16

    Metabolic engineering emerged 20 years ago as the discipline occupied with the directed modification of metabolic pathways for the microbial synthesis of various products. As such, it deals with the engineering (design, construction, and optimization) of native as well as non-natural routes of product synthesis, aided in this task by the availability of synthetic DNA, the core enabling technology of synthetic biology. The two fields, however, only partially overlap in their interest in pathway engineering. While fabrication of biobricks, synthetic cells, genetic circuits, and nonlinear cell dynamics, along with pathway engineering, have occupied researchers in the field of synthetic biology, the sum total of these areas does not constitute a coherent definition of synthetic biology with a distinct intellectual foundation and well-defined areas of application. This paper reviews the origins of the two fields and advances two distinct paradigms for each of them: that of unit operations for metabolic engineering and electronic circuits for synthetic biology. In this context, metabolic engineering is about engineering cell factories for the biological manufacturing of chemical and pharmaceutical products, whereas the main focus of synthetic biology is fundamental biological research facilitated by the use of synthetic DNA and genetic circuits.

  11. Artificial intelligence and synthetic biology: A tri-temporal contribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianchini, Francesco

    2016-10-01

    Artificial intelligence can make numerous contributions to synthetic biology. I would like to suggest three that are related to the past, present and future of artificial intelligence. From the past, works in biology and artificial systems by Turing and von Neumann prove highly interesting to explore within the new framework of synthetic biology, especially with regard to the notions of self-modification and self-replication and their links to emergence and the bottom-up approach. The current epistemological inquiry into emergence and research on swarm intelligence, superorganisms and biologically inspired cognitive architecture may lead to new achievements on the possibilities of synthetic biology in explaining cognitive processes. Finally, the present-day discussion on the future of artificial intelligence and the rise of superintelligence may point to some research trends for the future of synthetic biology and help to better define the boundary of notions such as "life", "cognition", "artificial" and "natural", as well as their interconnections in theoretical synthetic biology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Technical Assessment: Synthetic Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Pfizer, Bausch & Lomb, Coca - Cola , and other Fortune 500 companies 8 Data estimated by the... financial prize for ideas to drive forward the production of a sensor relying on synthetic organisms that can detect exposure to 500 specific chemicals

  13. Approaches to chemical synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiarabelli, Cristiano; Stano, Pasquale; Anella, Fabrizio; Carrara, Paolo; Luisi, Pier Luigi

    2012-07-16

    Synthetic biology is first represented in terms of two complementary aspects, the bio-engineering one, based on the genetic manipulation of extant microbial forms in order to obtain forms of life which do not exist in nature; and the chemical synthetic biology, an approach mostly based on chemical manipulation for the laboratory synthesis of biological structures that do not exist in nature. The paper is mostly devoted to shortly review chemical synthetic biology projects currently carried out in our laboratory. In particular, we describe: the minimal cell project, then the "Never Born Proteins" and lastly the Never Born RNAs. We describe and critically analyze the main results, emphasizing the possible relevance of chemical synthetic biology for the progress in basic science and biotechnology. Copyright © 2012 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Synthetic Biology for Specialty Chemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markham, Kelly A; Alper, Hal S

    2015-01-01

    In this review, we address recent advances in the field of synthetic biology and describe how those tools have been applied to produce a wide variety of chemicals in microorganisms. Here we classify the expansion of the synthetic biology toolbox into three different categories based on their primary function in strain engineering-for design, for construction, and for optimization. Next, focusing on recent years, we look at how chemicals have been produced using these new synthetic biology tools. Advances in producing fuels are briefly described, followed by a more thorough treatment of commodity chemicals, specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals. Throughout this review, an emphasis is placed on how synthetic biology tools are applied to strain engineering. Finally, we discuss organism and host strain diversity and provide a future outlook in the field.

  15. Microfluidic Technologies for Synthetic Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung Kuk Lee

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Microfluidic technologies have shown powerful abilities for reducing cost, time, and labor, and at the same time, for increasing accuracy, throughput, and performance in the analysis of biological and biochemical samples compared with the conventional, macroscale instruments. Synthetic biology is an emerging field of biology and has drawn much attraction due to its potential to create novel, functional biological parts and systems for special purposes. Since it is believed that the development of synthetic biology can be accelerated through the use of microfluidic technology, in this review work we focus our discussion on the latest microfluidic technologies that can provide unprecedented means in synthetic biology for dynamic profiling of gene expression/regulation with high resolution, highly sensitive on-chip and off-chip detection of metabolites, and whole-cell analysis.

  16. Space Synthetic Biology (SSB)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This project focused on employing advanced biological engineering and bioelectrochemical reactor systems to increase life support loop closure and in situ resource...

  17. US Competitiveness in Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gronvall, Gigi Kwik

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology is an emerging technical field that aims to make biology easier to engineer; the field has applications in strategically important sectors for the US economy. While the United States currently leads in synthetic biology R&D, other nations are heavily investing in order to boost their economies, which will inevitably diminish the US leadership position. This outcome is not entirely negative--additional investments will expand markets--but it is critical that the US government take steps to remain competitive: There are applications from which the US population and economy may benefit; there are specific applications with importance for national defense; and US technical leadership will ensure that US experts have a leading role in synthetic biology governance, regulation, and oversight. Measures to increase competitiveness in S&T generally are broadly applicable for synthetic biology and should be pursued. However, the US government will also need to take action on fundamental issues that will affect the field's development, such as countering anti-GMO (genetically modified organism) sentiments and anti-GMO legislation. The United States should maintain its regulatory approach so that it is the product that is regulated, not the method used to create a product. At the same time, the United States needs to ensure that the regulatory framework is updated so that synthetic biology products do not fall into regulatory gaps. Finally, the United States needs to pay close attention to how synthetic biology applications may be governed internationally, such as through the Nagoya Protocol of the Convention on Biological Diversity, so that beneficial applications may be realized.

  18. Synthetic biology, metaphors and responsibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLeod, Carmen; Nerlich, Brigitte

    2017-08-29

    Metaphors are not just decorative rhetorical devices that make speech pretty. They are fundamental tools for thinking about the world and acting on the world. The language we use to make a better world matters; words matter; metaphors matter. Words have consequences - ethical, social and legal ones, as well as political and economic ones. They need to be used 'responsibly'. They also need to be studied carefully - this is what we want to do through this editorial and the related thematic collection. In the context of synthetic biology, natural and social scientists have become increasingly interested in metaphors, a wave of interest that we want to exploit and amplify. We want to build on emerging articles and books on synthetic biology, metaphors of life and the ethical and moral implications of such metaphors. This editorial provides a brief introduction to synthetic biology and responsible innovation, as well as a comprehensive review of literature on the social, cultural and ethical impacts of metaphor use in genomics and synthetic biology. Our aim is to stimulate an interdisciplinary and international discussion on the impact that metaphors can have on science, policy and publics in the context of synthetic biology.

  19. Programming languages for synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umesh, P; Naveen, F; Rao, Chanchala Uma Maheswara; Nair, Achuthsankar S

    2010-12-01

    In the backdrop of accelerated efforts for creating synthetic organisms, the nature and scope of an ideal programming language for scripting synthetic organism in-silico has been receiving increasing attention. A few programming languages for synthetic biology capable of defining, constructing, networking, editing and delivering genome scale models of cellular processes have been recently attempted. All these represent important points in a spectrum of possibilities. This paper introduces Kera, a state of the art programming language for synthetic biology which is arguably ahead of similar languages or tools such as GEC, Antimony and GenoCAD. Kera is a full-fledged object oriented programming language which is tempered by biopart rule library named Samhita which captures the knowledge regarding the interaction of genome components and catalytic molecules. Prominent feature of the language are demonstrated through a toy example and the road map for the future development of Kera is also presented.

  20. Synthetic biology as red herring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Beth

    2013-12-01

    It has become commonplace to say that with the advent of technologies like synthetic biology the line between artifacts and living organisms, policed by metaphysicians since antiquity, is beginning to blur. But that line began to blur 10,000 years ago when plants and animals were first domesticated; and has been thoroughly blurred at least since agriculture became the dominant human subsistence pattern many millennia ago. Synthetic biology is ultimately only a late and unexceptional offshoot of this prehistoric development. From this perspective, then, synthetic biology is a red herring, distracting us from more thorough philosophical consideration of the most truly revolutionary human practice-agriculture. In the first section of this paper I will make this case with regard to ontology, arguing that synthetic biology crosses no ontological lines that were not crossed already in the Neolithic. In the second section I will construct a parallel case with regard to cognition, arguing that synthetic biology as biological engineering represents no cognitive advance over what was required for domestication and the new agricultural subsistence pattern it grounds. In the final section I will make the case with regard to human existence, arguing that synthetic biology, even if wildly successful, is not in a position to cause significant existential change in what it is to be human over and above the massive existential change caused by the transition to agriculture. I conclude that a longer historical perspective casts new light on some important issues in philosophy of technology and environmental philosophy. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Where Synthetic Biology Meets ET

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2016-01-01

    Synthetic biology - the design and construction of new biological parts and systems and the redesign of existing ones for useful purposes - has the potential to transform fields from pharmaceuticals to fuels. Our lab has focused on the potential of synthetic biology to revolutionize all three major parts of astrobiology: Where do we come from? Where are we going? and Are we alone? For the first and third, synthetic biology is allowing us to answer whether the evolutionary narrative that has played out on planet earth is likely to have been unique or universal. For example, in our lab we are re-evolving the biosynthetic pathways of amino acids in order to understand potential capabilities of an early organism with a limited repertoire of amino acids and developing techniques for the recovery of metals from spent electronics on other planetary bodies. And what about the limits for life? Can we create organisms that expand the envelope for life? In the future synthetic biology will play an increasing role in human activities both on earth, in fields as diverse as human health and the industrial production of novel bio-composites. Beyond earth, we will rely increasingly on biologically-provided life support, as we have throughout our evolutionary history. In order to do this, the field will build on two of the great contributions of astrobiology: studies of the origin of life and life in extreme environments.

  2. Synthetic biology and its promises

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Manuel De Cózar Escalante

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic biology is a new science and emerging technology, or rather a technoscience, which converges with others such as nanotechnology, information technology, robotics, artificial intelligence and neuroscience. All have common features that could have highly concerning social and environmental impacts. With its ambitious goals of controlling complexity, redesigning and creating new living entities, synthetic biology perfectly exemplifies the new bioeconomic reality. This requires expanding the focus of the discussion beyond the limited comparative analysis of risks and benefits, to address uncertainties, reassign responsibilities and initiate a thorough social assessment of what is at stake.

  3. Synthetic Biology: Putting Synthesis into Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jing; Luo, Yunzi; Zhao, Huimin

    2010-01-01

    The ability to manipulate living organisms is at the heart of a range of emerging technologies that serve to address important and current problems in environment, energy, and health. However, with all its complexity and interconnectivity, biology has for many years been recalcitrant to engineering manipulations. The recent advances in synthesis, analysis, and modeling methods have finally provided the tools necessary to manipulate living systems in meaningful ways, and have led to the coining of a field named synthetic biology. The scope of synthetic biology is as complicated as life itself – encompassing many branches of science, and across many scales of application. New DNA synthesis and assembly techniques have made routine the customization of very large DNA molecules. This in turn has allowed the incorporation of multiple genes and pathways. By coupling these with techniques that allow for the modeling and design of protein functions, scientists have now gained the tools to create completely novel biological machineries. Even the ultimate biological machinery – a self-replicating organism – is being pursued at this moment. It is the purpose of this review to dissect and organize these various components of synthetic biology into a coherent picture. PMID:21064036

  4. Control theory meets synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Vecchio, Domitilla; Dy, Aaron J; Qian, Yili

    2016-07-01

    The past several years have witnessed an increased presence of control theoretic concepts in synthetic biology. This review presents an organized summary of how these control design concepts have been applied to tackle a variety of problems faced when building synthetic biomolecular circuits in living cells. In particular, we describe success stories that demonstrate how simple or more elaborate control design methods can be used to make the behaviour of synthetic genetic circuits within a single cell or across a cell population more reliable, predictable and robust to perturbations. The description especially highlights technical challenges that uniquely arise from the need to implement control designs within a new hardware setting, along with implemented or proposed solutions. Some engineering solutions employing complex feedback control schemes are also described, which, however, still require a deeper theoretical analysis of stability, performance and robustness properties. Overall, this paper should help synthetic biologists become familiar with feedback control concepts as they can be used in their application area. At the same time, it should provide some domain knowledge to control theorists who wish to enter the rising and exciting field of synthetic biology. © 2016 The Author(s).

  5. MaxSynBio - Avenues towards creating cells from the bottom up.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwille, Petra; Spatz, Joachim; Landfester, Katharina; Bodenschatz, Eberhard; Herminghaus, Stephan; Sourjik, Victor; Erb, Tobias; Bastiaens, Philippe; Lipowsky, Reinhard; Hyman, Anthony; Dabrock, Peter; Baret, Jean-Christophe; Vidakovic-Koch, Tanja; Bieling, Peter; Dimova, Rumiana; Mutschler, Hannes; Robinson, Tom; Tang, Dora; Wegner, Seraphine; Sundmacher, Kai

    2018-05-11

    A large Max Planck-based German research consortium ('MaxSynBio') was formed to investigate living systems from a fundamental perspective. The research program of MaxSynBio relies solely on the bottom-up approach to Synthetic Biology. MaxSynBio focuses on the detailed analysis and understanding of essential processes of life, via their modular reconstitution in minimal synthetic systems. The ultimate goal is to construct a basic living unit entirely from non-living components. The fundamental insights gained from the activities in MaxSynBio can eventually be utilized for establishing a new generation of biotechnological processes, which would be based on synthetic cell constructs that replace natural cells currently used in conventional biotechnology. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. Synthetic biology meets tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Jamie A; Cachat, Elise

    2016-06-15

    Classical tissue engineering is aimed mainly at producing anatomically and physiologically realistic replacements for normal human tissues. It is done either by encouraging cellular colonization of manufactured matrices or cellular recolonization of decellularized natural extracellular matrices from donor organs, or by allowing cells to self-organize into organs as they do during fetal life. For repair of normal bodies, this will be adequate but there are reasons for making unusual, non-evolved tissues (repair of unusual bodies, interface to electromechanical prostheses, incorporating living cells into life-support machines). Synthetic biology is aimed mainly at engineering cells so that they can perform custom functions: applying synthetic biological approaches to tissue engineering may be one way of engineering custom structures. In this article, we outline the 'embryological cycle' of patterning, differentiation and morphogenesis and review progress that has been made in constructing synthetic biological systems to reproduce these processes in new ways. The state-of-the-art remains a long way from making truly synthetic tissues, but there are now at least foundations for future work. © 2016 Authors; published by Portland Press Limited.

  7. Synthetic biology: engineering molecular computers

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2018-01-01

    Complicated systems cannot survive the rigors of a chaotic environment, without balancing mechanisms that sense, decide upon and counteract the exerted disturbances. Especially so with living organisms, forced by competition to incredible complexities, escalating also their self-controlling plight. Therefore, they compute. Can we harness biological mechanisms to create artificial computing systems? Biology offers several levels of design abstraction: molecular machines, cells, organisms... ranging from the more easily-defined to the more inherently complex. At the bottom of this stack we find the nucleic acids, RNA and DNA, with their digital structure and relatively precise interactions. They are central enablers of designing artificial biological systems, in the confluence of engineering and biology, that we call Synthetic biology. In the first part, let us follow their trail towards an overview of building computing machines with molecules -- and in the second part, take the case study of iGEM Greece 201...

  8. Synthetic biology character and impact

    CERN Document Server

    Pade, Christian; Wigger, Henning; Gleich, Arnim

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic Biology is already an object of intensive debate. However, to a great extent the discussion to date has been concerned with fundamental ethical, religious and philosophical questions. By contrast, based on an investigation of the field’s scientific and technological character, this book focuses on new functionalities provided by synthetic biology and explores the associated opportunities and risks. Following an introduction to the subject and a discussion of the most central paradigms and methodologies, the book provides an overview of the structure of this field of science and technology. It informs the reader about the current stage of development, as well as topical problems and potential opportunities in important fields of application. But not only the science itself is in focus. In order to investigate its broader impact, ecological as well as ethical implications will be considered, paving the way for a discussion of responsibilities in the context of a field at a transitional crossroads be...

  9. Meeting Report: Synthetic Biology Jamboree for Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, A. Malcolm

    2005-01-01

    The field of synthetic biology (the name is derived from an analogy to synthetic chemistry) has recognized itself as a "field" only since about 2002. Synthetic biology has gotten some high-profile attention recently, but most people are not aware the field even exists. Synthetic biologists apply engineering principles to genomic circuits to…

  10. Design Automation in Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appleton, Evan; Madsen, Curtis; Roehner, Nicholas; Densmore, Douglas

    2017-04-03

    Design automation refers to a category of software tools for designing systems that work together in a workflow for designing, building, testing, and analyzing systems with a target behavior. In synthetic biology, these tools are called bio-design automation (BDA) tools. In this review, we discuss the BDA tools areas-specify, design, build, test, and learn-and introduce the existing software tools designed to solve problems in these areas. We then detail the functionality of some of these tools and show how they can be used together to create the desired behavior of two types of modern synthetic genetic regulatory networks. Copyright © 2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  11. Mammalian Synthetic Biology: Engineering Biological Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Joshua B; Perez-Pinera, Pablo; Gersbach, Charles A

    2017-06-21

    The programming of new functions into mammalian cells has tremendous application in research and medicine. Continued improvements in the capacity to sequence and synthesize DNA have rapidly increased our understanding of mechanisms of gene function and regulation on a genome-wide scale and have expanded the set of genetic components available for programming cell biology. The invention of new research tools, including targetable DNA-binding systems such as CRISPR/Cas9 and sensor-actuator devices that can recognize and respond to diverse chemical, mechanical, and optical inputs, has enabled precise control of complex cellular behaviors at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. These tools have been critical for the expansion of synthetic biology techniques from prokaryotic and lower eukaryotic hosts to mammalian systems. Recent progress in the development of genome and epigenome editing tools and in the engineering of designer cells with programmable genetic circuits is expanding approaches to prevent, diagnose, and treat disease and to establish personalized theranostic strategies for next-generation medicines. This review summarizes the development of these enabling technologies and their application to transforming mammalian synthetic biology into a distinct field in research and medicine.

  12. Synthetic Biology Guides Biofuel Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael R. Connor

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The advancement of microbial processes for the production of renewable liquid fuels has increased with concerns about the current fuel economy. The development of advanced biofuels in particular has risen to address some of the shortcomings of ethanol. These advanced fuels have chemical properties similar to petroleum-based liquid fuels, thus removing the need for engine modification or infrastructure redesign. While the productivity and titers of each of these processes remains to be improved, progress in synthetic biology has provided tools to guide the engineering of these processes through present and future challenges.

  13. A Synthetic Biology Framework for Programming Eukaryotic Transcription Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalil, Ahmad S.; Lu, Timothy K.; Bashor, Caleb J.; Ramirez, Cherie L.; Pyenson, Nora C.; Joung, J. Keith; Collins, James J.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Eukaryotic transcription factors (TFs) perform complex and combinatorial functions within transcriptional networks. Here, we present a synthetic framework for systematically constructing eukaryotic transcription functions using artificial zinc fingers, modular DNA-binding domains found within many eukaryotic TFs. Utilizing this platform, we construct a library of orthogonal synthetic transcription factors (sTFs) and use these to wire synthetic transcriptional circuits in yeast. We engineer complex functions, such as tunable output strength and transcriptional cooperativity, by rationally adjusting a decomposed set of key component properties, e.g., DNA specificity, affinity, promoter design, protein-protein interactions. We show that subtle perturbations to these properties can transform an individual sTF between distinct roles (activator, cooperative factor, inhibitory factor) within a transcriptional complex, thus drastically altering the signal processing behavior of multi-input systems. This platform provides new genetic components for synthetic biology and enables bottom-up approaches to understanding the design principles of eukaryotic transcriptional complexes and networks. PMID:22863014

  14. Synthetic biology: Emerging bioengineering in Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suhandono, Sony

    2017-05-01

    The development of synthetic biology will shape the new era of science and technology. It is an emerging bioengineering technique involving genetic engineering which can alter the phenotype and behavior of the cell or the new product. Synthetic biology may produce biomaterials, drugs, vaccines, biosensors, and even a recombinant secondary metabolite used in herbal and complementary medicine, such as artemisinin, a malaria drug which is usually extracted from the plant Artemisia annua. The power of synthetic biology has encouraged scientists in Indonesia, and is still in early development. This paper also covers some research from an Indonesian research institute in synthetic biology such as observing the production of bio surfactants and the enhanced production of artemisinin using a transient expression system. Synthetic biology development in Indonesia may also be related to the iGEM competition, a large synthetic biology research competition which was attended by several universities in Indonesia. The application of synthetic biology for drug discovery will be discussed.

  15. Neoliberalism Viewed From the Bottom Up

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Danneris, Sophie

    2017-01-01

    Drawing on the assumption that it is pivotal to include a bottom up perspective to understand the way in which the welfare system functions, this chapter sets out to explore the lived experience of neoliberalism. The purpose is to gain insight into the consequences of neoliberalism from...... the viewpoint of the vulnerable benefit claimants who encounter it on a daily basis. The analysis is based on a qualitative longitudinal study conducted from 2013 to 2015, which shows how, in varying ways, clients routinely cope with being part of a neoliberal welfare state: by resignation, by taking action...

  16. Synthetic biology of antimicrobial discovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakeri, Bijan; Lu, Timothy K.

    2012-01-01

    Antibiotic discovery has a storied history. From the discovery of penicillin by Sir Alexander Fleming to the relentless quest for antibiotics by Selman Waksman, the stories have become like folklore, used to inspire future generations of scientists. However, recent discovery pipelines have run dry at a time when multidrug resistant pathogens are on the rise. Nature has proven to be a valuable reservoir of antimicrobial agents, which are primarily produced by modularized biochemical pathways. Such modularization is well suited to remodeling by an interdisciplinary approach that spans science and engineering. Herein, we discuss the biological engineering of small molecules, peptides, and non-traditional antimicrobials and provide an overview of the growing applicability of synthetic biology to antimicrobials discovery. PMID:23654251

  17. Synthetic biology of antimicrobial discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakeri, Bijan; Lu, Timothy K

    2013-07-19

    Antibiotic discovery has a storied history. From the discovery of penicillin by Sir Alexander Fleming to the relentless quest for antibiotics by Selman Waksman, the stories have become like folklore used to inspire future generations of scientists. However, recent discovery pipelines have run dry at a time when multidrug-resistant pathogens are on the rise. Nature has proven to be a valuable reservoir of antimicrobial agents, which are primarily produced by modularized biochemical pathways. Such modularization is well suited to remodeling by an interdisciplinary approach that spans science and engineering. Herein, we discuss the biological engineering of small molecules, peptides, and non-traditional antimicrobials and provide an overview of the growing applicability of synthetic biology to antimicrobials discovery.

  18. Synthetic Biology of Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, De-Chuan; Chen, Guo-Qiang

    Microbial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are a family of biodegradable and biocompatible polyesters which have been extensively studied using synthetic biology and metabolic engineering methods for improving production and for widening its diversity. Synthetic biology has allowed PHA to become composition controllable random copolymers, homopolymers, and block copolymers. Recent developments showed that it is possible to establish a microbial platform for producing not only random copolymers with controllable monomers and their ratios but also structurally defined homopolymers and block copolymers. This was achieved by engineering the genome of Pseudomonas putida or Pseudomonas entomophiles to weaken the β-oxidation and in situ fatty acid synthesis pathways, so that a fatty acid fed to the bacteria maintains its original chain length and structures when incorporated into the PHA chains. The engineered bacterium allows functional groups in a fatty acid to be introduced into PHA, forming functional PHA, which, upon grafting, generates endless PHA variety. Recombinant Escherichia coli also succeeded in producing efficiently poly(3-hydroxypropionate) or P3HP, the strongest member of PHA. Synthesis pathways of P3HP and its copolymer P3HB3HP of 3-hydroxybutyrate and 3-hydroxypropionate were assembled respectively to allow their synthesis from glucose. CRISPRi was also successfully used to manipulate simultaneously multiple genes and control metabolic flux in E. coli to obtain a series of copolymer P3HB4HB of 3-hydroxybutyrate (3HB) and 4-hydroxybutyrate (4HB). The bacterial shapes were successfully engineered for enhanced PHA accumulation.

  19. Understanding Biological Regulation Through Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bashor, Caleb J; Collins, James J

    2018-03-16

    Engineering synthetic gene regulatory circuits proceeds through iterative cycles of design, building, and testing. Initial circuit designs must rely on often-incomplete models of regulation established by fields of reductive inquiry-biochemistry and molecular and systems biology. As differences in designed and experimentally observed circuit behavior are inevitably encountered, investigated, and resolved, each turn of the engineering cycle can force a resynthesis in understanding of natural network function. Here, we outline research that uses the process of gene circuit engineering to advance biological discovery. Synthetic gene circuit engineering research has not only refined our understanding of cellular regulation but furnished biologists with a toolkit that can be directed at natural systems to exact precision manipulation of network structure. As we discuss, using circuit engineering to predictively reorganize, rewire, and reconstruct cellular regulation serves as the ultimate means of testing and understanding how cellular phenotype emerges from systems-level network function. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biophysics Volume 47 is May 20, 2018. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

  20. Synthetic biology: an emerging engineering discipline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Allen A; Lu, Timothy K

    2012-01-01

    Over the past decade, synthetic biology has emerged as an engineering discipline for biological systems. Compared with other substrates, biology poses a unique set of engineering challenges resulting from an incomplete understanding of natural biological systems and tools for manipulating them. To address these challenges, synthetic biology is advancing from developing proof-of-concept designs to focusing on core platforms for rational and high-throughput biological engineering. These platforms span the entire biological design cycle, including DNA construction, parts libraries, computational design tools, and interfaces for manipulating and probing synthetic circuits. The development of these enabling technologies requires an engineering mindset to be applied to biology, with an emphasis on generalizable techniques in addition to application-specific designs. This review aims to discuss the progress and challenges in synthetic biology and to illustrate areas where synthetic biology may impact biomedical engineering and human health.

  1. Tracking the emergence of synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapira, Philip; Kwon, Seokbeom; Youtie, Jan

    2017-01-01

    Synthetic biology is an emerging domain that combines biological and engineering concepts and which has seen rapid growth in research, innovation, and policy interest in recent years. This paper contributes to efforts to delineate this emerging domain by presenting a newly constructed bibliometric definition of synthetic biology. Our approach is dimensioned from a core set of papers in synthetic biology, using procedures to obtain benchmark synthetic biology publication records, extract keywords from these benchmark records, and refine the keywords, supplemented with articles published in dedicated synthetic biology journals. We compare our search strategy with other recent bibliometric approaches to define synthetic biology, using a common source of publication data for the period from 2000 to 2015. The paper details the rapid growth and international spread of research in synthetic biology in recent years, demonstrates that diverse research disciplines are contributing to the multidisciplinary development of synthetic biology research, and visualizes this by profiling synthetic biology research on the map of science. We further show the roles of a relatively concentrated set of research sponsors in funding the growth and trajectories of synthetic biology. In addition to discussing these analyses, the paper notes limitations and suggests lines for further work.

  2. Synthetic biology: a utilitarian perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kevin

    2013-10-01

    I examine the positive and negative features of synthetic biology ('SynBio') from a utilitarian ethical perspective. The potential beneficial outcomes from SynBio in the context of medicine are substantial; however it is not presently possible to predict precise outcomes due to the nascent state of the field. Potential negative outcomes from SynBio also exist, including iatrogenesis and bioterrorism; however it is not yet possible to quantify these risks. I argue that the application of a 'precautionary' approach to SynBio is ethically fraught, as is the notion that SynBio-associated knowledge ought to be restricted. I conclude that utilitarians ought to support a broadly laissez-faire stance in respect of SynBio. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Synergistic Synthetic Biology: Units in Concert

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trosset, Jean-Yves; Carbonell, Pablo

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic biology aims at translating the methods and strategies from engineering into biology in order to streamline the design and construction of biological devices through standardized parts. Modular synthetic biology devices are designed by means of an adequate elimination of cross-talk that makes circuits orthogonal and specific. To that end, synthetic constructs need to be adequately optimized through in silico modeling by choosing the right complement of genetic parts and by experimental tuning through directed evolution and craftsmanship. In this review, we consider an additional and complementary tool available to the synthetic biologist for innovative design and successful construction of desired circuit functionalities: biological synergies. Synergy is a prevalent emergent property in biological systems that arises from the concerted action of multiple factors producing an amplification or cancelation effect compared with individual actions alone. Synergies appear in domains as diverse as those involved in chemical and protein activity, polypharmacology, and metabolic pathway complementarity. In conventional synthetic biology designs, synergistic cross-talk between parts and modules is generally attenuated in order to verify their orthogonality. Synergistic interactions, however, can induce emergent behavior that might prove useful for synthetic biology applications, like in functional circuit design, multi-drug treatment, or in sensing and delivery devices. Synergistic design principles are therefore complementary to those coming from orthogonal design and may provide added value to synthetic biology applications. The appropriate modeling, characterization, and design of synergies between biological parts and units will allow the discovery of yet unforeseeable, novel synthetic biology applications.

  4. Synergistic Synthetic Biology: Units in Concert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trosset, Jean-Yves; Carbonell, Pablo

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic biology aims at translating the methods and strategies from engineering into biology in order to streamline the design and construction of biological devices through standardized parts. Modular synthetic biology devices are designed by means of an adequate elimination of cross-talk that makes circuits orthogonal and specific. To that end, synthetic constructs need to be adequately optimized through in silico modeling by choosing the right complement of genetic parts and by experimental tuning through directed evolution and craftsmanship. In this review, we consider an additional and complementary tool available to the synthetic biologist for innovative design and successful construction of desired circuit functionalities: biological synergies. Synergy is a prevalent emergent property in biological systems that arises from the concerted action of multiple factors producing an amplification or cancelation effect compared with individual actions alone. Synergies appear in domains as diverse as those involved in chemical and protein activity, polypharmacology, and metabolic pathway complementarity. In conventional synthetic biology designs, synergistic cross-talk between parts and modules is generally attenuated in order to verify their orthogonality. Synergistic interactions, however, can induce emergent behavior that might prove useful for synthetic biology applications, like in functional circuit design, multi-drug treatment, or in sensing and delivery devices. Synergistic design principles are therefore complementary to those coming from orthogonal design and may provide added value to synthetic biology applications. The appropriate modeling, characterization, and design of synergies between biological parts and units will allow the discovery of yet unforeseeable, novel synthetic biology applications. PMID:25022769

  5. Synthetic biology assemblies for sustainable space exploration

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The work utilized synthetic biology to create sustainable food production processes by developing technology to efficiently convert inedible crop waste to...

  6. Synthetic biology: programming cells for biomedical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hörner, Maximilian; Reischmann, Nadine; Weber, Wilfried

    2012-01-01

    The emerging field of synthetic biology is a novel biological discipline at the interface between traditional biology, chemistry, and engineering sciences. Synthetic biology aims at the rational design of complex synthetic biological devices and systems with desired properties by combining compatible, modular biological parts in a systematic manner. While the first engineered systems were mainly proof-of-principle studies to demonstrate the power of the modular engineering approach of synthetic biology, subsequent systems focus on applications in the health, environmental, and energy sectors. This review describes recent approaches for biomedical applications that were developed along the synthetic biology design hierarchy, at the level of individual parts, of devices, and of complex multicellular systems. It describes how synthetic biological parts can be used for the synthesis of drug-delivery tools, how synthetic biological devices can facilitate the discovery of novel drugs, and how multicellular synthetic ecosystems can give insight into population dynamics of parasites and hosts. These examples demonstrate how this new discipline could contribute to novel solutions in the biopharmaceutical industry.

  7. Word selection affects perceptions of synthetic biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tonidandel Scott

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Members of the synthetic biology community have discussed the significance of word selection when describing synthetic biology to the general public. In particular, many leaders proposed the word "create" was laden with negative connotations. We found that word choice and framing does affect public perception of synthetic biology. In a controlled experiment, participants perceived synthetic biology more negatively when "create" was used to describe the field compared to "construct" (p = 0.008. Contrary to popular opinion among synthetic biologists, however, low religiosity individuals were more influenced negatively by the framing manipulation than high religiosity people. Our results suggest that synthetic biologists directly influence public perception of their field through avoidance of the word "create".

  8. Opportunities for microfluidic technologies in synthetic biology

    OpenAIRE

    Gulati, Shelly; Rouilly, Vincent; Niu, Xize; Chappell, James; Kitney, Richard I.; Edel, Joshua B.; Freemont, Paul S.; deMello, Andrew J.

    2009-01-01

    We introduce microfluidics technologies as a key foundational technology for synthetic biology experimentation. Recent advances in the field of microfluidics are reviewed and the potential of such a technological platform to support the rapid development of synthetic biology solutions is discussed.

  9. Rational design of modular circuits for gene transcription: A test of the bottom-up approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giordano Emanuele

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most of synthetic circuits developed so far have been designed by an ad hoc approach, using a small number of components (i.e. LacI, TetR and a trial and error strategy. We are at the point where an increasing number of modular, inter-changeable and well-characterized components is needed to expand the construction of synthetic devices and to allow a rational approach to the design. Results We used interchangeable modular biological parts to create a set of novel synthetic devices for controlling gene transcription, and we developed a mathematical model of the modular circuits. Model parameters were identified by experimental measurements from a subset of modular combinations. The model revealed an unexpected feature of the lactose repressor system, i.e. a residual binding affinity for the operator site by induced lactose repressor molecules. Once this residual affinity was taken into account, the model properly reproduced the experimental data from the training set. The parameters identified in the training set allowed the prediction of the behavior of networks not included in the identification procedure. Conclusions This study provides new quantitative evidences that the use of independent and well-characterized biological parts and mathematical modeling, what is called a bottom-up approach to the construction of gene networks, can allow the design of new and different devices re-using the same modular parts.

  10. A living foundry for Synthetic Biological Materials: A synthetic biology roadmap to new advanced materials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosalind A. Le Feuvre

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Society is on the cusp of harnessing recent advances in synthetic biology to discover new bio-based products and routes to their affordable and sustainable manufacture. This is no more evident than in the discovery and manufacture of Synthetic Biological Materials, where synthetic biology has the capacity to usher in a new Materials from Biology era that will revolutionise the discovery and manufacture of innovative synthetic biological materials. These will encompass novel, smart, functionalised and hybrid materials for diverse applications whose discovery and routes to bio-production will be stimulated by the fusion of new technologies positioned across physical, digital and biological spheres. This article, which developed from an international workshop held in Manchester, United Kingdom, in 2017 [1], sets out to identify opportunities in the new materials from biology era. It considers requirements, early understanding and foresight of the challenges faced in delivering a Discovery to Manufacturing Pipeline for synthetic biological materials using synthetic biology approaches. This challenge spans the complete production cycle from intelligent and predictive design, fabrication, evaluation and production of synthetic biological materials to new ways of bringing these products to market. Pathway opportunities are identified that will help foster expertise sharing and infrastructure development to accelerate the delivery of a new generation of synthetic biological materials and the leveraging of existing investments in synthetic biology and advanced materials research to achieve this goal. Keywords: Synthetic biology, Materials, Biological materials, Biomaterials, Advanced materials

  11. Synthetic Biology: Mapping the Scientific Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oldham, Paul; Hall, Stephen; Burton, Geoff

    2012-01-01

    This article uses data from Thomson Reuters Web of Science to map and analyse the scientific landscape for synthetic biology. The article draws on recent advances in data visualisation and analytics with the aim of informing upcoming international policy debates on the governance of synthetic biology by the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA) of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. We use mapping techniques to identify how synthetic biology can best be understood and the range of institutions, researchers and funding agencies involved. Debates under the Convention are likely to focus on a possible moratorium on the field release of synthetic organisms, cells or genomes. Based on the empirical evidence we propose that guidance could be provided to funding agencies to respect the letter and spirit of the Convention on Biological Diversity in making research investments. Building on the recommendations of the United States Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues we demonstrate that it is possible to promote independent and transparent monitoring of developments in synthetic biology using modern information tools. In particular, public and policy understanding and engagement with synthetic biology can be enhanced through the use of online interactive tools. As a step forward in this process we make existing data on the scientific literature on synthetic biology available in an online interactive workbook so that researchers, policy makers and civil society can explore the data and draw conclusions for themselves. PMID:22539946

  12. Philosophy of Systems and Synthetic Biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Green, Sara

    2017-01-01

    This entry aims to clarify how systems and synthetic biology contribute to and extend discussions within philosophy of science. Unlike fields such as developmental biology or molecular biology, systems and synthetic biology are not easily demarcated by a focus on a specific subject area or level...... of organization. Rather, they are characterized by the development and application of mathematical, computational, and synthetic modeling strategies in response to complex problems and challenges within the life sciences. Proponents of systems and synthetic biology often stress the necessity of a perspective...... that goes beyond the scope of molecular biology and genetic engineering, respectively. With the emphasis on systems and interaction networks, the approaches explicitly engage in one of the oldest philosophical discussions on the relationship between parts and wholes, or between reductionism and holism...

  13. Synthetic Biology: game changer in intelectual property

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurens Landeweerd

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic biology can be considered a game changer that plays an important role in the current NBIC, or BINC convergence of nano-, bio-, info and cognitive sciences. Although most synthetic biology experts are unaware of it, the field appeals to the imagination in its adherence to targets that were usually associated with premodern alchemist science. This paper elaborates several aspects of synthetic biology as well as its consequences for long held notions of intellectual property and the ontological categories of scientific discovery on the one hand and engineering on the other, the distinction between natural and artificial, the grown and the made.

  14. Defining the Synthetic Biology Supply Chain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frazar, Sarah L.; Hund, Gretchen E.; Bonheyo, George T.; Diggans, James; Bartholomew, Rachel A.; Gehrig, Lindsey; Greaves, Mark

    2017-08-01

    In this article, a team of experts in synthetic biology, data analytics, and national security describe the overall supply chain surrounding synthetic biology. The team analyzes selected interactions within that network to better understand the risks raised by synthetic biology and identifies opportunities for risk mitigation. To introduce the concept, the article will briefly describe how an understanding of supply chains has been important in promoting nuclear nonproliferation objectives. The article concludes by assessing the structure and networks identified in the supply chains to reveal potential opportunities for future biodefense research and development; options for additional information exchange; and means to interdict, detect, or deter suspicious activity.

  15. A living foundry for Synthetic Biological Materials: A synthetic biology roadmap to new advanced materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Feuvre, Rosalind A; Scrutton, Nigel S

    2018-06-01

    Society is on the cusp of harnessing recent advances in synthetic biology to discover new bio-based products and routes to their affordable and sustainable manufacture. This is no more evident than in the discovery and manufacture of Synthetic Biological Materials , where synthetic biology has the capacity to usher in a new Materials from Biology era that will revolutionise the discovery and manufacture of innovative synthetic biological materials. These will encompass novel, smart, functionalised and hybrid materials for diverse applications whose discovery and routes to bio-production will be stimulated by the fusion of new technologies positioned across physical, digital and biological spheres. This article, which developed from an international workshop held in Manchester, United Kingdom, in 2017 [1], sets out to identify opportunities in the new materials from biology era. It considers requirements, early understanding and foresight of the challenges faced in delivering a Discovery to Manufacturing Pipeline for synthetic biological materials using synthetic biology approaches. This challenge spans the complete production cycle from intelligent and predictive design, fabrication, evaluation and production of synthetic biological materials to new ways of bringing these products to market. Pathway opportunities are identified that will help foster expertise sharing and infrastructure development to accelerate the delivery of a new generation of synthetic biological materials and the leveraging of existing investments in synthetic biology and advanced materials research to achieve this goal.

  16. Synthetic Biology and the Translational Imperative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidari Feidt, Raheleh; Ienca, Marcello; Elger, Bernice Simone; Folcher, Marc

    2017-12-18

    Advances at the interface between the biological sciences and engineering are giving rise to emerging research fields such as synthetic biology. Harnessing the potential of synthetic biology requires timely and adequate translation into clinical practice. However, the translational research enterprise is currently facing fundamental obstacles that slow down the transition of scientific discoveries from the laboratory to the patient bedside. These obstacles including scarce financial resources and deficiency of organizational and logistic settings are widely discussed as primary impediments to translational research. In addition, a number of socio-ethical considerations inherent in translational research need to be addressed. As the translational capacity of synthetic biology is tightly linked to its social acceptance and ethical approval, ethical limitations may-together with financial and organizational problems-be co-determinants of suboptimal translation. Therefore, an early assessment of such limitations will contribute to proactively favor successful translation and prevent the promising potential of synthetic biology from remaining under-expressed. Through the discussion of two case-specific inventions in synthetic biology and their associated ethical implications, we illustrate the socio-ethical challenges ahead in the process of implementing synthetic biology into clinical practice. Since reducing the translational lag is essential for delivering the benefits of basic biomedical research to society at large and promoting global health, we advocate a moral obligation to accelerating translational research: the "translational imperative."

  17. CRISPR and the Rebirth of Synthetic Biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heidari, Raheleh; Shaw, David Martin; Elger, Bernice Simone

    Emergence of novel genome engineering technologies such as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) has refocused attention on unresolved ethical complications of synthetic biology. Biosecurity concerns, deontological issues and human right aspects of genome editing have

  18. Synthetic biology platform technologies for antimicrobial applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braff, Dana; Shis, David; Collins, James J

    2016-10-01

    The growing prevalence of antibiotic resistance calls for new approaches in the development of antimicrobial therapeutics. Likewise, improved diagnostic measures are essential in guiding the application of targeted therapies and preventing the evolution of therapeutic resistance. Discovery platforms are also needed to form new treatment strategies and identify novel antimicrobial agents. By applying engineering principles to molecular biology, synthetic biologists have developed platforms that improve upon, supplement, and will perhaps supplant traditional broad-spectrum antibiotics. Efforts in engineering bacteriophages and synthetic probiotics demonstrate targeted antimicrobial approaches that can be fine-tuned using synthetic biology-derived principles. Further, the development of paper-based, cell-free expression systems holds promise in promoting the clinical translation of molecular biology tools for diagnostic purposes. In this review, we highlight emerging synthetic biology platform technologies that are geared toward the generation of new antimicrobial therapies, diagnostics, and discovery channels. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Defining the Synthetic Biology Supply Chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frazar, Sarah L; Hund, Gretchen E; Bonheyo, George T; Diggans, James; Bartholomew, Rachel A; Gehrig, Lindsey; Greaves, Mark

    Several recent articles have described risks posed by synthetic biology and spurred vigorous discussion in the scientific, commercial, and government communities about how to best detect, prevent, regulate, and respond to these risks. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's (PNNL) deep experience working with dual-use technologies for the nuclear industry has shown that analysis of supply chains can reveal security vulnerabilities and ways to mitigate security risk without hindering beneficial research and commerce. In this article, a team of experts in synthetic biology, data analytics, and national security describe the overall supply chain surrounding synthetic biology to illustrate new insights about the effectiveness of current regulations, the possible need for different screening approaches, and new technical solutions that could help identify or mitigate risks in the synthetic biology supply chain.

  20. [Progress in synthetic biology of "973 Funding Program" in China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Guoqiang; Wang, Ying

    2015-06-01

    This paper reviews progresses made in China from 2011 in areas of "Synthetic Biology" supported by State Basic Research 973 Program. Till the end of 2014, 9 "synthetic biology" projects have been initiated with emphasis on "microbial manufactures" with the 973 Funding Program. Combined with the very recent launch of one project on "mammalian cell synthetic biology" and another on "plant synthetic biology", Chinese "synthetic biology" research reflects its focus on "manufactures" while not giving up efforts on "synthetic biology" of complex systems.

  1. The Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) provides a community standard for communicating designs in synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galdzicki, Michal; Clancy, Kevin P; Oberortner, Ernst; Pocock, Matthew; Quinn, Jacqueline Y; Rodriguez, Cesar A; Roehner, Nicholas; Wilson, Mandy L; Adam, Laura; Anderson, J Christopher; Bartley, Bryan A; Beal, Jacob; Chandran, Deepak; Chen, Joanna; Densmore, Douglas; Endy, Drew; Grünberg, Raik; Hallinan, Jennifer; Hillson, Nathan J; Johnson, Jeffrey D; Kuchinsky, Allan; Lux, Matthew; Misirli, Goksel; Peccoud, Jean; Plahar, Hector A; Sirin, Evren; Stan, Guy-Bart; Villalobos, Alan; Wipat, Anil; Gennari, John H; Myers, Chris J; Sauro, Herbert M

    2014-06-01

    The re-use of previously validated designs is critical to the evolution of synthetic biology from a research discipline to an engineering practice. Here we describe the Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL), a proposed data standard for exchanging designs within the synthetic biology community. SBOL represents synthetic biology designs in a community-driven, formalized format for exchange between software tools, research groups and commercial service providers. The SBOL Developers Group has implemented SBOL as an XML/RDF serialization and provides software libraries and specification documentation to help developers implement SBOL in their own software. We describe early successes, including a demonstration of the utility of SBOL for information exchange between several different software tools and repositories from both academic and industrial partners. As a community-driven standard, SBOL will be updated as synthetic biology evolves to provide specific capabilities for different aspects of the synthetic biology workflow.

  2. Mammalian synthetic biology: emerging medical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kis, Zoltán; Pereira, Hugo Sant'Ana; Homma, Takayuki; Pedrigi, Ryan M; Krams, Rob

    2015-05-06

    In this review, we discuss new emerging medical applications of the rapidly evolving field of mammalian synthetic biology. We start with simple mammalian synthetic biological components and move towards more complex and therapy-oriented gene circuits. A comprehensive list of ON-OFF switches, categorized into transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational and post-translational, is presented in the first sections. Subsequently, Boolean logic gates, synthetic mammalian oscillators and toggle switches will be described. Several synthetic gene networks are further reviewed in the medical applications section, including cancer therapy gene circuits, immuno-regulatory networks, among others. The final sections focus on the applicability of synthetic gene networks to drug discovery, drug delivery, receptor-activating gene circuits and mammalian biomanufacturing processes. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  3. Informing biological design by integration of systems and synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolke, Christina D; Silver, Pamela A

    2011-03-18

    Synthetic biology aims to make the engineering of biology faster and more predictable. In contrast, systems biology focuses on the interaction of myriad components and how these give rise to the dynamic and complex behavior of biological systems. Here, we examine the synergies between these two fields. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Mammalian synthetic biology for studying the cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathur, Melina; Xiang, Joy S; Smolke, Christina D

    2017-01-02

    Synthetic biology is advancing the design of genetic devices that enable the study of cellular and molecular biology in mammalian cells. These genetic devices use diverse regulatory mechanisms to both examine cellular processes and achieve precise and dynamic control of cellular phenotype. Synthetic biology tools provide novel functionality to complement the examination of natural cell systems, including engineered molecules with specific activities and model systems that mimic complex regulatory processes. Continued development of quantitative standards and computational tools will expand capacities to probe cellular mechanisms with genetic devices to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of the cell. In this study, we review synthetic biology tools that are being applied to effectively investigate diverse cellular processes, regulatory networks, and multicellular interactions. We also discuss current challenges and future developments in the field that may transform the types of investigation possible in cell biology. © 2017 Mathur et al.

  5. Synthetic biology era: Improving antibiotic's world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzmán-Trampe, Silvia; Ceapa, Corina D; Manzo-Ruiz, Monserrat; Sánchez, Sergio

    2017-06-15

    The emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogen microorganisms is problematic in the context of the current spectrum of available medication. The poor specificity and the high toxicity of some available molecules have made imperative the search for new strategies to improve the specificity and to pursue the discovery of novel compounds with increased bioactivity. Using living cells as platforms, synthetic biology has counteracted this problem by offering novel pathways to create synthetic systems with improved and desired functions. Among many other biotechnological approaches, the advances in synthetic biology have made it possible to design and construct novel biological systems in order to look for new drugs with increased bioactivity. Advancements have also been made in the redesigning of RNA and DNA molecules in order to engineer antibiotic clusters for antibiotic overexpression. As for the production of these antibacterial compounds, yeasts and filamentous fungi as well as gene therapy are utilized to enhance protein solubility. Specific delivery is achieved by creating chimeras using plant genes into bacterial hosts. Some of these synthetic systems are currently in clinical trials, proving the proficiency of synthetic biology in terms of both pharmacological activities as well as an increase in the biosafety of treatments. It is possible that we may just be seeing the tip of the iceberg, and synthetic biology applications will overpass expectations beyond our present knowledge. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. Synthetic biology and the technicity of biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackenzie, Adrian

    2013-06-01

    The principal existing real-world application of synthetic biology is biofuels. Several 'next generation biofuel' companies-Synthetic Genomics, Amyris and Joule Unlimited Technologies-claim to be using synthetic biology to make biofuels. The irony of this is that highly advanced science and engineering serves the very mundane and familiar realm of transport. Despite their rather prosaic nature, biofuels could offer an interesting way to highlight the novelty of synthetic biology from several angles at once. Drawing on the French philosopher of technology and biology Gilbert Simondon, we can understand biofuels as technical objects whose genesis involves processes of concretisation that negotiate between heterogeneous geographical, biological, technical, scientific and commercial realities. Simondon's notion of technicity, the degree of concretisation of a technical object, usefully conceptualises this relationality. Viewed in terms of technicity, we might understand better how technical entities, elements, and ensembles are coming into being in the name of synthetic biology. The broader argument here is that when we seek to identify the newness of disciplines, their newness might be less epistemic and more logistic. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. News: Synthetic biology leading to specialty chemicals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Synthetic biology can combine the disciplines of biology, engineering, and chemistry productively to form molecules of great scientific and commercial value. Recent advances in the new field are explored for their connection to new tools that have been used to elucidate productio...

  8. Synthetic biology between technoscience and thing knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelfert, Axel

    2013-06-01

    Synthetic biology presents a challenge to traditional accounts of biology: Whereas traditional biology emphasizes the evolvability, variability, and heterogeneity of living organisms, synthetic biology envisions a future of homogeneous, humanly engineered biological systems that may be combined in modular fashion. The present paper approaches this challenge from the perspective of the epistemology of technoscience. In particular, it is argued that synthetic-biological artifacts lend themselves to an analysis in terms of what has been called 'thing knowledge'. As such, they should neither be regarded as the simple outcome of applying theoretical knowledge and engineering principles to specific technological problems, nor should they be treated as mere sources of new evidence in the general pursuit of scientific understanding. Instead, synthetic-biological artifacts should be viewed as partly autonomous research objects which, qua their material-biological constitution, embody knowledge about the natural world-knowledge that, in turn, can be accessed via continuous experimental interrogation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. EcoFlex: A Multifunctional MoClo Kit for E. coli Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Hung-En; Moore, Simon; Polizzi, Karen; Freemont, Paul

    2018-01-01

    Development of advanced synthetic biology tools is always in demand since they act as a platform technology to enable rapid prototyping of biological constructs in a high-throughput manner. EcoFlex is a modular cloning (MoClo) kit for Escherichia coli and is based on the Golden Gate principles, whereby Type IIS restriction enzymes (BsaI, BsmBI, BpiI) are used to construct modular genetic elements (biological parts) in a bottom-up approach. Here, we describe a collection of plasmids that stores various biological parts including promoters, RBSs, terminators, ORFs, and destination vectors, each encoding compatible overhangs allowing hierarchical assembly into single transcription units or a full-length polycistronic operon or biosynthetic pathway. A secondary module cloning site is also available for pathway optimization, in order to limit library size if necessary. Here, we show the utility of EcoFlex using the violacein biosynthesis pathway as an example.

  10. Bottom-up GGM algorithm for constructing multiple layered hierarchical gene regulatory networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Multilayered hierarchical gene regulatory networks (ML-hGRNs) are very important for understanding genetics regulation of biological pathways. However, there are currently no computational algorithms available for directly building ML-hGRNs that regulate biological pathways. A bottom-up graphic Gaus...

  11. Building biological foundries for next-generation synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, Ran; Yuan, YongBo; Zhao, HuiMin

    2015-07-01

    Synthetic biology is an interdisciplinary field that takes top-down approaches to understand and engineer biological systems through design-build-test cycles. A number of advances in this relatively young field have greatly accelerated such engineering cycles. Specifically, various innovative tools were developed for in silico biosystems design, DNA de novo synthesis and assembly, construct verification, as well as metabolite analysis, which have laid a solid foundation for building biological foundries for rapid prototyping of improved or novel biosystems. This review summarizes the state-of-the-art technologies for synthetic biology and discusses the challenges to establish such biological foundries.

  12. Synthetic biology and biosecurity: challenging the "myths".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jefferson, Catherine; Lentzos, Filippa; Marris, Claire

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology, a field that aims to "make biology easier to engineer," is routinely described as leading to an increase in the "dual-use" threat, i.e., the potential for the same scientific research to be "used" for peaceful purposes or "misused" for warfare or terrorism. Fears have been expressed that the "de-skilling" of biology, combined with online access to the genomic DNA sequences of pathogenic organisms and the reduction in price for DNA synthesis, will make biology increasingly accessible to people operating outside well-equipped professional research laboratories, including people with malevolent intentions. The emergence of do-it-yourself (DIY) biology communities and of the student iGEM competition has come to epitomize this supposed trend toward greater ease of access and the associated potential threat from rogue actors. In this article, we identify five "myths" that permeate discussions about synthetic biology and biosecurity, and argue that they embody misleading assumptions about both synthetic biology and bioterrorism. We demonstrate how these myths are challenged by more realistic understandings of the scientific research currently being conducted in both professional and DIY laboratories, and by an analysis of historical cases of bioterrorism. We show that the importance of tacit knowledge is commonly overlooked in the dominant narrative: the focus is on access to biological materials and digital information, rather than on human practices and institutional dimensions. As a result, public discourse on synthetic biology and biosecurity tends to portray speculative scenarios about the future as realities in the present or the near future, when this is not warranted. We suggest that these "myths" play an important role in defining synthetic biology as a "promissory" field of research and as an "emerging technology" in need of governance.

  13. WISB: Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology Centre.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, John

    2016-06-15

    Synthetic biology promises to create high-impact solutions to challenges in the areas of biotechnology, human/animal health, the environment, energy, materials and food security. Equally, synthetic biologists create tools and strategies that have the potential to help us answer important fundamental questions in biology. Warwick Integrative Synthetic Biology (WISB) pursues both of these mutually complementary 'build to apply' and 'build to understand' approaches. This is reflected in our research structure, in which a core theme on predictive biosystems engineering develops underpinning understanding as well as next-generation experimental/theoretical tools, and these are then incorporated into three applied themes in which we engineer biosynthetic pathways, microbial communities and microbial effector systems in plants. WISB takes a comprehensive approach to training, education and outreach. For example, WISB is a partner in the EPSRC/BBSRC-funded U.K. Doctoral Training Centre in synthetic biology, we have developed a new undergraduate module in the subject, and we have established five WISB Research Career Development Fellowships to support young group leaders. Research in Ethical, Legal and Societal Aspects (ELSA) of synthetic biology is embedded in our centre activities. WISB has been highly proactive in building an international research and training network that includes partners in Barcelona, Boston, Copenhagen, Madrid, Marburg, São Paulo, Tartu and Valencia. © 2016 The Author(s).

  14. A Critical Perspective on Synthetic Biology

    OpenAIRE

    Michel Morange

    2009-01-01

    Synthetic biology emerged around 2000 as a new biological discipline. It shares with systems biology the same modular vision of organisms, but is more concerned with applications than with a better understanding of the functioning of organisms. A herald of this new discipline is Craig Venter who aims to create an artificial microorganism with the minimal genome compatible with life and to implement into it different 'functional modules' to generate new micro-organisms adapted to specific task...

  15. [Applications of synthetic biology in materials science].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Tianxin; Zhong, Chao

    2017-03-25

    Materials are the basis for human being survival and social development. To keep abreast with the increasing needs from all aspects of human society, there are huge needs in the development of advanced materials as well as high-efficiency but low-cost manufacturing strategies that are both sustainable and tunable. Synthetic biology, a new engineering principle taking gene regulation and engineering design as the core, greatly promotes the development of life sciences. This discipline has also contributed to the development of material sciences and will continuously bring new ideas to future new material design. In this paper, we review recent advances in applications of synthetic biology in material sciences, with the focus on how synthetic biology could enable synthesis of new polymeric biomaterials and inorganic materials, phage display and directed evolution of proteins relevant to materials development, living functional materials, engineered bacteria-regulated artificial photosynthesis system as well as applications of gene circuits for material sciences.

  16. Tunable promoters in synthetic and systems biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dehli, Tore; Solem, Christian; Jensen, Peter Ruhdal

    2012-01-01

    in synthetic biology. A number of tools exist to manipulate the steps in between gene sequence and functional protein in living cells, but out of these the most straight-forward approach is to alter the gene expression level by manipulating the promoter sequence. Some of the promoter tuning tools available......Synthetic and systems biologists need standardized, modular and orthogonal tools yielding predictable functions in vivo. In systems biology such tools are needed to quantitatively analyze the behavior of biological systems while the efficient engineering of artificial gene networks is central...... for accomplishing such altered gene expression levels are discussed here along with examples of their use, and ideas for new tools are described. The road ahead looks very promising for synthetic and systems biologists as tools to achieve just about anything in terms of tuning and timing multiple gene expression...

  17. CSBB: synthetic biology research at Newcastle University.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goñi-Moreno, Angel; Wipat, Anil; Krasnogor, Natalio

    2017-06-15

    The Centre for Synthetic Biology and the Bioeconomy (CSBB) brings together a far-reaching multidisciplinary community across all Newcastle University's faculties - Medical Sciences, Science, Agriculture and Engineering, and Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. The CSBB focuses on many different areas of Synthetic Biology, including bioprocessing, computational design and in vivo computation, as well as improving understanding of basic molecular machinery. Such breadth is supported by major national and international research funding, a range of industrial partners in the North East of England and beyond, as well as a large number of doctoral and post-doctoral researchers. The CSBB trains the next generation of scientists through a 1-year MSc in Synthetic Biology. © 2017 The Author(s).

  18. Synthetic definition of biological significance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buffington, J.D.

    1975-01-01

    The central theme of the workshop is recounted and the views of the authors are summarized. Areas of broad agreement or disagreement, unifying principles, and research needs are identified. Authors' views are consolidated into concepts that have practical utility for the scientist making impact assessments. The need for decision-makers and managers to be cognizant of the recommendations made herein is discussed. Finally, bringing together the diverse views of the workshop participants, a conceptual definition of biological significance is synthesized

  19. Synthetic biology approaches to engineer T cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Chia-Yung; Rupp, Levi J; Roybal, Kole T; Lim, Wendell A

    2015-08-01

    There is rapidly growing interest in learning how to engineer immune cells, such as T lymphocytes, because of the potential of these engineered cells to be used for therapeutic applications such as the recognition and killing of cancer cells. At the same time, our knowhow and capability to logically engineer cellular behavior is growing rapidly with the development of synthetic biology. Here we describe how synthetic biology approaches are being used to rationally alter the behavior of T cells to optimize them for therapeutic functions. We also describe future developments that will be important in order to construct safe and precise T cell therapeutics. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Synthetic biology of microbes synthesizing polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guo-Qiang Chen

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Microbial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA have been produced as bioplastics for various purposes. Under the support of China National Basic Research 973 Project, we developed synthetic biology methods to diversify the PHA structures into homo-, random, block polymers with improved properties to better meet various application requirements. At the same time, various pathways were assembled to produce various PHA from glucose as a simple carbon source. At the end, Halomonas bacteria were reconstructed to produce PHA in changing morphology for low cost production under unsterile and continuous conditions. The synthetic biology will advance the PHA into a bio- and material industry.

  1. Synthetic Biology: Applications in the Food Sector.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyagi, Ashish; Kumar, Ashwani; Aparna, S V; Mallappa, Rashmi H; Grover, Sunita; Batish, Virender Kumar

    2016-08-17

    Synthetic biology also termed as "genomic alchemy" represents a powerful area of science that is based on the convergence of biological sciences with systems engineering. It has been fittingly described as "moving from reading the genetic code to writing it" as it focuses on building, modeling, designing and fabricating novel biological systems using customized gene components that result in artificially created genetic circuitry. The scientifically compelling idea of the technological manipulation of life has been advocated since long time. Realization of this idea has gained momentum with development of high speed automation and the falling cost of gene sequencing and synthesis following the completion of the human genome project. Synthetic biology will certainly be instrumental in shaping the development of varying areas ranging from biomedicine, biopharmaceuticals, chemical production, food and dairy quality monitoring, packaging, and storage of food and dairy products, bioremediation and bioenergy production, etc. However, potential dangers of using synthetic life forms have to be acknowledged and adoption of policies by the scientific community to ensure safe practice while making important advancements in the ever expanding field of synthetic biology is to be fully supported and implemented.

  2. Prospects for applying synthetic biology to toxicology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Behrendorff, James Bruce Yarnton H; Gillam, Elizabeth M.J.

    2017-01-01

    The 30 years since the inception of Chemical Research in Toxicology, game-changing advances in chemical and molecular biology, the fundamental disciplines underpinning molecular toxicology, have been made. While these have led to important advances in the study of mechanisms by which chemicals...... damage cells and systems, there has been less focus on applying these advances to prediction, detection, and mitigation of toxicity. Over the last ∼15 years, synthetic biology, the repurposing of biological "parts" in systems engineered for useful ends, has been explored in other areas of the biomedical...... and life sciences, for such applications as detecting metabolites, drug discovery and delivery, investigating disease mechanisms, improving medical treatment, and producing useful chemicals. These examples provide models for the application of synthetic biology to toxicology, which, for the most part, has...

  3. Synthetic Biology to Engineer Bacteriophage Genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rita Costa, Ana; Milho, Catarina; Azeredo, Joana; Pires, Diana Priscila

    2018-01-01

    Recent advances in the synthetic biology field have enabled the development of new molecular biology techniques used to build specialized bacteriophages with new functionalities. Bacteriophages have been engineered towards a wide range of applications including pathogen control and detection, targeted drug delivery, or even assembly of new materials.In this chapter, two strategies that have been successfully used to genetically engineer bacteriophage genomes are addressed: a yeast-based platform and bacteriophage recombineering of electroporated DNA.

  4. Synthetic biology advances for pharmaceutical production

    OpenAIRE

    Breitling, Rainer; Takano, Eriko

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology enables a new generation of microbial engineering for the biotechnological production of pharmaceuticals and other high-value chemicals. This review presents an overview of recent advances in the field, describing new computational and experimental tools for the discovery, optimization and production of bioactive molecules, and outlining progress towards the application of these tools to pharmaceutical production systems.

  5. Synthetic biology advances for pharmaceutical production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breitling, Rainer; Takano, Eriko

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology enables a new generation of microbial engineering for the biotechnological production of pharmaceuticals and other high-value chemicals. This review presents an overview of recent advances in the field, describing new computational and experimental tools for the discovery, optimization and production of bioactive molecules, and outlining progress towards the application of these tools to pharmaceutical production systems. PMID:25744872

  6. Hydrophobic Interaction Chromatography for Bottom-Up Proteomics Analysis of Single Proteins and Protein Complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rackiewicz, Michal; Große-Hovest, Ludger; Alpert, Andrew J; Zarei, Mostafa; Dengjel, Jörn

    2017-06-02

    Hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC) is a robust standard analytical method to purify proteins while preserving their biological activity. It is widely used to study post-translational modifications of proteins and drug-protein interactions. In the current manuscript we employed HIC to separate proteins, followed by bottom-up LC-MS/MS experiments. We used this approach to fractionate antibody species followed by comprehensive peptide mapping as well as to study protein complexes in human cells. HIC-reversed-phase chromatography (RPC)-mass spectrometry (MS) is a powerful alternative to fractionate proteins for bottom-up proteomics experiments making use of their distinct hydrophobic properties.

  7. Bottom-up guidance in visual search for conjunctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proulx, Michael J

    2007-02-01

    Understanding the relative role of top-down and bottom-up guidance is crucial for models of visual search. Previous studies have addressed the role of top-down and bottom-up processes in search for a conjunction of features but with inconsistent results. Here, the author used an attentional capture method to address the role of top-down and bottom-up processes in conjunction search. The role of bottom-up processing was assayed by inclusion of an irrelevant-size singleton in a search for a conjunction of color and orientation. One object was uniquely larger on each trial, with chance probability of coinciding with the target; thus, the irrelevant feature of size was not predictive of the target's location. Participants searched more efficiently for the target when it was also the size singleton, and they searched less efficiently for the target when a nontarget was the size singleton. Although a conjunction target cannot be detected on the basis of bottom-up processing alone, participants used search strategies that relied significantly on bottom-up guidance in finding the target, resulting in interference from the irrelevant-size singleton.

  8. Bottom-Up Synthesis and Sensor Applications of Biomimetic Nanostructures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Wang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The combination of nanotechnology, biology, and bioengineering greatly improved the developments of nanomaterials with unique functions and properties. Biomolecules as the nanoscale building blocks play very important roles for the final formation of functional nanostructures. Many kinds of novel nanostructures have been created by using the bioinspired self-assembly and subsequent binding with various nanoparticles. In this review, we summarized the studies on the fabrications and sensor applications of biomimetic nanostructures. The strategies for creating different bottom-up nanostructures by using biomolecules like DNA, protein, peptide, and virus, as well as microorganisms like bacteria and plant leaf are introduced. In addition, the potential applications of the synthesized biomimetic nanostructures for colorimetry, fluorescence, surface plasmon resonance, surface-enhanced Raman scattering, electrical resistance, electrochemistry, and quartz crystal microbalance sensors are presented. This review will promote the understanding of relationships between biomolecules/microorganisms and functional nanomaterials in one way, and in another way it will guide the design and synthesis of biomimetic nanomaterials with unique properties in the future.

  9. Agent-based modelling in synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorochowski, Thomas E

    2016-11-30

    Biological systems exhibit complex behaviours that emerge at many different levels of organization. These span the regulation of gene expression within single cells to the use of quorum sensing to co-ordinate the action of entire bacterial colonies. Synthetic biology aims to make the engineering of biology easier, offering an opportunity to control natural systems and develop new synthetic systems with useful prescribed behaviours. However, in many cases, it is not understood how individual cells should be programmed to ensure the emergence of a required collective behaviour. Agent-based modelling aims to tackle this problem, offering a framework in which to simulate such systems and explore cellular design rules. In this article, I review the use of agent-based models in synthetic biology, outline the available computational tools, and provide details on recently engineered biological systems that are amenable to this approach. I further highlight the challenges facing this methodology and some of the potential future directions. © 2016 The Author(s).

  10. Preparing Synthetic Biology for the World

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerd H.G. Moe-Behrens

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic Biology promises low-cost, exponentially scalable products and global health solutions in the form of self-replicating organisms, or living devices. As these promises are realized, proof-of-concept systems will gradually migrate from tightly regulated laboratory or industrial environments into private spaces as, for instance, probiotic health products, food, and even do-it-yourself bioengineered systems. What additional steps, if any, should be taken before releasing engineered self-replicating organisms into a broader user space? In this review, we explain how studies of genetically modified organisms lay groundwork for the future landscape of biosafety. Early in the design process, biological engineers are anticipating potential hazards and developing innovative tools to mitigate risk. Here, we survey lessons learned, ongoing efforts to engineer intrinsic biocontainment, and how different stakeholders in synthetic biology can act to accomplish best practices for biosafety.

  11. Synthetic biology expands chemical control of microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Tyler J; Silver, Pamela A

    2015-10-01

    The tools of synthetic biology allow researchers to change the ways engineered organisms respond to chemical stimuli. Decades of basic biology research and new efforts in computational protein and RNA design have led to the development of small molecule sensors that can be used to alter organism function. These new functions leap beyond the natural propensities of the engineered organisms. They can range from simple fluorescence or growth reporting to pathogen killing, and can involve metabolic coordination among multiple cells or organisms. Herein, we discuss how synthetic biology alters microorganisms' responses to chemical stimuli resulting in the development of microbes as toxicity sensors, disease treatments, and chemical factories. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Synthetic biology and biosecurity: challenging the "myths".

    OpenAIRE

    Jefferson, C; Lentzos, F; Marris, C

    2014-01-01

    15.10.14 KB. Ok to add published version to spiral, OA paper under cc by Synthetic biology, a field that aims to make biology easier to engineer, is routinely described as leading to an increase in the dual-use threat, i.e., the potential for the same scientific research to be used for peaceful purposes or misused for warfare or terrorism. Fears have been expressed that the de-skilling of biology, combined with online access to the genomic DNA sequences of pathogenic organisms an...

  13. Synthetic biology: Novel approaches for microbiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padilla-Vaca, Felipe; Anaya-Velázquez, Fernando; Franco, Bernardo

    2015-06-01

    In the past twenty years, molecular genetics has created powerful tools for genetic manipulation of living organisms. Whole genome sequencing has provided necessary information to assess knowledge on gene function and protein networks. In addition, new tools permit to modify organisms to perform desired tasks. Gene function analysis is speed up by novel approaches that couple both high throughput data generation and mining. Synthetic biology is an emerging field that uses tools for generating novel gene networks, whole genome synthesis and engineering. New applications in biotechnological, pharmaceutical and biomedical research are envisioned for synthetic biology. In recent years these new strategies have opened up the possibilities to study gene and genome editing, creation of novel tools for functional studies in virus, parasites and pathogenic bacteria. There is also the possibility to re-design organisms to generate vaccine subunits or produce new pharmaceuticals to combat multi-drug resistant pathogens. In this review we provide our opinion on the applicability of synthetic biology strategies for functional studies of pathogenic organisms and some applications such as genome editing and gene network studies to further comprehend virulence factors and determinants in pathogenic organisms. We also discuss what we consider important ethical issues for this field of molecular biology, especially for potential misuse of the new technologies. Copyright© by the Spanish Society for Microbiology and Institute for Catalan Studies.

  14. Synthetic biology for microbial heavy metal biosensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyun Ju; Jeong, Haeyoung; Lee, Sang Jun

    2018-02-01

    Using recombinant DNA technology, various whole-cell biosensors have been developed for detection of environmental pollutants, including heavy metal ions. Whole-cell biosensors have several advantages: easy and inexpensive cultivation, multiple assays, and no requirement of any special techniques for analysis. In the era of synthetic biology, cutting-edge DNA sequencing and gene synthesis technologies have accelerated the development of cell-based biosensors. Here, we summarize current technological advances in whole-cell heavy metal biosensors, including the synthetic biological components (bioparts), sensing and reporter modules, genetic circuits, and chassis cells. We discuss several opportunities for improvement of synthetic cell-based biosensors. First, new functional modules must be discovered in genome databases, and this knowledge must be used to upgrade specific bioparts through molecular engineering. Second, modules must be assembled into functional biosystems in chassis cells. Third, heterogeneity of individual cells in the microbial population must be eliminated. In the perspectives, the development of whole-cell biosensors is also discussed in the aspects of cultivation methods and synthetic cells.

  15. [Progress in synthetic biology of pinocembrin].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Lei; Kong, Jianqiang

    2015-04-01

    Pinocembrin, belonging to flavanons, was isolated from various plants. Pinocembrin has a variety of pharmacological activities, such as neuroprotective effect, antimicrobial activity, and antioxidant efficacy. Pinocembrin was approved as class I drugs to its phase II clinical trial by CFDA in 2009, mainly used for the treatment of ischemic stroke. As a promising compound, the manufacturing technologies of pinocembrin, including chemical synthesis, extraction from plant and synthetic biology, have attracted many attentions. Compared with the first two technologies, synthetic biology has many advantages, such as environment-friendly and low-cost. Construction of biosynthetic pathway in microorganism offers promising results for large scale pinocembrin production by fermentation after taking lots of effective strategies. This article reviews some of recent strategies in microorganisms to improve the yield, with focus on the selection of appropriate the key enzyme sources, the supply of precursors and cofactors by microorganisms, the choice of substance and the level of the key enzyme expression.

  16. Consequentialism and the Synthetic Biology Problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heavey, Patrick

    2017-04-01

    This article analyzes the ethics of synthetic biology (synbio) from a consequentialist perspective, examining potential effects on food and agriculture, and on medicine, fuel, and the advancement of science. The issues of biosafety and biosecurity are also examined. A consequentialist analysis offers an essential road map to policymakers and regulators as to how to deal with synbio. Additionally, the article discusses the limitations of consequentialism as a tool for analysing synbioethics. Is it possible to predict, with any degree of plausibility, what the consequences of synthetic biology will be in 50 years, or in 100, or in 500? Synbio may take humanity to a place of radical departure from what is known or knowable.

  17. Biologic and synthetic skin substitutes: An overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halim, Ahmad Sukari; Khoo, Teng Lye; Mohd Yussof, Shah Jumaat

    2010-09-01

    The current trend of burn wound care has shifted to more holistic approach of improvement in the long-term form and function of the healed burn wounds and quality of life. This has demanded the emergence of various skin substitutes in the management of acute burn injury as well as post burn reconstructions. Skin substitutes have important roles in the treatment of deep dermal and full thickness wounds of various aetiologies. At present, there is no ideal substitute in the market. Skin substitutes can be divided into two main classes, namely, biological and synthetic substitutes. The biological skin substitutes have a more intact extracellular matrix structure, while the synthetic skin substitutes can be synthesised on demand and can be modulated for specific purposes. Each class has its advantages and disadvantages. The biological skin substitutes may allow the construction of a more natural new dermis and allow excellent re-epithelialisation characteristics due to the presence of a basement membrane. Synthetic skin substitutes demonstrate the advantages of increase control over scaffold composition. The ultimate goal is to achieve an ideal skin substitute that provides an effective and scar-free wound healing.

  18. Biologic and synthetic skin substitutes: An overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Halim Ahmad

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available The current trend of burn wound care has shifted to more holistic approach of improvement in the long-term form and function of the healed burn wounds and quality of life. This has demanded the emergence of various skin substitutes in the management of acute burn injury as well as post burn reconstructions. Skin substitutes have important roles in the treatment of deep dermal and full thickness wounds of various aetiologies. At present, there is no ideal substitute in the market. Skin substitutes can be divided into two main classes, namely, biological and synthetic substitutes. The biological skin substitutes have a more intact extracellular matrix structure, while the synthetic skin substitutes can be synthesised on demand and can be modulated for specific purposes. Each class has its advantages and disadvantages. The biological skin substitutes may allow the construction of a more natural new dermis and allow excellent re-epithelialisation characteristics due to the presence of a basement membrane. Synthetic skin substitutes demonstrate the advantages of increase control over scaffold composition. The ultimate goal is to achieve an ideal skin substitute that provides an effective and scar-free wound healing.

  19. Synthetic biology approaches to fluorinated polyketides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thuronyi, Benjamin W; Chang, Michelle C Y

    2015-03-17

    The catalytic diversity of living systems offers a broad range of opportunities for developing new methods to produce small molecule targets such as fuels, materials, and pharmaceuticals. In addition to providing cost-effective and renewable methods for large-scale commercial processes, the exploration of the unusual chemical phenotypes found in living organisms can also enable the expansion of chemical space for discovery of novel function by combining orthogonal attributes from both synthetic and biological chemistry. In this context, we have focused on the development of new fluorine chemistry using synthetic biology approaches. While fluorine has become an important feature in compounds of synthetic origin, the scope of biological fluorine chemistry in living systems is limited, with fewer than 20 organofluorine natural products identified to date. In order to expand the diversity of biosynthetically accessible organofluorines, we have begun to develop methods for the site-selective introduction of fluorine into complex natural products by engineering biosynthetic machinery to incorporate fluorinated building blocks. To gain insight into how both enzyme active sites and metabolic pathways can be evolved to manage and select for fluorinated compounds, we have studied one of the only characterized natural hosts for organofluorine biosynthesis, the soil microbe Streptomyces cattleya. This information provides a template for designing engineered organofluorine enzymes, pathways, and hosts and has allowed us to initiate construction of enzymatic and cellular pathways for the production of fluorinated polyketides.

  20. News: Synthetic biology leading to specialty chemicals ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Synthetic biology can combine the disciplines of biology, engineering, and chemistry productively to form molecules of great scientific and commercial value. Recent advances in the new field are explored for their connection to new tools that have been used to elucidate production pathways to a wide variety of chemicals generated by microorganisms. The selection and enhancement of microbiological strains through the practice of strain engineering enables targets of design, construction, and optimization. This news column aspires to cover recent literature relating to the development and understanding of clean technology.

  1. Programming Morphogenesis through Systems and Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velazquez, Jeremy J; Su, Emily; Cahan, Patrick; Ebrahimkhani, Mo R

    2018-04-01

    Mammalian tissue development is an intricate, spatiotemporal process of self-organization that emerges from gene regulatory networks of differentiating stem cells. A major goal in stem cell biology is to gain a sufficient understanding of gene regulatory networks and cell-cell interactions to enable the reliable and robust engineering of morphogenesis. Here, we review advances in synthetic biology, single cell genomics, and multiscale modeling, which, when synthesized, provide a framework to achieve the ambitious goal of programming morphogenesis in complex tissues and organoids. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. A plea for Global Health Action bottom-up

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrich Laaser

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This opinion piece focuses on global health action by hands-on bottom-up practice: Initiation of an organizational framework and securing financial efficiency are – however - essential, both clearly a domain of well trained public health professionals. Examples of action are cited in the four main areas of global threats: planetary climate change, global divides and inequity, global insecurity and violent conflicts, global instability and financial crises. In conclusion a stable health systems policy framework would greatly enhance success. However, such organisational framework dries out if not linked to public debates channelling fresh thoughts and controversial proposals: the structural stabilisation is essential but has to serve not to dominate bottom-up activities. In other words a horizontal management is required, a balanced equilibrium between bottom-up initiative and top-down support. Last not least rewarding voluntary and charity work by public acknowledgement is essential.

  3. Synthetic biology for pharmaceutical drug discovery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trosset JY

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Jean-Yves Trosset,1 Pablo Carbonell2,3 1Bioinformation Research Laboratory, Sup’Biotech, Villejuif, France; 2Faculty of Life Sciences, SYNBIOCHEM Centre, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK; 3Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (DCEXS, Research Programme on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB, Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF, Barcelona, Spain Abstract: Synthetic biology (SB is an emerging discipline, which is slowly reorienting the field of drug discovery. For thousands of years, living organisms such as plants were the major source of human medicines. The difficulty in resynthesizing natural products, however, often turned pharmaceutical industries away from this rich source for human medicine. More recently, progress on transformation through genetic manipulation of biosynthetic units in microorganisms has opened the possibility of in-depth exploration of the large chemical space of natural products derivatives. Success of SB in drug synthesis culminated with the bioproduction of artemisinin by microorganisms, a tour de force in protein and metabolic engineering. Today, synthetic cells are not only used as biofactories but also used as cell-based screening platforms for both target-based and phenotypic-based approaches. Engineered genetic circuits in synthetic cells are also used to decipher disease mechanisms or drug mechanism of actions and to study cell–cell communication within bacteria consortia. This review presents latest developments of SB in the field of drug discovery, including some challenging issues such as drug resistance and drug toxicity. Keywords: metabolic engineering, plant synthetic biology, natural products, synthetic quorum sensing, drug resistance

  4. 75 FR 52752 - Request for Comments on Synthetic Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-27

    ... DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Request for Comments on Synthetic Biology AGENCY... Bioethical Issues is requesting public comment on the emerging science of synthetic biology, including its... Commission has begun an inquiry into the emerging science of synthetic biology. The President asked the...

  5. An integrated top-down and bottom-up strategy for characterization protein isoforms and modifications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Si; Tolic, Nikola; Tian, Zhixin; Robinson, Errol W.; Pasa-Tolic, Ljiljana

    2011-04-15

    Bottom-up and top-down strategies are two commonly used methods for mass spectrometry (MS) based protein identification; each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. In this chapter, we describe an integrated top-down and bottom-up approach facilitated by concurrent liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis and fraction collection for comprehensive high-throughput intact protein profiling. The approach employs a high resolution reversed phase (RP) LC separation coupled with LC eluent fraction collection and concurrent on-line MS with a high field (12 Tesla) Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) mass spectrometer. Protein elusion profiles and tentative modified protein identification are made using detected intact protein mass in conjunction with bottom-up protein identifications from the enzymatic digestion and analysis of corresponding LC fractions. Specific proteins of biological interest are incorporated into a target ion list for subsequent off-line gas-phase fragmentation that uses an aliquot of the original collected LC fraction, an aliquot of which was also used for bottom-up analysis.

  6. Micro/nanofabricated environments for synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collier, C Patrick; Simpson, Michael L

    2011-08-01

    A better understanding of how confinement, crowding and reduced dimensionality modulate reactivity and reaction dynamics will aid in the rational and systematic discovery of functionality in complex biological systems. Artificial microfabricated and nanofabricated structures have helped elucidate the effects of nanoscale spatial confinement and segregation on biological behavior, particularly when integrated with microfluidics, through precise control in both space and time of diffusible signals and binding interactions. Examples of nanostructured interfaces for synthetic biology include the development of cell-like compartments for encapsulating biochemical reactions, nanostructured environments for fundamental studies of diffusion, molecular transport and biochemical reaction kinetics, and regulation of biomolecular interactions as functions of microfabricated and nanofabricated topological constraints. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Hydrodynamic cavitation: a bottom-up approach to liquid aeration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raut, J.S.; Stoyanov, S.D.; Duggal, C.; Pelan, E.G.; Arnaudov, L.N.; Naik, V.M.

    2012-01-01

    We report the use of hydrodynamic cavitation as a novel, bottom-up method for continuous creation of foams comprising of air microbubbles in aqueous systems containing surface active ingredients, like proteins or particles. The hydrodynamic cavitation was created using a converging-diverging nozzle.

  8. Top-Down Beta Enhances Bottom-Up Gamma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Craig G; Thompson, William H; Bosman, Conrado A; Fries, Pascal

    2017-07-12

    Several recent studies have demonstrated that the bottom-up signaling of a visual stimulus is subserved by interareal gamma-band synchronization, whereas top-down influences are mediated by alpha-beta band synchronization. These processes may implement top-down control of stimulus processing if top-down and bottom-up mediating rhythms are coupled via cross-frequency interaction. To test this possibility, we investigated Granger-causal influences among awake macaque primary visual area V1, higher visual area V4, and parietal control area 7a during attentional task performance. Top-down 7a-to-V1 beta-band influences enhanced visually driven V1-to-V4 gamma-band influences. This enhancement was spatially specific and largest when beta-band activity preceded gamma-band activity by ∼0.1 s, suggesting a causal effect of top-down processes on bottom-up processes. We propose that this cross-frequency interaction mechanistically subserves the attentional control of stimulus selection. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Contemporary research indicates that the alpha-beta frequency band underlies top-down control, whereas the gamma-band mediates bottom-up stimulus processing. This arrangement inspires an attractive hypothesis, which posits that top-down beta-band influences directly modulate bottom-up gamma band influences via cross-frequency interaction. We evaluate this hypothesis determining that beta-band top-down influences from parietal area 7a to visual area V1 are correlated with bottom-up gamma frequency influences from V1 to area V4, in a spatially specific manner, and that this correlation is maximal when top-down activity precedes bottom-up activity. These results show that for top-down processes such as spatial attention, elevated top-down beta-band influences directly enhance feedforward stimulus-induced gamma-band processing, leading to enhancement of the selected stimulus. Copyright © 2017 Richter, Thompson et al.

  9. [Synthetic biology and rearrangements of microbial genetic material].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Quan-Feng; Wang, Qian; Qi, Qing-Sheng

    2011-10-01

    As an emerging discipline, synthetic biology has shown great scientific values and application prospects. Although there have been many reviews of various aspects on synthetic biology over the last years, this article, for the first time, attempted to discuss the relationship and difference between microbial genetics and synthetic biology. We summarized the recent development of synthetic biology in rearranging microbial genetic materials, including synthesis, design and reduction of genetic materials, standardization of genetic parts and modularization of genetic circuits. The relationship between synthetic biology and microbial genetic engineering was also discussed in the paper.

  10. Pareto Optimal Design for Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patanè, Andrea; Santoro, Andrea; Costanza, Jole; Carapezza, Giovanni; Nicosia, Giuseppe

    2015-08-01

    Recent advances in synthetic biology call for robust, flexible and efficient in silico optimization methodologies. We present a Pareto design approach for the bi-level optimization problem associated to the overproduction of specific metabolites in Escherichia coli. Our method efficiently explores the high dimensional genetic manipulation space, finding a number of trade-offs between synthetic and biological objectives, hence furnishing a deeper biological insight to the addressed problem and important results for industrial purposes. We demonstrate the computational capabilities of our Pareto-oriented approach comparing it with state-of-the-art heuristics in the overproduction problems of i) 1,4-butanediol, ii) myristoyl-CoA, i ii) malonyl-CoA , iv) acetate and v) succinate. We show that our algorithms are able to gracefully adapt and scale to more complex models and more biologically-relevant simulations of the genetic manipulations allowed. The Results obtained for 1,4-butanediol overproduction significantly outperform results previously obtained, in terms of 1,4-butanediol to biomass formation ratio and knock-out costs. In particular overproduction percentage is of +662.7%, from 1.425 mmolh⁻¹gDW⁻¹ (wild type) to 10.869 mmolh⁻¹gDW⁻¹, with a knockout cost of 6. Whereas, Pareto-optimal designs we have found in fatty acid optimizations strictly dominate the ones obtained by the other methodologies, e.g., biomass and myristoyl-CoA exportation improvement of +21.43% (0.17 h⁻¹) and +5.19% (1.62 mmolh⁻¹gDW⁻¹), respectively. Furthermore CPU time required by our heuristic approach is more than halved. Finally we implement pathway oriented sensitivity analysis, epsilon-dominance analysis and robustness analysis to enhance our biological understanding of the problem and to improve the optimization algorithm capabilities.

  11. Mammalian Synthetic Biology: Time for Big MACs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martella, Andrea; Pollard, Steven M; Dai, Junbiao; Cai, Yizhi

    2016-10-21

    The enabling technologies of synthetic biology are opening up new opportunities for engineering and enhancement of mammalian cells. This will stimulate diverse applications in many life science sectors such as regenerative medicine, development of biosensing cell lines, therapeutic protein production, and generation of new synthetic genetic regulatory circuits. Harnessing the full potential of these new engineering-based approaches requires the design and assembly of large DNA constructs-potentially up to chromosome scale-and the effective delivery of these large DNA payloads to the host cell. Random integration of large transgenes, encoding therapeutic proteins or genetic circuits into host chromosomes, has several drawbacks such as risks of insertional mutagenesis, lack of control over transgene copy-number and position-specific effects; these can compromise the intended functioning of genetic circuits. The development of a system orthogonal to the endogenous genome is therefore beneficial. Mammalian artificial chromosomes (MACs) are functional, add-on chromosomal elements, which behave as normal chromosomes-being replicating and portioned to daughter cells at each cell division. They are deployed as useful gene expression vectors as they remain independent from the host genome. MACs are maintained as a single-copy and can accommodate multiple gene expression cassettes of, in theory, unlimited DNA size (MACs up to 10 megabases have been constructed). MACs therefore enabled control over ectopic gene expression and represent an excellent platform to rapidly prototype and characterize novel synthetic gene circuits without recourse to engineering the host genome. This review describes the obstacles synthetic biologists face when working with mammalian systems and how the development of improved MACs can overcome these-particularly given the spectacular advances in DNA synthesis and assembly that are fuelling this research area.

  12. Mapping the Emergence of Synthetic Biology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Raimbault

    Full Text Available In this paper, we apply an original scientometric analyses to a corpus comprising synthetic biology (SynBio publications in Thomson Reuters Web of Science to characterize the emergence of this new scientific field. Three results were drawn from this empirical investigation. First, despite the exponential growth of publications, the study of population level statistics (newcomers proportion, collaboration network structure shows that SynBio has entered a stabilization process since 2010. Second, the mapping of textual and citational networks shows that SynBio is characterized by high heterogeneity and four different approaches: the central approach, where biobrick engineering is the most widespread; genome engineering; protocell creation; and metabolic engineering. We suggest that synthetic biology acts as an umbrella term allowing for the mobilization of resources, and also serves to relate scientific content and promises of applications. Third, we observed a strong intertwinement between epistemic and socio-economic dynamics. Measuring scientific production and impact and using structural analysis data, we identified a core set of mostly American scientists. Biographical analysis shows that these central and influential scientists act as "boundary spanners," meaning that their importance to the field lies not only in their academic contributions, but also in their capacity to interact with other social spaces that are outside the academic sphere.

  13. New Frontiers in Synthetic Biology for Spaceflight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galazka, Jonathan M.

    2017-01-01

    Exploration of the solar system is constrained by the cost of moving mass off Earth. Producing materials in situ will reduce the mass that must be delivered from earth. CO2 is abundant on Mars and manned spacecraft. On the ISS, NASA reacts excess CO2 with H2 to generate CH4 and H2O using the Sabatier System. The resulting water is recovered into the ISS, but the methane is vented to space. Thus, there is a capability need for systems that convert methane into valuable materials. Methanotrophic bacteria consume methane but these are poor synthetic biology platforms. Thus, there is a knowledge gap in utilizing methane in a robust and flexible synthetic biology platform. The yeast Pichia pastoris is a refined microbial factory that is used widely by industry because it efficiently secretes products. Pichia could produce a variety of useful products in space. Pichia does not consume methane but robustly consumes methanol, which is one enzymatic step removed from methane. Our goal is to engineer Pichia to consume methane thereby creating a powerful methane-consuming microbial factory.

  14. Synthetic biology analysed tools for discussion and evaluation

    CERN Document Server

    2016-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a dynamic, young, ambitious, attractive, and heterogeneous scientific discipline. It is constantly developing and changing, which makes societal evaluation of this emerging new science a challenging task, prone to misunderstandings. Synthetic biology is difficult to capture, and confusion arises not only regarding which part of synthetic biology the discussion is about, but also with respect to the underlying concepts in use. This book offers a useful toolbox to approach this complex and fragmented field. It provides a biological access to the discussion using a 'layer' model that describes the connectivity of synthetic or semisynthetic organisms and cells to the realm of natural organisms derived by evolution. Instead of directly reviewing the field as a whole, firstly our book addresses the characteristic features of synthetic biology that are relevant to the societal discussion. Some of these features apply only to parts of synthetic biology, whereas others are relevant to synthetic bi...

  15. Molecular Imaging in Synthetic Biology, and Synthetic Biology in Molecular Imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilad, Assaf A; Shapiro, Mikhail G

    2017-06-01

    Biomedical synthetic biology is an emerging field in which cells are engineered at the genetic level to carry out novel functions with relevance to biomedical and industrial applications. This approach promises new treatments, imaging tools, and diagnostics for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal inflammatory syndromes to cancer, diabetes, and neurodegeneration. As these cellular technologies undergo pre-clinical and clinical development, it is becoming essential to monitor their location and function in vivo, necessitating appropriate molecular imaging strategies, and therefore, we have created an interest group within the World Molecular Imaging Society focusing on synthetic biology and reporter gene technologies. Here, we highlight recent advances in biomedical synthetic biology, including bacterial therapy, immunotherapy, and regenerative medicine. We then discuss emerging molecular imaging approaches to facilitate in vivo applications, focusing on reporter genes for noninvasive modalities such as magnetic resonance, ultrasound, photoacoustic imaging, bioluminescence, and radionuclear imaging. Because reporter genes can be incorporated directly into engineered genetic circuits, they are particularly well suited to imaging synthetic biological constructs, and developing them provides opportunities for creative molecular and genetic engineering.

  16. [How to be prudent with synthetic biology. Synthetic Biology and the precautionary principle].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez López, Blanca

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a new discipline that is twofold: firstly it offers the promise to pay benefits that can alleviate some of the ills that plague mankind; On the other hand, like all technologies, holds risks. Given these, the most critical and concerned about the risks, invoke the application of the precautionary principle, common in cases where an activity or new technology creates risks to the environment and/or human health, but far from universally accepted happens to be currently one of the most controversial principles. In this paper the question of the risks and benefits of synthetic biology and the relevance of applying the precautionary principle are analyzed. To do this we proceed as follows. The first part focuses on synthetic biology. At first, this discipline is characterized, with special attention to what is novel compared to the known as "genetic engineering". In the second stage both the benefits and the risks associated with it are discussed. The first part concludes with a review of the efforts currently being made to control or minimize the risks. The second part aims to analyze the precautionary principle and its possible relevance to the case of Synthetic Biology. At first, the different versions and interpretations of the principle and the various criticisms of which has been the subject are reviewed. Finally, after discarding the Precautionary Principle as an useful tool, it is seen as more appropriate some recent proposals to treat technologies that take into account not only risks but also their benefits.

  17. Combining bottom-up and top-down

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boehringer, Christoph; Rutherford, Thomas F.

    2008-01-01

    We motivate the formulation of market equilibrium as a mixed complementarity problem which explicitly represents weak inequalities and complementarity between decision variables and equilibrium conditions. The complementarity format permits an energy-economy model to combine technological detail of a bottom-up energy system with a second-best characterization of the over-all economy. Our primary objective is pedagogic. We first lay out the complementarity features of economic equilibrium and demonstrate how we can integrate bottom-up activity analysis into a top-down representation of the broader economy. We then provide a stylized numerical example of an integrated model - within both static and dynamic settings. Finally, we present illustrative applications to three themes figuring prominently on the energy policy agenda of many industrialized countries: nuclear phase-out, green quotas, and environmental tax reforms

  18. Combining bottom-up and top-down

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boehringer, Christoph [Department of Economics, University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg (Germany); Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim (Germany); Rutherford, Thomas F. [Ann Arbor, Michigan (United States)

    2008-03-15

    We motivate the formulation of market equilibrium as a mixed complementarity problem which explicitly represents weak inequalities and complementarity between decision variables and equilibrium conditions. The complementarity format permits an energy-economy model to combine technological detail of a bottom-up energy system with a second-best characterization of the over-all economy. Our primary objective is pedagogic. We first lay out the complementarity features of economic equilibrium and demonstrate how we can integrate bottom-up activity analysis into a top-down representation of the broader economy. We then provide a stylized numerical example of an integrated model - within both static and dynamic settings. Finally, we present illustrative applications to three themes figuring prominently on the energy policy agenda of many industrialized countries: nuclear phase-out, green quotas, and environmental tax reforms. (author)

  19. The Interplay of Top-Down and Bottom-Up

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winkler, Till; Brown, Carol V.; Ozturk, Pinar

    2014-01-01

    The exchange of patient health information across different organizations involved in healthcare delivery has potential benefits for a wide range of stakeholders. However, many governments in Europe and in the U.S. have, despite both top-down and bottom-up initiatives, experienced major barriers...... in achieving sustainable models for implementing health information exchange (HIE) throughout their healthcare systems. In the case of the U.S., three years after stimulus funding allocated as part of the 2009 HITECH Act, the extent to which government funding will be needed to sustain health information...... organizations (HIOs) that facilitate HIE across regional stakeholders remains an unanswered question. This research investigates the impacts of top-down and bottom-up initiatives on the evolutionary paths of HIOs in two contingent states in the U.S. (New Jersey and New York) which had different starting...

  20. Bottom-up effects on attention capture and choice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Peschel, Anne; Orquin, Jacob Lund; Mueller Loose, Simone

    Attention processes and decision making are accepted to be closely linked together because only information that is attended to can be incorporated in the decision process. Little is known however, to which extent bottom-up processes of attention affect stimulus selection and therefore...... the information available to form a decision. Does changing one visual cue in the stimulus set affect attention towards this cue and what does that mean for the choice outcome? To address this, we conducted a combined eye tracking and choice experiment in a consumer choice setting with visual shelf simulations...... salient. The observed effect on attention also carries over into increased choice likelihood. From these results, we conclude that even small changes in the choice capture attention based on bottom-up processes. Also for eye tracking studies in other domains (e.g. search tasks) this means that stimulus...

  1. The emerging age of cell-free synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Mark Thomas; Wilding, Kristen M; Hunt, Jeremy M; Bennett, Anthony M; Bundy, Bradley C

    2014-08-25

    The engineering of and mastery over biological parts has catalyzed the emergence of synthetic biology. This field has grown exponentially in the past decade. As increasingly more applications of synthetic biology are pursued, more challenges are encountered, such as delivering genetic material into cells and optimizing genetic circuits in vivo. An in vitro or cell-free approach to synthetic biology simplifies and avoids many of the pitfalls of in vivo synthetic biology. In this review, we describe some of the innate features that make cell-free systems compelling platforms for synthetic biology and discuss emerging improvements of cell-free technologies. We also select and highlight recent and emerging applications of cell-free synthetic biology. Copyright © 2014 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Synthetic biology ethics: a deontological assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heavey, Patrick

    2013-10-01

    In this article I discuss the ethics of synthetic biology from a broadly deontological perspective, evaluating its morality in terms of the integrity of nature, the dignity of life and the relationship between God and his creation. Most ethical analyses to date have been largely consequentialist in nature; they reveal a dual use dilemma, showing that synbio has potential for great good and great evil, possibly more so than any step humanity has taken before. A deontological analysis may help to resolve this dilemma, by evaluating whether synbio is right or wrong in itself. I also assess whether deontology alone is a sufficient methodological paradigm for the proper evaluation of synbio ethics. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Misconceptions of Synthetic Biology: Lessons from an Interdisciplinary Summer School

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Verseux, Cyprien; G Acevedo-Rocha, Carlos; Chizzolini, Fabio

    2016-01-01

    In 2014, an international group of scholars from various fields analysed the "societal dimensions" of synthetic biology in an interdisciplinary summer school. Here, we report and discuss the biologists' observations on the general perception of synthetic biology by non-biologists who took part...... in this event. Most attendees mainly associated synthetic biology with contributions from the best-known public figures of the field, rarely mentioning other scientists. Media extrapolations of those contributions appeared to have created unrealistic expectations and irrelevant fears that were widely...... disconnected from the current research in synthetic biology. Another observation was that when debating developments in synthetic biology, semantics strongly mattered: depending on the terms used to present an application of synthetic biology, attendees reacted in radically different ways. For example, using...

  4. Synthetic biology: a challenge to mechanical explanations in biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morange, Michel

    2012-01-01

    In their plans to modify organisms, synthetic biologists have contrasted engineering and tinkering. By drawing this contrast between their endeavors and what has happened during the evolution of organisms by natural selection, they underline the novelty of their projects and justify their ambitions. Synthetic biologists are at odds with a long tradition that has considered organisms as "perfect machines." This tradition had already been questioned by Stephen Jay Gould in the 1970s and received a major blow with the comparison made by François Jacob between organisms and the results of "bricolage" (tinkering). These contrasts between engineering and tinkering, synthetic biology and evolution, have no raison d'être. Machines built by humans are increasingly inspired by observations made on organisms. This is not a simple reversal of the previous trend-the mechanical conception of organisms-in which the characteristics of the latter were explained by comparison with human-built machines. Relations between organisms and machines have always been complex and ambiguous.

  5. Bottom-up approach for carbon nanotube interconnects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Jun; Ye Qi; Cassell, Alan; Ng, Hou Tee; Stevens, Ramsey; Han Jie; Meyyappan, M.

    2003-01-01

    We report a bottom-up approach to integrate multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) into multilevel interconnects in silicon integrated-circuit manufacturing. MWNTs are grown vertically from patterned catalyst spots using plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. We demonstrate the capability to grow aligned structures ranging from a single tube to forest-like arrays at desired locations. SiO 2 is deposited to encapsulate each nanotube and the substrate, followed by a mechanical polishing process for planarization. MWNTs retain their integrity and demonstrate electrical properties consistent with their original structure

  6. A Bottom-Up Approach to SUSY Analyses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horn, Claus; /SLAC

    2011-11-11

    This paper proposes a new way to do event generation and analysis in searches for new physics at the LHC. An abstract notation is used to describe the new particles on a level which better corresponds to detector resolution of LHC experiments. In this way the SUSY discovery space can be decomposed into a small number of eigenmodes each with only a few parameters, which allows to investigate the SUSY parameter space in a model-independent way. By focusing on the experimental observables for each process investigated the Bottom-Up Approach allows to systematically study the boarders of the experimental efficiencies and thus to extend the sensitivity for new physics.

  7. Synthetic Biology: Engineering Living Systems from Biophysical Principles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartley, Bryan A; Kim, Kyung; Medley, J Kyle; Sauro, Herbert M

    2017-03-28

    Synthetic biology was founded as a biophysical discipline that sought explanations for the origins of life from chemical and physical first principles. Modern synthetic biology has been reinvented as an engineering discipline to design new organisms as well as to better understand fundamental biological mechanisms. However, success is still largely limited to the laboratory and transformative applications of synthetic biology are still in their infancy. Here, we review six principles of living systems and how they compare and contrast with engineered systems. We cite specific examples from the synthetic biology literature that illustrate these principles and speculate on their implications for further study. To fully realize the promise of synthetic biology, we must be aware of life's unique properties. Copyright © 2017 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Developments in the Tools and Methodologies of Synthetic Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelwick, Richard; MacDonald, James T.; Webb, Alexander J.; Freemont, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology is principally concerned with the rational design and engineering of biologically based parts, devices, or systems. However, biological systems are generally complex and unpredictable, and are therefore, intrinsically difficult to engineer. In order to address these fundamental challenges, synthetic biology is aiming to unify a “body of knowledge” from several foundational scientific fields, within the context of a set of engineering principles. This shift in perspective is enabling synthetic biologists to address complexity, such that robust biological systems can be designed, assembled, and tested as part of a biological design cycle. The design cycle takes a forward-design approach in which a biological system is specified, modeled, analyzed, assembled, and its functionality tested. At each stage of the design cycle, an expanding repertoire of tools is being developed. In this review, we highlight several of these tools in terms of their applications and benefits to the synthetic biology community. PMID:25505788

  9. Developments in the tools and methodologies of synthetic biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard eKelwick

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic biology is principally concerned with the rational design and engineering of biologically based parts, devices or systems. However, biological systems are generally complex and unpredictable and are therefore intrinsically difficult to engineer. In order to address these fundamental challenges, synthetic biology is aiming to unify a ‘body of knowledge’ from several foundational scientific fields, within the context of a set of engineering principles. This shift in perspective is enabling synthetic biologists to address complexity, such that robust biological systems can be designed, assembled and tested as part of a biological design cycle. The design cycle takes a forward-design approach in which a biological system is specified, modeled, analyzed, assembled and its functionality tested. At each stage of the design cycle an expanding repertoire of tools is being developed. In this review we highlight several of these tools in terms of their applications and benefits to the synthetic biology community.

  10. Challenges and opportunities in synthetic biology for chemical engineers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Yunzi; Lee, Jung-Kul; Zhao, Huimin

    2013-11-15

    Synthetic biology provides numerous great opportunities for chemical engineers in the development of new processes for large-scale production of biofuels, value-added chemicals, and protein therapeutics. However, challenges across all scales abound. In particular, the modularization and standardization of the components in a biological system, so-called biological parts, remain the biggest obstacle in synthetic biology. In this perspective, we will discuss the main challenges and opportunities in the rapidly growing synthetic biology field and the important roles that chemical engineers can play in its advancement.

  11. Challenges and opportunities in synthetic biology for chemical engineers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Yunzi; Lee, Jung-Kul; Zhao, Huimin

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic biology provides numerous great opportunities for chemical engineers in the development of new processes for large-scale production of biofuels, value-added chemicals, and protein therapeutics. However, challenges across all scales abound. In particular, the modularization and standardization of the components in a biological system, so-called biological parts, remain the biggest obstacle in synthetic biology. In this perspective, we will discuss the main challenges and opportunities in the rapidly growing synthetic biology field and the important roles that chemical engineers can play in its advancement. PMID:24222925

  12. ICT-ENABLED BOTTOM-UP ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burak Pak

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper aims at discussing the potentials of bottom-up design practices in relation to the latest developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT by making an in-depth review of inaugural cases. The first part of the study involves a literature study and the elaboration of basic strategies from the case study. The second part reframes the existing ICT tools and strategies and elaborates on their potentials to support the modes of participation performed in these cases. As a result, by distilling the created knowledge, the study reveals the potentials of novel modes of ICT-enabled design participation which exploit a set of collective action tools to support sustainable ways of self-organization and bottom-up design. The final part explains the relevance of these with solid examples and presents a hypothetical case for future implementation. The paper concludes with a brief reflection on the implications of the findings for the future of architectural design education.

  13. Scientific Opinion on Risk Assessment of Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epstein, Michelle M; Vermeire, Theo

    2016-08-01

    In 2013, three Scientific Committees of the European Commission (EC) drafted Scientific Opinions on synthetic biology that provide an operational definition and address risk assessment methodology, safety aspects, environmental risks, knowledge gaps, and research priorities. These Opinions contribute to the international discussions on the risk governance for synthetic biology developments. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Ethical perception of synthetic biology | Amin | African Journal of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Modern biotechnology has moved forward by the introduction of the synthetic biology technique. By using synthetic biology, it is possible to construct mice genes in the laboratory and replace the need for the genes to be split out from the original animal. The purpose of this paper is to examine how the public in the Klang ...

  15. CRISPR and the Rebirth of Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidari, Raheleh; Shaw, David Martin; Elger, Bernice Simone

    2017-04-01

    Emergence of novel genome engineering technologies such as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) has refocused attention on unresolved ethical complications of synthetic biology. Biosecurity concerns, deontological issues and human right aspects of genome editing have been the subject of in-depth debate; however, a lack of transparent regulatory guidelines, outdated governance codes, inefficient time-consuming clinical trial pathways and frequent misunderstanding of the scientific potential of cutting-edge technologies have created substantial obstacles to translational research in this area. While a precautionary principle should be applied at all stages of genome engineering research, the stigma of germline editing, synthesis of new life forms and unrealistic presentation of current technologies should not arrest the transition of new therapeutic, diagnostic or preventive tools from research to clinic. We provide a brief review on the present regulation of CRISPR and discuss the translational aspect of genome engineering research and patient autonomy with respect to the "right to try" potential novel non-germline gene therapies.

  16. From noise to synthetic nucleoli: can synthetic biology achieve new insights?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciechonska, Marta; Grob, Alice; Isalan, Mark

    2016-04-18

    Synthetic biology aims to re-organise and control biological components to make functional devices. Along the way, the iterative process of designing and testing gene circuits has the potential to yield many insights into the functioning of the underlying chassis of cells. Thus, synthetic biology is converging with disciplines such as systems biology and even classical cell biology, to give a new level of predictability to gene expression, cell metabolism and cellular signalling networks. This review gives an overview of the contributions that synthetic biology has made in understanding gene expression, in terms of cell heterogeneity (noise), the coupling of growth and energy usage to expression, and spatiotemporal considerations. We mainly compare progress in bacterial and mammalian systems, which have some of the most-developed engineering frameworks. Overall, one view of synthetic biology can be neatly summarised as "creating in order to understand."

  17. Streptomyces venezuelae TX-TL - a next generation cell-free synthetic biology tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Simon J; Lai, Hung-En; Needham, Hannah; Polizzi, Karen M; Freemont, Paul S

    2017-04-01

    Streptomyces venezuelae is a promising chassis in synthetic biology for fine chemical and secondary metabolite pathway engineering. The potential of S. venezuelae could be further realized by expanding its capability with the introduction of its own in vitro transcription-translation (TX-TL) system. TX-TL is a fast and expanding technology for bottom-up design of complex gene expression tools, biosensors and protein manufacturing. Herein, we introduce a S. venezuelae TX-TL platform by reporting a streamlined protocol for cell-extract preparation, demonstrating high-yield synthesis of a codon-optimized sfGFP reporter and the prototyping of a synthetic tetracycline-inducible promoter in S. venezuelae TX-TL based on the tetO-TetR repressor system. The aim of this system is to provide a host for the homologous production of exotic enzymes from Actinobacteria secondary metabolism in vitro. As an example, the authors demonstrate the soluble synthesis of a selection of enzymes (12-70 kDa) from the Streptomyces rimosus oxytetracycline pathway. © 2017 The Authors. Biotechnology Journal published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. The Next Generation of Synthetic Biology Chassis: Moving Synthetic Biology from the Laboratory to the Field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Bryn L

    2016-12-16

    Escherichia coli (E. coli) has played a pivotal role in the development of genetics and molecular biology as scientific fields. It is therefore not surprising that synthetic biology (SB) was built upon E. coli and continues to dominate the field. However, scientific capabilities have advanced from simple gene mutations to the insertion of rationally designed, complex synthetic circuits and creation of entirely synthetic genomes. The point is rapidly approaching where E. coli is no longer an adequate host for the increasingly sophisticated genetic designs of SB. It is time to develop the next generation of SB chassis; robust organisms that can provide the advanced physiology novel synthetic circuits will require to move SB from the laboratory into fieldable technologies. This can be accomplished by developing chassis-specific genetic toolkits that are as extensive as those for E. coli. However, the holy grail of SB would be the development of a universal toolkit that can be ported into any chassis. This viewpoint article underscores the need for new bacterial chassis, as well as discusses some of the important considerations in their selection. It also highlights a few examples of robust, tractable bacterial species that can meet the demands of tomorrow's state-of-the-art in SB. Significant advances have been made in the first 15 years since this field has emerged. However, the advances over the next 15 years will occur not in laboratory organisms, but in fieldable species where the potential of SB can be fully realized in game changing technology.

  19. Making the results of bottom-up energy savings comparable

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moser Simon

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The Energy Service Directive (ESD has pushed forward the issue of energy savings calculations without clarifying the methodological basis. Savings achieved in the Member States are calculated with rather non-transparent and hardly comparable Bottom-up (BU methods. This paper develops the idea of parallel evaluation tracks separating the Member States’ issue of ESD verification and comparable savings calculations. Comparability is ensured by developing a standardised BU calculation kernel for different energy efficiency improvement (EEI actions which simultaneously depicts the different calculation options in a structured way (e.g. baseline definition, system boundaries, double counting. Due to the heterogeneity of BU calculations the approach requires a central database where Member States feed in input data on BU actions according to a predefined structure. The paper demonstrates the proposed approach including a concrete example of application.

  20. Bottom up design of nanoparticles for anti-cancer diapeutics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Needham, David; Arslanagic, Amina; Glud, Kasper

    2016-01-01

    for EPR uptake and tumor detection. We show that, while free-drug cannot be optimally administered in vivo, a nanoparticle formulation of orlistat could in principle represent a stable parenteral delivery system. The article ends with a brief discussion of what we see as the way forward in Individualized...... the feasibility of an idea: could we design, make, develop, and test the concept for treating metastatic cancer by, "Putting the Drug in the Cancer's Food? "Limit size" is the size of the cancer's food, ? the common Low Density Lipoprotein, (LDL) ~20 nm diameter. In this contribution to Pieter's LTAA we focus...... on the "bottom" (nucleation) and the "up" (growth) of "bottom-up design" as it applies to homogeneous nucleation of especially, hydrophobic drugs and the 8 physico-chemical stages and associated parameters that determine the initial size, and any subsequent coarsening, of a nanoparticle suspension. We show that...

  1. [Research progress of mammalian synthetic biology in biomedical field].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Linfeng; Yin, Jianli; Wang, Meiyan; Ye, Haifeng

    2017-03-25

    Although still in its infant stage, synthetic biology has achieved remarkable development and progress during the past decade. Synthetic biology applies engineering principles to design and construct gene circuits uploaded into living cells or organisms to perform novel or improved functions, and it has been widely used in many fields. In this review, we describe the recent advances of mammalian synthetic biology for the treatment of diseases. We introduce common tools and design principles of synthetic gene circuits, and then we demonstrate open-loop gene circuits induced by different trigger molecules used in disease diagnosis and close-loop gene circuits used for biomedical applications. Finally, we discuss the perspectives and potential challenges of synthetic biology for clinical applications.

  2. Biosynthesis of therapeutic natural products using synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awan, Ali R; Shaw, William M; Ellis, Tom

    2016-10-01

    Natural products are a group of bioactive structurally diverse chemicals produced by microorganisms and plants. These molecules and their derivatives have contributed to over a third of the therapeutic drugs produced in the last century. However, over the last few decades traditional drug discovery pipelines from natural products have become far less productive and far more expensive. One recent development with promise to combat this trend is the application of synthetic biology to therapeutic natural product biosynthesis. Synthetic biology is a young discipline with roots in systems biology, genetic engineering, and metabolic engineering. In this review, we discuss the use of synthetic biology to engineer improved yields of existing therapeutic natural products. We further describe the use of synthetic biology to combine and express natural product biosynthetic genes in unprecedented ways, and how this holds promise for opening up completely new avenues for drug discovery and production. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Recent applications of synthetic biology tools for yeast metabolic engineering

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Michael Krogh; Keasling, Jay

    2015-01-01

    to engineer microbial chemical factories has steadily decreased, improvement is still needed. Through the development of synthetic biology tools for key microbial hosts, it should be possible to further decrease the development times and improve the reliability of the resulting microorganism. Together...... with continuous decreases in price and improvements in DNA synthesis, assembly and sequencing, synthetic biology tools will rationalize time-consuming strain engineering, improve control of metabolic fluxes, and diversify screening assays for cellular metabolism. This review outlines some recently developed...... synthetic biology tools and their application to improve production of chemicals and fuels in yeast. Finally, we provide a perspective for the challenges that lie ahead....

  4. Robust synthetic biology design: stochastic game theory approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Chang, Chia-Hung; Lee, Hsiao-Ching

    2009-07-15

    Synthetic biology is to engineer artificial biological systems to investigate natural biological phenomena and for a variety of applications. However, the development of synthetic gene networks is still difficult and most newly created gene networks are non-functioning due to uncertain initial conditions and disturbances of extra-cellular environments on the host cell. At present, how to design a robust synthetic gene network to work properly under these uncertain factors is the most important topic of synthetic biology. A robust regulation design is proposed for a stochastic synthetic gene network to achieve the prescribed steady states under these uncertain factors from the minimax regulation perspective. This minimax regulation design problem can be transformed to an equivalent stochastic game problem. Since it is not easy to solve the robust regulation design problem of synthetic gene networks by non-linear stochastic game method directly, the Takagi-Sugeno (T-S) fuzzy model is proposed to approximate the non-linear synthetic gene network via the linear matrix inequality (LMI) technique through the Robust Control Toolbox in Matlab. Finally, an in silico example is given to illustrate the design procedure and to confirm the efficiency and efficacy of the proposed robust gene design method. http://www.ee.nthu.edu.tw/bschen/SyntheticBioDesign_supplement.pdf.

  5. Misconceptions of Synthetic Biology: Lessons from an Interdisciplinary Summer School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verseux, Cyprien; Acevedo-Rocha, Carlos G.; Chizzolini, Fabio; Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2016-01-01

    In 2014, an international group of scholars from various fields analysed the "societal dimensions" of synthetic biology in an interdisciplinary summer school. Here, we report and discuss the biologists' observations on the general perception of synthetic biology by non-biologists who took part in this event. Most attendees mainly associated synthetic biology with contributions from the best-known public figures of the field, rarely mentioning other scientists. Media extrapolations of those contributions appeared to have created unrealistic expectations and irrelevant fears that were widely disconnected from the current research in synthetic biology. Another observation was that when debating developments in synthetic biology, semantics strongly mattered: depending on the terms used to present an application of synthetic biology, attendees reacted in radically different ways. For example, using the term "GMOs" (genetically modified organisms) rather than the term "genetic engineering" led to very different reactions. Stimulating debates also happened with participants having unanticipated points of view, for instance biocentrist ethicists who argued that engineered microbes should not be used for human purposes. Another communication challenge emerged from the connotations and inaccuracies surrounding the word "life", which impaired constructive debates, thus leading to misconceptions about the abilities of scientists to engineer or even create living organisms. Finally, it appeared that synthetic biologists tend to overestimate the knowledge of non-biologists, further affecting communication. The motivation and ability of synthetic biologists to communicate their work outside their research field needs to be fostered, notably towards policymakers who need a more accurate and technical understanding of the field to make informed decisions. Interdisciplinary events gathering scholars working in and around synthetic biology are an effective tool in addressing those

  6. A bottom-up approach to the strong CP problem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz-Cruz, J. L.; Hollik, W. G.; Saldana-Salazar, U. J.

    2018-05-01

    The strong CP problem is one of many puzzles in the theoretical description of elementary particle physics that still lacks an explanation. While top-down solutions to that problem usually comprise new symmetries or fields or both, we want to present a rather bottom-up perspective. The main problem seems to be how to achieve small CP violation in the strong interactions despite the large CP violation in weak interactions. In this paper, we show that with minimal assumptions on the structure of mass (Yukawa) matrices, they do not contribute to the strong CP problem and thus we can provide a pathway to a solution of the strong CP problem within the structures of the Standard Model and no extension at the electroweak scale is needed. However, to address the flavor puzzle, models based on minimal SU(3) flavor groups leading to the proposed flavor matrices are favored. Though we refrain from an explicit UV completion of the Standard Model, we provide a simple requirement for such models not to show a strong CP problem by construction.

  7. Quantum simulation from the bottom up: the case of rebits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enshan Koh, Dax; Yuezhen Niu, Murphy; Yoder, Theodore J.

    2018-05-01

    Typically, quantum mechanics is thought of as a linear theory with unitary evolution governed by the Schrödinger equation. While this is technically true and useful for a physicist, with regards to computation it is an unfortunately narrow point of view. Just as a classical computer can simulate highly nonlinear functions of classical states, so too can the more general quantum computer simulate nonlinear evolutions of quantum states. We detail one particular simulation of nonlinearity on a quantum computer, showing how the entire class of -unitary evolutions (on n qubits) can be simulated using a unitary, real-amplitude quantum computer (consisting of n  +  1 qubits in total). These operators can be represented as the sum of a linear and antilinear operator, and add an intriguing new set of nonlinear quantum gates to the toolbox of the quantum algorithm designer. Furthermore, a subgroup of these nonlinear evolutions, called the -Cliffords, can be efficiently classically simulated, by making use of the fact that Clifford operators can simulate non-Clifford (in fact, non-linear) operators. This perspective of using the physical operators that we have to simulate non-physical ones that we do not is what we call bottom-up simulation, and we give some examples of its broader implications.

  8. A standard-enabled workflow for synthetic biology

    KAUST Repository

    Myers, Chris J.; Beal, Jacob; Gorochowski, Thomas E.; Kuwahara, Hiroyuki; Madsen, Curtis; McLaughlin, James Alastair; Mısırlı, Gö ksel; Nguyen, Tramy; Oberortner, Ernst; Samineni, Meher; Wipat, Anil; Zhang, Michael; Zundel, Zach

    2017-01-01

    A synthetic biology workflow is composed of data repositories that provide information about genetic parts, sequence-level design tools to compose these parts into circuits, visualization tools to depict these designs, genetic design tools to select

  9. Synthetic Biology and the Argument from Continuity with Established Technologies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    ) that it ignores the distinction between what reasons we have and what we should do all things considered. I then illustrate the Continuity Argument and its problems in the case where human manipulation of organisms’ genetic makeup is a suggested reason for finding synthetic biology problematic. Finally, I suggest......Defenders of synthetic biology commonly make reference to the fact that established technologies, such as domestication or selective breeding, share some of the features of synthetic biology that critics argue make it ethically problematic. In this chapter, I reconstruct such references...... as instances of a type of argument which I dub the Continuity Argument. Roughly, the Continuity Argument seeks to show that if we are not disposed to reject the established technology, then features that this technology share with synthetic biology cannot provide reasons to find it ethically problematic. I...

  10. Synthetic Biology with Cytochromes P450 Using Photosynthetic Chassis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gnanasekaran, Thiyagarajan

    , this modern field of synthetic biology is completely dependent on the nature of the chassis - the host organisms - for its endeavor. Of all the chassis, photosynthetic organisms such as cyanobacteria and plants gains special attention due to the remarkable amount of sunlight that is striking the Earth...... in cyanobacteria and plant chloroplasts for the purpose of light driven synthesis of bioactive compounds by using synthetic biology approaches. As model pathways, in this thesis, the pathway involved in the synthesis of the cyanogenic glucoside dhurrin from Sorghum bicolor, and the pathway involved......Synthetic biology is a rapidly growing engineering discipline in biology. It aims at building novel biological systems that do not exist in nature by selecting the interchangeable standardized biological parts that are already available in the nature, and assembling them in a specific order. Today...

  11. Safety, security, and serving the public interest in synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gronvall, Gigi Kwik

    2018-03-21

    This article describes what may be done by scientists and by the biotechnology industry, generally, to address the safety and security challenges in synthetic biology. Given the technical expertise requirements for developing sound policy options, as well as the importance of these issues to the future of the industry, scientists who work in synthetic biology should be informed about these challenges and get involved in shaping policies relevant to the field.

  12. The Role of Synthetic Biology in NASA's Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2016-01-01

    The time has come to for NASA to exploit synthetic biology in pursuit of its missions, including aeronautics, earth science, astrobiology and most notably, human exploration. Conversely, NASA advances the fundamental technology of synthetic biology as no one else can because of its unique expertise in the origin of life and life in extreme environments, including the potential for alternate life forms. This enables unique, creative "game changing" advances. NASA's requirement for minimizing upmass in flight will also drive the field toward miniaturization and automation. These drivers will greatly increase the utility of synthetic biology solutions for military, health in remote areas and commercial purposes. To this end, we have begun a program at NASA to explore the use of synthetic biology in NASA's missions, particular space exploration. As part of this program, we began hosting an iGEM team of undergraduates drawn from Brown and Stanford Universities to conduct synthetic biology research at NASA Ames Research Center. The 2011 team (http://2011.igem.org/Team:Brown-Stanford) produced an award-winning project on using synthetic biology as a basis for a human Mars settlement.

  13. Chromatin regulation at the frontier of synthetic biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keung, Albert J.; Joung, J. Keith; Khalil, Ahmad S.; Collins, James J.

    2016-01-01

    As synthetic biology approaches are extended to diverse applications throughout medicine, biotechnology and basic biological research, there is an increasing need to engineer yeast, plant and mammalian cells. Eukaryotic genomes are regulated by the diverse biochemical and biophysical states of chromatin, which brings distinct challenges, as well as opportunities, over applications in bacteria. Recent synthetic approaches, including `epigenome editing', have allowed the direct and functional dissection of many aspects of physiological chromatin regulation. These studies lay the foundation for biomedical and biotechnological engineering applications that could take advantage of the unique combinatorial and spatiotemporal layers of chromatin regulation to create synthetic systems of unprecedented sophistication. PMID:25668787

  14. Predicting Translation Initiation Rates for Designing Synthetic Biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reeve, Benjamin; Hargest, Thomas; Gilbert, Charlie; Ellis, Tom

    2014-01-01

    In synthetic biology, precise control over protein expression is required in order to construct functional biological systems. A core principle of the synthetic biology approach is a model-guided design and based on the biological understanding of the process, models of prokaryotic protein production have been described. Translation initiation rate is a rate-limiting step in protein production from mRNA and is dependent on the sequence of the 5′-untranslated region and the start of the coding sequence. Translation rate calculators are programs that estimate protein translation rates based on the sequence of these regions of an mRNA, and as protein expression is proportional to the rate of translation initiation, such calculators have been shown to give good approximations of protein expression levels. In this review, three currently available translation rate calculators developed for synthetic biology are considered, with limitations and possible future progress discussed.

  15. Exploring Synthetic and Systems Biology at the University of Edinburgh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Liz; Rosser, Susan; Elfick, Alistair

    2016-06-15

    The Centre for Synthetic and Systems Biology ('SynthSys') was originally established in 2007 as the Centre for Integrative Systems Biology, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Today, SynthSys embraces an extensive multidisciplinary community of more than 200 researchers from across the University with a common interest in synthetic and systems biology. Our research is broad and deep, addressing a diversity of scientific questions, with wide ranging impact. We bring together the power of synthetic biology and systems approaches to focus on three core thematic areas: industrial biotechnology, agriculture and the environment, and medicine and healthcare. In October 2015, we opened a newly refurbished building as a physical hub for our new U.K. Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology funded by the BBSRC/EPSRC/MRC as part of the U.K. Research Councils' Synthetic Biology for Growth programme. © 2016 The Author(s). published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  16. Yeast synthetic biology toolbox and applications for biofuel production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Ching-Sung; Kwak, Suryang; Turner, Timothy L; Jin, Yong-Su

    2015-02-01

    Yeasts are efficient biofuel producers with numerous advantages outcompeting bacterial counterparts. While most synthetic biology tools have been developed and customized for bacteria especially for Escherichia coli, yeast synthetic biological tools have been exploited for improving yeast to produce fuels and chemicals from renewable biomass. Here we review the current status of synthetic biological tools and their applications for biofuel production, focusing on the model strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae We describe assembly techniques that have been developed for constructing genes, pathways, and genomes in yeast. Moreover, we discuss synthetic parts for allowing precise control of gene expression at both transcriptional and translational levels. Applications of these synthetic biological approaches have led to identification of effective gene targets that are responsible for desirable traits, such as cellulosic sugar utilization, advanced biofuel production, and enhanced tolerance against toxic products for biofuel production from renewable biomass. Although an array of synthetic biology tools and devices are available, we observed some gaps existing in tool development to achieve industrial utilization. Looking forward, future tool development should focus on industrial cultivation conditions utilizing industrial strains. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permission@oup.com.

  17. Using synthetic biology to make cells tomorrow's test tubes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Hernan G; Brewster, Robert C; Phillips, Rob

    2016-04-18

    The main tenet of physical biology is that biological phenomena can be subject to the same quantitative and predictive understanding that physics has afforded in the context of inanimate matter. However, the inherent complexity of many of these biological processes often leads to the derivation of complex theoretical descriptions containing a plethora of unknown parameters. Such complex descriptions pose a conceptual challenge to the establishment of a solid basis for predictive biology. In this article, we present various exciting examples of how synthetic biology can be used to simplify biological systems and distill these phenomena down to their essential features as a means to enable their theoretical description. Here, synthetic biology goes beyond previous efforts to engineer nature and becomes a tool to bend nature to understand it. We discuss various recent and classic experiments featuring applications of this synthetic approach to the elucidation of problems ranging from bacteriophage infection, to transcriptional regulation in bacteria and in developing embryos, to evolution. In all of these examples, synthetic biology provides the opportunity to turn cells into the equivalent of a test tube, where biological phenomena can be reconstituted and our theoretical understanding put to test with the same ease that these same phenomena can be studied in the in vitro setting.

  18. The PLOS ONE Synthetic Biology Collection: Six Years and Counting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peccoud, Jean; Isalan, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Since it was launched in 2006, PLOS ONE has published over fifty articles illustrating the many facets of the emerging field of synthetic biology. This article reviews these publications by organizing them into broad categories focused on DNA synthesis and assembly techniques, the development of libraries of biological parts, the use of synthetic biology in protein engineering applications, and the engineering of gene regulatory networks and metabolic pathways. Finally, we review articles that describe enabling technologies such as software and modeling, along with new instrumentation. In order to increase the visibility of this body of work, the papers have been assembled into the PLOS ONE Synthetic Biology Collection (www.ploscollections.org/synbio). Many of the innovative features of the PLOS ONE web site will help make this collection a resource that will support a lively dialogue between readers and authors of PLOS ONE synthetic biology papers. The content of the collection will be updated periodically by including relevant articles as they are published by the journal. Thus, we hope that this collection will continue to meet the publishing needs of the synthetic biology community. PMID:22916228

  19. Synthetic Biology: Knowledge Accessed by Everyone (Open Sources)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez Reyes, Patricia Margarita

    2016-01-01

    Using the principles of biology, along with engineering and with the help of computer, scientists manage to copy. DNA sequences from nature and use them to create new organisms. DNA is created through engineering and computer science managing to create life inside a laboratory. We cannot dismiss the role that synthetic biology could lead in…

  20. A standard-enabled workflow for synthetic biology

    KAUST Repository

    Myers, Chris J.

    2017-06-15

    A synthetic biology workflow is composed of data repositories that provide information about genetic parts, sequence-level design tools to compose these parts into circuits, visualization tools to depict these designs, genetic design tools to select parts to create systems, and modeling and simulation tools to evaluate alternative design choices. Data standards enable the ready exchange of information within such a workflow, allowing repositories and tools to be connected from a diversity of sources. The present paper describes one such workflow that utilizes, among others, the Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) to describe genetic designs, the Systems Biology Markup Language to model these designs, and SBOL Visual to visualize these designs. We describe how a standard-enabled workflow can be used to produce types of design information, including multiple repositories and software tools exchanging information using a variety of data standards. Recently, the ACS Synthetic Biology journal has recommended the use of SBOL in their publications.

  1. Cell-free synthetic biology for environmental sensing and remediation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karig, David K

    2017-06-01

    The fields of biosensing and bioremediation leverage the phenomenal array of sensing and metabolic capabilities offered by natural microbes. Synthetic biology provides tools for transforming these fields through complex integration of natural and novel biological components to achieve sophisticated sensing, regulation, and metabolic function. However, the majority of synthetic biology efforts are conducted in living cells, and concerns over releasing genetically modified organisms constitute a key barrier to environmental applications. Cell-free protein expression systems offer a path towards leveraging synthetic biology, while preventing the spread of engineered organisms in nature. Recent efforts in the areas of cell-free approaches for sensing, regulation, and metabolic pathway implementation, as well as for preserving and deploying cell-free expression components, embody key steps towards realizing the potential of cell-free systems for environmental sensing and remediation. Copyright © 2017 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  2. Aspects of the political economy of development and synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellhausen, Rachel; Mukunda, Gautam

    2009-12-01

    What implications might synthetic biology's potential as a wholly new method of production have for the world economy, particularly developing countries? Theories of political economy predict that synthetic biology can shift terms of trade and displace producers in developing countries. Governments, however, retain the ability to mitigate negative changes through social safety nets and to foster adaptation to some changes through research, education and investment. We consider the effects the synthetic production of otherwise naturally derived molecules are likely to have on trade and investment, particularly in developing countries. Both rubber in Malaysia and indigo dyes in India provide historical examples of natural molecules that faced market dislocations from synthetic competitors. Natural rubber was able to maintain significant market share, while natural indigo vanished from world markets. These cases demonstrate the two extremes of the impact synthetic biology might have on naturally derived products. If developing countries can cushion the pain of technological changes by providing producers support as they retool or exit, the harmful effects of synthetic biology can be mitigated while its benefits can still be captured.

  3. Industrial systems biology and its impact on synthetic biology of yeast cell factories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Eugene; Krivoruchko, Anastasia; Nielsen, Jens

    2016-06-01

    Engineering industrial cell factories to effectively yield a desired product while dealing with industrially relevant stresses is usually the most challenging step in the development of industrial production of chemicals using microbial fermentation processes. Using synthetic biology tools, microbial cell factories such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be engineered to express synthetic pathways for the production of fuels, biopharmaceuticals, fragrances, and food flavors. However, directing fluxes through these synthetic pathways towards the desired product can be demanding due to complex regulation or poor gene expression. Systems biology, which applies computational tools and mathematical modeling to understand complex biological networks, can be used to guide synthetic biology design. Here, we present our perspective on how systems biology can impact synthetic biology towards the goal of developing improved yeast cell factories. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2016;113: 1164-1170. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Industrial systems biology and its impact on synthetic biology of yeast cell factories

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fletcher, Eugene; Krivoruchko, Anastasia; Nielsen, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Engineering industrial cell factories to effectively yield a desired product while dealing with industrially relevant stresses is usually the most challenging step in the development of industrial production of chemicals using microbial fermentation processes. Using synthetic biology tools......, microbial cell factories such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be engineered to express synthetic pathways for the production of fuels, biopharmaceuticals, fragrances, and food flavors. However, directing fluxes through these synthetic pathways towards the desired product can be demanding due to complex...... regulation or poor gene expression. Systems biology, which applies computational tools and mathematical modeling to understand complex biological networks, can be used to guide synthetic biology design. Here, we present our perspective on how systems biology can impact synthetic biology towards the goal...

  5. Synthetic biology and biosecurity: challenging the ‘myths’

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine eJefferson

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic biology, a field that aims to ‘make biology easier to engineer’, is routinely described as leading to an increase in the ‘dual use’ threat, i.e. the potential for the same piece of scientific research to be ‘used’ for peaceful purposes or ‘misused’ for warfare or terrorism. Fears have been expressed that the ‘de-skilling’ of biology, combined with online access to the genomic DNA sequences of pathogenic organisms and the reduction in price for DNA synthesis, will make biology increasingly accessible to people operating outside well-equipped professional research laboratories, including people with malevolent intentions. The emergence of DIY biology communities and of the student iGEM competition has come to epitomize this supposed trend towards greater ease of access and the associated potential threat from rogue actors. In this article, we identify 5 ‘myths’ that permeate discussions about synthetic biology and biosecurity, and argue that they embody misleading assumptions about both synthetic biology and bioterrorism. We demonstrate how these myths are challenged by more realistic understandings of the scientific research currently being conducted in both professional and DIY laboratories, and by an analysis of historical cases of bioterrorism. We show that the importance of tacit knowledge is commonly overlooked in the dominant narrative: the focus is on access to biological materials and digital information, rather than on human practices and institutional dimensions. As a result, public discourse on synthetic biology and biosecurity tends to portray speculative scenarios about the future as realities in the present or the near future, when this is not warranted. We suggest that these ‘myths’ play an important role in defining synthetic biology as a ‘promissory’ field of research and as an ‘emerging technology’ in need of governance.

  6. Synthetic Biology and Biosecurity: Challenging the “Myths”

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jefferson, Catherine; Lentzos, Filippa; Marris, Claire

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology, a field that aims to “make biology easier to engineer,” is routinely described as leading to an increase in the “dual-use” threat, i.e., the potential for the same scientific research to be “used” for peaceful purposes or “misused” for warfare or terrorism. Fears have been expressed that the “de-skilling” of biology, combined with online access to the genomic DNA sequences of pathogenic organisms and the reduction in price for DNA synthesis, will make biology increasingly accessible to people operating outside well-equipped professional research laboratories, including people with malevolent intentions. The emergence of do-it-yourself (DIY) biology communities and of the student iGEM competition has come to epitomize this supposed trend toward greater ease of access and the associated potential threat from rogue actors. In this article, we identify five “myths” that permeate discussions about synthetic biology and biosecurity, and argue that they embody misleading assumptions about both synthetic biology and bioterrorism. We demonstrate how these myths are challenged by more realistic understandings of the scientific research currently being conducted in both professional and DIY laboratories, and by an analysis of historical cases of bioterrorism. We show that the importance of tacit knowledge is commonly overlooked in the dominant narrative: the focus is on access to biological materials and digital information, rather than on human practices and institutional dimensions. As a result, public discourse on synthetic biology and biosecurity tends to portray speculative scenarios about the future as realities in the present or the near future, when this is not warranted. We suggest that these “myths” play an important role in defining synthetic biology as a “promissory” field of research and as an “emerging technology” in need of governance. PMID:25191649

  7. Synthetic Biology: A Unifying View and Review Using Analog Circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teo, Jonathan J Y; Woo, Sung Sik; Sarpeshkar, Rahul

    2015-08-01

    We review the field of synthetic biology from an analog circuits and analog computation perspective, focusing on circuits that have been built in living cells. This perspective is well suited to pictorially, symbolically, and quantitatively representing the nonlinear, dynamic, and stochastic (noisy) ordinary and partial differential equations that rigorously describe the molecular circuits of synthetic biology. This perspective enables us to construct a canonical analog circuit schematic that helps unify and review the operation of many fundamental circuits that have been built in synthetic biology at the DNA, RNA, protein, and small-molecule levels over nearly two decades. We review 17 circuits in the literature as particular examples of feedforward and feedback analog circuits that arise from special topological cases of the canonical analog circuit schematic. Digital circuit operation of these circuits represents a special case of saturated analog circuit behavior and is automatically incorporated as well. Many issues that have prevented synthetic biology from scaling are naturally represented in analog circuit schematics. Furthermore, the deep similarity between the Boltzmann thermodynamic equations that describe noisy electronic current flow in subthreshold transistors and noisy molecular flux in biochemical reactions has helped map analog circuit motifs in electronics to analog circuit motifs in cells and vice versa via a `cytomorphic' approach. Thus, a body of knowledge in analog electronic circuit design, analysis, simulation, and implementation may also be useful in the robust and efficient design of molecular circuits in synthetic biology, helping it to scale to more complex circuits in the future.

  8. Synthetic Biology of Cyanobacteria: Unique Challenges and Opportunities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bertram M Berla

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Photosynthetic organisms, and especially cyanobacteria, hold great promise as sources of renewably-produced fuels, bulk and specialty chemicals, and nutritional products. Synthetic biology tools can help unlock cyanobacteria’s potential for these functions, but unfortunately tool development for these organisms has lagged behind that for S. cerevisiae and E. coli. While these organisms may in many cases be more difficult to work with as ‘chassis’ strains for synthetic biology than certain heterotrophs, the unique advantages of autotrophs in biotechnology applications as well as the scientific importance of improved understanding of photosynthesis warrant the development of these systems into something akin to a ‘green E. coli’. In this review, we highlight unique challenges and opportunities for development of synthetic biology approaches in cyanobacteria. We review classical and recently developed methods for constructing targeted mutants in various cyanobacterial strains, and offer perspective on what genetic tools might most greatly expand the ability to engineer new functions in such strains. Similarly, we review what genetic parts are most needed for the development of cyanobacterial synthetic biology. Finally, we highlight recent methods to construct genome-scale models of cyanobacterial metabolism and to use those models to measure properties of autotrophic metabolism. Throughout this paper, we discuss some of the unique challenges of a diurnal, autotrophic lifestyle along with how the development of synthetic biology and biotechnology in cyanobacteria must fit within those constraints.

  9. Varieties of noise: analogical reasoning in synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knuuttila, Tarja; Loettgers, Andrea

    2014-12-01

    The picture of synthetic biology as a kind of engineering science has largely created the public understanding of this novel field, covering both its promises and risks. In this paper, we will argue that the actual situation is more nuanced and complex. Synthetic biology is a highly interdisciplinary field of research located at the interface of physics, chemistry, biology, and computational science. All of these fields provide concepts, metaphors, mathematical tools, and models, which are typically utilized by synthetic biologists by drawing analogies between the different fields of inquiry. We will study analogical reasoning in synthetic biology through the emergence of the functional meaning of noise, which marks an important shift in how engineering concepts are employed in this field. The notion of noise serves also to highlight the differences between the two branches of synthetic biology: the basic science-oriented branch and the engineering-oriented branch, which differ from each other in the way they draw analogies to various other fields of study. Moreover, we show that fixing the mapping between a source domain and the target domain seems not to be the goal of analogical reasoning in actual scientific practice.

  10. Behavioral Economics and the Public Acceptance of Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Adam

    2018-01-01

    Different applications of synthetic biology are alike in that their possible negative consequences are highly uncertain, potentially catastrophic, and perhaps irreversible; therefore, they are also alike in that public attitudes about them are fertile ground for behavioral economic phenomena. Findings from behavioral economics suggest that people may not respond to such applications according to the normal rules of economic evaluation, by which the value of an outcome is multiplied by the mathematical probability that the outcome will occur. Possibly, then, synthetic biology applications challenge the normative postulates of the standard approach, too. I want to first consider how some of the phenomena described by behavioral economists-and behavioral scientists more broadly-might affect people's perceptions of the uncertainties associated with synthetic biology. My analysis will be far from complete, however, because behavioral economics is essentially the study of human behavior, and thus its reach is potentially vast and its development longstanding and ongoing. Nonetheless, I hope to give an indicative perspective on how some aspects of behavioral economics might affect the assessment and perceived acceptability of synthetic biology. I will then consider the issue of agency. Should policy-makers respect people's reactions to synthetic biology when those reactions are known to be driven by behavioral economic phenomena rather than following the normative postulates of rational choice theory? Or should policy-makers dismiss these reactions as inherently biased? I will argue that the normative force of these human reactions (probably) depends on phenomenon and context. © 2018 The Hastings Center.

  11. Cell-free synthetic biology for in vitro prototype engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Simon J; MacDonald, James T; Freemont, Paul S

    2017-06-15

    Cell-free transcription-translation is an expanding field in synthetic biology as a rapid prototyping platform for blueprinting the design of synthetic biological devices. Exemplar efforts include translation of prototype designs into medical test kits for on-site identification of viruses (Zika and Ebola), while gene circuit cascades can be tested, debugged and re-designed within rapid turnover times. Coupled with mathematical modelling, this discipline lends itself towards the precision engineering of new synthetic life. The next stages of cell-free look set to unlock new microbial hosts that remain slow to engineer and unsuited to rapid iterative design cycles. It is hoped that the development of such systems will provide new tools to aid the transition from cell-free prototype designs to functioning synthetic genetic circuits and engineered natural product pathways in living cells. © 2017 The Author(s).

  12. Synthetic biology approaches: Towards sustainable exploitation of marine bioactive molecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seghal Kiran, G; Ramasamy, Pasiyappazham; Sekar, Sivasankari; Ramu, Meenatchi; Hassan, Saqib; Ninawe, A S; Selvin, Joseph

    2018-06-01

    The discovery of genes responsible for the production of bioactive metabolites via metabolic pathways combined with the advances in synthetic biology tools, has allowed the establishment of numerous microbial cell factories, for instance the yeast cell factories, for the manufacture of highly useful metabolites from renewable biomass. Genome mining and metagenomics are two platforms provide base-line data for reconstruction of genomes and metabolomes which is based in the development of synthetic/semi-synthetic genomes for marine natural products discovery. Engineered biofilms are being innovated on synthetic biology platform using genetic circuits and cell signalling systems as represillators controlling biofilm formation. Recombineering is a process of homologous recombination mediated genetic engineering, includes insertion, deletion or modification of any sequence specifically. Although this discipline considered new to the scientific domain, this field has now developed as promising endeavor on the accomplishment of sustainable exploitation of marine natural products. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Controlled polymer synthesis--from biomimicry towards synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasparakis, George; Krasnogor, Natalio; Cronin, Leroy; Davis, Benjamin G; Alexander, Cameron

    2010-01-01

    The controlled assembly of synthetic polymer structures is now possible with an unprecedented range of functional groups and molecular architectures. In this critical review we consider how the ability to create artificial materials over lengthscales ranging from a few nm to several microns is generating systems that not only begin to mimic those in nature but also may lead to exciting applications in synthetic biology (139 references).

  14. Combining Top-down and Bottom-up Accountability: Evidence from a Bribery Experiment.

    OpenAIRE

    Danila Serra

    2008-01-01

    Monitoring corruption typically relies on top-down interventions aimed at increasing the probability of external controls and the severity of punishment. An alternative approach to fighting corruption is to induce bottom-up pressure for reform. Recent studies have shown that both top-down and bottom-up mechanisms are rarely able to keep service providers accountable. This paper investigates the effectiveness of an accountability system that combines bottom-up monitoring and top-down auditing ...

  15. A Converter from the Systems Biology Markup Language to the Synthetic Biology Open Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Tramy; Roehner, Nicholas; Zundel, Zach; Myers, Chris J

    2016-06-17

    Standards are important to synthetic biology because they enable exchange and reproducibility of genetic designs. This paper describes a procedure for converting between two standards: the Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML) and the Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL). SBML is a standard for behavioral models of biological systems at the molecular level. SBOL describes structural and basic qualitative behavioral aspects of a biological design. Converting SBML to SBOL enables a consistent connection between behavioral and structural information for a biological design. The conversion process described in this paper leverages Systems Biology Ontology (SBO) annotations to enable inference of a designs qualitative function.

  16. Synthetic Biology: Tools to Design, Build, and Optimize Cellular Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Eric; Alper, Hal

    2010-01-01

    The general central dogma frames the emergent properties of life, which make biology both necessary and difficult to engineer. In a process engineering paradigm, each biological process stream and process unit is heavily influenced by regulatory interactions and interactions with the surrounding environment. Synthetic biology is developing the tools and methods that will increase control over these interactions, eventually resulting in an integrative synthetic biology that will allow ground-up cellular optimization. In this review, we attempt to contextualize the areas of synthetic biology into three tiers: (1) the process units and associated streams of the central dogma, (2) the intrinsic regulatory mechanisms, and (3) the extrinsic physical and chemical environment. Efforts at each of these three tiers attempt to control cellular systems and take advantage of emerging tools and approaches. Ultimately, it will be possible to integrate these approaches and realize the vision of integrative synthetic biology when cells are completely rewired for biotechnological goals. This review will highlight progress towards this goal as well as areas requiring further research. PMID:20150964

  17. Synthetic Biology: Tools to Design, Build, and Optimize Cellular Processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Young

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The general central dogma frames the emergent properties of life, which make biology both necessary and difficult to engineer. In a process engineering paradigm, each biological process stream and process unit is heavily influenced by regulatory interactions and interactions with the surrounding environment. Synthetic biology is developing the tools and methods that will increase control over these interactions, eventually resulting in an integrative synthetic biology that will allow ground-up cellular optimization. In this review, we attempt to contextualize the areas of synthetic biology into three tiers: (1 the process units and associated streams of the central dogma, (2 the intrinsic regulatory mechanisms, and (3 the extrinsic physical and chemical environment. Efforts at each of these three tiers attempt to control cellular systems and take advantage of emerging tools and approaches. Ultimately, it will be possible to integrate these approaches and realize the vision of integrative synthetic biology when cells are completely rewired for biotechnological goals. This review will highlight progress towards this goal as well as areas requiring further research.

  18. Synthetic biology: tools to design, build, and optimize cellular processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Eric; Alper, Hal

    2010-01-01

    The general central dogma frames the emergent properties of life, which make biology both necessary and difficult to engineer. In a process engineering paradigm, each biological process stream and process unit is heavily influenced by regulatory interactions and interactions with the surrounding environment. Synthetic biology is developing the tools and methods that will increase control over these interactions, eventually resulting in an integrative synthetic biology that will allow ground-up cellular optimization. In this review, we attempt to contextualize the areas of synthetic biology into three tiers: (1) the process units and associated streams of the central dogma, (2) the intrinsic regulatory mechanisms, and (3) the extrinsic physical and chemical environment. Efforts at each of these three tiers attempt to control cellular systems and take advantage of emerging tools and approaches. Ultimately, it will be possible to integrate these approaches and realize the vision of integrative synthetic biology when cells are completely rewired for biotechnological goals. This review will highlight progress towards this goal as well as areas requiring further research.

  19. Yeast synthetic biology for high-value metabolites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Zhubo; Liu, Yi; Guo, Juan; Huang, Luqi; Zhang, Xueli

    2015-02-01

    Traditionally, high-value metabolites have been produced through direct extraction from natural biological sources which are inefficient, given the low abundance of these compounds. On the other hand, these high-value metabolites are usually difficult to be synthesized chemically, due to their complex structures. In the last few years, the discovery of genes involved in the synthetic pathways of these metabolites, combined with advances in synthetic biology tools, has allowed the construction of increasing numbers of yeast cell factories for production of these metabolites from renewable biomass. This review summarizes recent advances in synthetic biology in terms of the use of yeasts as microbial hosts for the identification of the pathways involved in the synthesis, as well as for the production of high-value metabolites. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permission@oup.com.

  20. [Advance in flavonoids biosynthetic pathway and synthetic biology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Li-Qiu; Wang, Cai-Xia; Kuang, Xue-Jun; Li, Ying; Sun, Chao

    2016-11-01

    Flavonoids are the valuable components in medicinal plants, which possess a variety of pharmacological activities, including anti-tumor, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. There is an unambiguous understanding about flavonoids biosynthetic pathway, that is,2S-flavanones including naringenin and pinocembrin are the skeleton of other flavonoids and they can transform to other flavonoids through branched metabolic pathway. Elucidation of the flavonoids biosynthetic pathway lays a solid foundation for their synthetic biology. A few flavonoids have been produced in Escherichia coli or yeast with synthetic biological technologies, such as naringenin, pinocembrin and fisetin. Synthetic biology will provide a new way to get valuable flavonoids and promote the research and development of flavonoid drugs and health products, making flavonoids play more important roles in human diet and health. Copyright© by the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association.

  1. Anticipation: Beyond synthetic biology and cognitive robotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nasuto, Slawomir J; Hayashi, Yoshikatsu

    2016-10-01

    The aim of this paper is to propose that current robotic technologies cannot have intentional states any more than is feasible within the sensorimotor variant of embodied cognition. It argues that anticipation is an emerging concept that can provide a bridge between both the deepest philosophical theories about the nature of life and cognition and the empirical biological and cognitive sciences steeped in reductionist and Newtonian conceptions of causality. The paper advocates that in order to move forward, cognitive robotics needs to embrace new platforms and a conceptual framework that will enable it to pursue, in a meaningful way, questions about autonomy and purposeful behaviour. We suggest that hybrid systems, part robotic and part cultures of neurones, offer experimental platforms where different dimensions of enactivism (sensorimotor, constitutive foundations of biological autonomy, including anticipation), and their relative contributions to cognition, can be investigated in an integrated way. A careful progression, mindful to the deep philosophical concerns but also respecting empirical evidence, will ultimately lead towards unifying theoretical and empirical biological sciences and may offer advancement where reductionist sciences have been so far faltering. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  2. Selection platforms for directed evolution in synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tizei, Pedro A G; Csibra, Eszter; Torres, Leticia; Pinheiro, Vitor B

    2016-08-15

    Life on Earth is incredibly diverse. Yet, underneath that diversity, there are a number of constants and highly conserved processes: all life is based on DNA and RNA; the genetic code is universal; biology is limited to a small subset of potential chemistries. A vast amount of knowledge has been accrued through describing and characterizing enzymes, biological processes and organisms. Nevertheless, much remains to be understood about the natural world. One of the goals in Synthetic Biology is to recapitulate biological complexity from simple systems made from biological molecules-gaining a deeper understanding of life in the process. Directed evolution is a powerful tool in Synthetic Biology, able to bypass gaps in knowledge and capable of engineering even the most highly conserved biological processes. It encompasses a range of methodologies to create variation in a population and to select individual variants with the desired function-be it a ligand, enzyme, pathway or even whole organisms. Here, we present some of the basic frameworks that underpin all evolution platforms and review some of the recent contributions from directed evolution to synthetic biology, in particular methods that have been used to engineer the Central Dogma and the genetic code. © 2016 The Author(s).

  3. Synthetic biology for microbial production of lipid-based biofuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    d'Espaux, Leo; Mendez-Perez, Daniel; Li, Rachel; Keasling, Jay D

    2015-12-01

    The risks of maintaining current CO2 emission trends have led to interest in producing biofuels using engineered microbes. Microbial biofuels reduce emissions because CO2 produced by fuel combustion is offset by CO2 captured by growing biomass, which is later used as feedstock for biofuel fermentation. Hydrocarbons found in petroleum fuels share striking similarity with biological lipids. Here we review synthetic metabolic pathways based on fatty acid and isoprenoid metabolism to produce alkanes and other molecules suitable as biofuels. We further discuss engineering strategies to optimize engineered biosynthetic routes, as well as the potential of synthetic biology for sustainable manufacturing. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  4. Synthetic biology for microbial production of lipid-based biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    d' Espaux, L; Mendez-Perez, D; Li, R; Keasling, JD

    2015-10-23

    The risks of maintaining current CO2 emission trends have led to interest in producing biofuels using engineered microbes. Microbial biofuels reduce emissions because CO2 produced by fuel combustion is offset by CO2 captured by growing biomass, which is later used as feedstock for biofuel fermentation. Hydrocarbons found in petroleum fuels share striking similarity with biological lipids. Here in this paper we review synthetic metabolic pathways based on fatty acid and isoprenoid metabolism to produce alkanes and other molecules suitable as biofuels. Lastly, we further discuss engineering strategies to optimize engineered biosynthetic routes, as well as the potential of synthetic biology for sustainable manufacturing.

  5. Synthetic biology and the moral significance of artificial life

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    , Powell and Savulescu's definition of artificial life does not capture all core projects of synthetic biology or the ethical concerns that have been voiced, and their definition of moral significance fails to take into account the possibility that creating artificial life is conditionally acceptable......I discuss the moral significance of artificial life within synthetic biology via a discussion of Douglas, Powell and Savulescu's paper 'Is the creation of artificial life morally significant’. I argue that the definitions of 'artificial life’ and of 'moral significance’ are too narrow. Douglas...

  6. Nonlinear dimensionality reduction methods for synthetic biology biobricks' visualization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jiaoyun; Wang, Haipeng; Ding, Huitong; An, Ning; Alterovitz, Gil

    2017-01-19

    Visualizing data by dimensionality reduction is an important strategy in Bioinformatics, which could help to discover hidden data properties and detect data quality issues, e.g. data noise, inappropriately labeled data, etc. As crowdsourcing-based synthetic biology databases face similar data quality issues, we propose to visualize biobricks to tackle them. However, existing dimensionality reduction methods could not be directly applied on biobricks datasets. Hereby, we use normalized edit distance to enhance dimensionality reduction methods, including Isomap and Laplacian Eigenmaps. By extracting biobricks from synthetic biology database Registry of Standard Biological Parts, six combinations of various types of biobricks are tested. The visualization graphs illustrate discriminated biobricks and inappropriately labeled biobricks. Clustering algorithm K-means is adopted to quantify the reduction results. The average clustering accuracy for Isomap and Laplacian Eigenmaps are 0.857 and 0.844, respectively. Besides, Laplacian Eigenmaps is 5 times faster than Isomap, and its visualization graph is more concentrated to discriminate biobricks. By combining normalized edit distance with Isomap and Laplacian Eigenmaps, synthetic biology biobircks are successfully visualized in two dimensional space. Various types of biobricks could be discriminated and inappropriately labeled biobricks could be determined, which could help to assess crowdsourcing-based synthetic biology databases' quality, and make biobricks selection.

  7. Regenesis how synthetic biology will reinvent nature and ourselves

    CERN Document Server

    Church, George M

    2012-01-01

    Imagine a future in which human beings have become immune to all viruses, in which bacteria can custom-produce everyday items, like a drinking cup, or generate enough electricity to end oil dependency. Building a house would entail no more work than planting a seed in the ground. These scenarios may seem far-fetched, but pioneering geneticist George Church and science writer Ed Regis show that synthetic biology is bringing us ever closer to making such visions a reality. In "Regenesis," Church and Regis explorethe possibilities--and perils--of the emerging field of synthetic biology. Synthetic biology, in which living organisms are selectively altered by modifying substantial portions of their genomes, allows for the creation of entirely new species of organisms. Until now, nature has been the exclusive arbiter of life, death, and evolution; with synthetic biology, we now have the potential to write our own biological future. Indeed, as Church and Regis show, it even enables us to revisit crucial points in th...

  8. Living GenoChemetics by hyphenating synthetic biology and synthetic chemistry in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Sunil V; Tong, Xiaoxue; Pubill-Ulldemolins, Cristina; Cartmell, Christopher; Bogosyan, Emma J A; Rackham, Emma J; Marelli, Enrico; Hamed, Refaat B; Goss, Rebecca J M

    2017-08-09

    Marrying synthetic biology with synthetic chemistry provides a powerful approach toward natural product diversification, combining the best of both worlds: expediency and synthetic capability of biogenic pathways and chemical diversity enabled by organic synthesis. Biosynthetic pathway engineering can be employed to insert a chemically orthogonal tag into a complex natural scaffold affording the possibility of site-selective modification without employing protecting group strategies. Here we show that, by installing a sufficiently reactive handle (e.g., a C-Br bond) and developing compatible mild aqueous chemistries, synchronous biosynthesis of the tagged metabolite and its subsequent chemical modification in living culture can be achieved. This approach can potentially enable many new applications: for example, assay of directed evolution of enzymes catalyzing halo-metabolite biosynthesis in living cells or generating and following the fate of tagged metabolites and biomolecules in living systems. We report synthetic biological access to new-to-nature bromo-metabolites and the concomitant biorthogonal cross-coupling of halo-metabolites in living cultures.Coupling synthetic biology and chemical reactions in cells is a challenging task. The authors engineer bacteria capable of generating bromo-metabolites, develop a mild Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling reaction compatible with cell growth and carry out the cross-coupling chemistry in live cell cultures.

  9. TinkerCell: modular CAD tool for synthetic biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandran, Deepak; Bergmann, Frank T; Sauro, Herbert M

    2009-01-01

    Background Synthetic biology brings together concepts and techniques from engineering and biology. In this field, computer-aided design (CAD) is necessary in order to bridge the gap between computational modeling and biological data. Using a CAD application, it would be possible to construct models using available biological "parts" and directly generate the DNA sequence that represents the model, thus increasing the efficiency of design and construction of synthetic networks. Results An application named TinkerCell has been developed in order to serve as a CAD tool for synthetic biology. TinkerCell is a visual modeling tool that supports a hierarchy of biological parts. Each part in this hierarchy consists of a set of attributes that define the part, such as sequence or rate constants. Models that are constructed using these parts can be analyzed using various third-party C and Python programs that are hosted by TinkerCell via an extensive C and Python application programming interface (API). TinkerCell supports the notion of a module, which are networks with interfaces. Such modules can be connected to each other, forming larger modular networks. TinkerCell is a free and open-source project under the Berkeley Software Distribution license. Downloads, documentation, and tutorials are available at . Conclusion An ideal CAD application for engineering biological systems would provide features such as: building and simulating networks, analyzing robustness of networks, and searching databases for components that meet the design criteria. At the current state of synthetic biology, there are no established methods for measuring robustness or identifying components that fit a design. The same is true for databases of biological parts. TinkerCell's flexible modeling framework allows it to cope with changes in the field. Such changes may involve the way parts are characterized or the way synthetic networks are modeled and analyzed computationally. TinkerCell can readily

  10. TinkerCell: modular CAD tool for synthetic biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bergmann Frank T

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Synthetic biology brings together concepts and techniques from engineering and biology. In this field, computer-aided design (CAD is necessary in order to bridge the gap between computational modeling and biological data. Using a CAD application, it would be possible to construct models using available biological "parts" and directly generate the DNA sequence that represents the model, thus increasing the efficiency of design and construction of synthetic networks. Results An application named TinkerCell has been developed in order to serve as a CAD tool for synthetic biology. TinkerCell is a visual modeling tool that supports a hierarchy of biological parts. Each part in this hierarchy consists of a set of attributes that define the part, such as sequence or rate constants. Models that are constructed using these parts can be analyzed using various third-party C and Python programs that are hosted by TinkerCell via an extensive C and Python application programming interface (API. TinkerCell supports the notion of a module, which are networks with interfaces. Such modules can be connected to each other, forming larger modular networks. TinkerCell is a free and open-source project under the Berkeley Software Distribution license. Downloads, documentation, and tutorials are available at http://www.tinkercell.com. Conclusion An ideal CAD application for engineering biological systems would provide features such as: building and simulating networks, analyzing robustness of networks, and searching databases for components that meet the design criteria. At the current state of synthetic biology, there are no established methods for measuring robustness or identifying components that fit a design. The same is true for databases of biological parts. TinkerCell's flexible modeling framework allows it to cope with changes in the field. Such changes may involve the way parts are characterized or the way synthetic networks are modeled

  11. Toward the First Data Acquisition Standard in Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sainz de Murieta, Iñaki; Bultelle, Matthieu; Kitney, Richard I

    2016-08-19

    This paper describes the development of a new data acquisition standard for synthetic biology. This comprises the creation of a methodology that is designed to capture all the data, metadata, and protocol information associated with biopart characterization experiments. The new standard, called DICOM-SB, is based on the highly successful Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standard in medicine. A data model is described which has been specifically developed for synthetic biology. The model is a modular, extensible data model for the experimental process, which can optimize data storage for large amounts of data. DICOM-SB also includes services orientated toward the automatic exchange of data and information between modalities and repositories. DICOM-SB has been developed in the context of systematic design in synthetic biology, which is based on the engineering principles of modularity, standardization, and characterization. The systematic design approach utilizes the design, build, test, and learn design cycle paradigm. DICOM-SB has been designed to be compatible with and complementary to other standards in synthetic biology, including SBOL. In this regard, the software provides effective interoperability. The new standard has been tested by experiments and data exchange between Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and Imperial College London.

  12. Policy on synthetic biology: deliberation, probability, and the precautionary paradox.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wareham, Christopher; Nardini, Cecilia

    2015-02-01

    Synthetic biology is a cutting-edge area of research that holds the promise of unprecedented health benefits. However, in tandem with these large prospective benefits, synthetic biology projects entail a risk of catastrophic consequences whose severity may exceed that of most ordinary human undertakings. This is due to the peculiar nature of synthetic biology as a 'threshold technology' which opens doors to opportunities and applications that are essentially unpredictable. Fears about these potentially unstoppable consequences have led to declarations from civil society groups calling for the use of a precautionary principle to regulate the field. Moreover, the principle is prevalent in law and international agreements. Despite widespread political recognition of a need for caution, the precautionary principle has been extensively criticized as a guide for regulatory policy. We examine a central objection to the principle: that its application entails crippling inaction and incoherence, since whatever action one takes there is always a chance that some highly improbable cataclysm will occur. In response to this difficulty, which we call the 'precautionary paradox,' we outline a deliberative means for arriving at threshold of probability below which potential dangers can be disregarded. In addition, we describe a Bayesian mechanism with which to assign probabilities to harmful outcomes. We argue that these steps resolve the paradox. The rehabilitated PP can thus provide a viable policy option to confront the uncharted waters of synthetic biology research. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Plant synthetic biology: a new platform for industrial biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fesenko, Elena; Edwards, Robert

    2014-05-01

    Thirty years after the production of the first generation of genetically modified plants we are now set to move into a new era of recombinant crop technology through the application of synthetic biology to engineer new and complex input and output traits. The use of synthetic biology technologies will represent more than incremental additions of transgenes, but rather the directed design of completely new metabolic pathways, physiological traits, and developmental control strategies. The need to enhance our ability to improve crops through new engineering capability is now increasingly pressing as we turn to plants not just for food, but as a source of renewable feedstocks for industry. These accelerating and diversifying demands for new output traits coincide with a need to reduce inputs and improve agricultural sustainability. Faced with such challenges, existing technologies will need to be supplemented with new and far-more-directed approaches to turn valuable resources more efficiently into usable agricultural products. While these objectives are challenging enough, the use of synthetic biology in crop improvement will face public acceptance issues as a legacy of genetically modified technologies in many countries. Here we review some of the potential benefits of adopting synthetic biology approaches in improving plant input and output traits for their use as industrial chemical feedstocks, as linked to the rapidly developing biorefining industry. Several promising technologies and biotechnological targets are identified along with some of the key regulatory and societal challenges in the safe and acceptable introduction of such technology.

  14. Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL Version 2.2.0

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cox Robert Sidney

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic biology builds upon the techniques and successes of genetics, molecular biology, and metabolic engineering by applying engineering principles to the design of biological systems. The field still faces substantial challenges, including long development times, high rates of failure, and poor reproducibility. One method to ameliorate these problems would be to improve the exchange of information about designed systems between laboratories. The synthetic biology open language (SBOL has been developed as a standard to support the specification and exchange of biological design information in synthetic biology, filling a need not satisfied by other pre-existing standards. This document details version 2.2.0 of SBOL that builds upon version 2.1.0 published in last year’s JIB special issue. In particular, SBOL 2.2.0 includes improved description and validation rules for genetic design provenance, an extension to support combinatorial genetic designs, a new class to add non-SBOL data as attachments, a new class for genetic design implementations, and a description of a methodology to describe the entire design-build-test-learn cycle within the SBOL data model.

  15. Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) Version 2.2.0

    KAUST Repository

    Cox, Robert Sidney; Madsen, Curtis; McLaughlin, James Alastair; Nguyen, Tramy; Roehner, Nicholas; Bartley, Bryan; Beal, Jacob; Bissell, Michael; Choi, Kiri; Clancy, Kevin; Grunberg, Raik; Macklin, Chris; Misirli, Goksel; Oberortner, Ernst; Pocock, Matthew; Samineni, Meher; Zhang, Michael; Zhang, Zhen; Zundel, Zach; Gennari, John H.; Myers, Chris; Sauro, Herbert; Wipat, Anil

    2018-01-01

    Synthetic biology builds upon the techniques and successes of genetics, molecular biology, and metabolic engineering by applying engineering principles to the design of biological systems. The field still faces substantial challenges, including long development times, high rates of failure, and poor reproducibility. One method to ameliorate these problems would be to improve the exchange of information about designed systems between laboratories. The synthetic biology open language (SBOL) has been developed as a standard to support the specification and exchange of biological design information in synthetic biology, filling a need not satisfied by other pre-existing standards. This document details version 2.2.0 of SBOL that builds upon version 2.1.0 published in last year's JIB special issue. In particular, SBOL 2.2.0 includes improved description and validation rules for genetic design provenance, an extension to support combinatorial genetic designs, a new class to add non-SBOL data as attachments, a new class for genetic design implementations, and a description of a methodology to describe the entire design-build-test-learn cycle within the SBOL data model.

  16. Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) Version 2.2.0.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Robert Sidney; Madsen, Curtis; McLaughlin, James Alastair; Nguyen, Tramy; Roehner, Nicholas; Bartley, Bryan; Beal, Jacob; Bissell, Michael; Choi, Kiri; Clancy, Kevin; Grünberg, Raik; Macklin, Chris; Misirli, Goksel; Oberortner, Ernst; Pocock, Matthew; Samineni, Meher; Zhang, Michael; Zhang, Zhen; Zundel, Zach; Gennari, John H; Myers, Chris; Sauro, Herbert; Wipat, Anil

    2018-04-02

    Synthetic biology builds upon the techniques and successes of genetics, molecular biology, and metabolic engineering by applying engineering principles to the design of biological systems. The field still faces substantial challenges, including long development times, high rates of failure, and poor reproducibility. One method to ameliorate these problems would be to improve the exchange of information about designed systems between laboratories. The synthetic biology open language (SBOL) has been developed as a standard to support the specification and exchange of biological design information in synthetic biology, filling a need not satisfied by other pre-existing standards. This document details version 2.2.0 of SBOL that builds upon version 2.1.0 published in last year's JIB special issue. In particular, SBOL 2.2.0 includes improved description and validation rules for genetic design provenance, an extension to support combinatorial genetic designs, a new class to add non-SBOL data as attachments, a new class for genetic design implementations, and a description of a methodology to describe the entire design-build-test-learn cycle within the SBOL data model.

  17. Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) Version 2.2.0

    KAUST Repository

    Cox, Robert Sidney

    2018-04-04

    Synthetic biology builds upon the techniques and successes of genetics, molecular biology, and metabolic engineering by applying engineering principles to the design of biological systems. The field still faces substantial challenges, including long development times, high rates of failure, and poor reproducibility. One method to ameliorate these problems would be to improve the exchange of information about designed systems between laboratories. The synthetic biology open language (SBOL) has been developed as a standard to support the specification and exchange of biological design information in synthetic biology, filling a need not satisfied by other pre-existing standards. This document details version 2.2.0 of SBOL that builds upon version 2.1.0 published in last year\\'s JIB special issue. In particular, SBOL 2.2.0 includes improved description and validation rules for genetic design provenance, an extension to support combinatorial genetic designs, a new class to add non-SBOL data as attachments, a new class for genetic design implementations, and a description of a methodology to describe the entire design-build-test-learn cycle within the SBOL data model.

  18. Data Integration and Mining for Synthetic Biology Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mısırlı, Göksel; Hallinan, Jennifer; Pocock, Matthew; Lord, Phillip; McLaughlin, James Alastair; Sauro, Herbert; Wipat, Anil

    2016-10-21

    One aim of synthetic biologists is to create novel and predictable biological systems from simpler modular parts. This approach is currently hampered by a lack of well-defined and characterized parts and devices. However, there is a wealth of existing biological information, which can be used to identify and characterize biological parts, and their design constraints in the literature and numerous biological databases. However, this information is spread among these databases in many different formats. New computational approaches are required to make this information available in an integrated format that is more amenable to data mining. A tried and tested approach to this problem is to map disparate data sources into a single data set, with common syntax and semantics, to produce a data warehouse or knowledge base. Ontologies have been used extensively in the life sciences, providing this common syntax and semantics as a model for a given biological domain, in a fashion that is amenable to computational analysis and reasoning. Here, we present an ontology for applications in synthetic biology design, SyBiOnt, which facilitates the modeling of information about biological parts and their relationships. SyBiOnt was used to create the SyBiOntKB knowledge base, incorporating and building upon existing life sciences ontologies and standards. The reasoning capabilities of ontologies were then applied to automate the mining of biological parts from this knowledge base. We propose that this approach will be useful to speed up synthetic biology design and ultimately help facilitate the automation of the biological engineering life cycle.

  19. Systems Biology as an Integrated Platform for Bioinformatics, Systems Synthetic Biology, and Systems Metabolic Engineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bor-Sen Chen

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Systems biology aims at achieving a system-level understanding of living organisms and applying this knowledge to various fields such as synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, and medicine. System-level understanding of living organisms can be derived from insight into: (i system structure and the mechanism of biological networks such as gene regulation, protein interactions, signaling, and metabolic pathways; (ii system dynamics of biological networks, which provides an understanding of stability, robustness, and transduction ability through system identification, and through system analysis methods; (iii system control methods at different levels of biological networks, which provide an understanding of systematic mechanisms to robustly control system states, minimize malfunctions, and provide potential therapeutic targets in disease treatment; (iv systematic design methods for the modification and construction of biological networks with desired behaviors, which provide system design principles and system simulations for synthetic biology designs and systems metabolic engineering. This review describes current developments in systems biology, systems synthetic biology, and systems metabolic engineering for engineering and biology researchers. We also discuss challenges and future prospects for systems biology and the concept of systems biology as an integrated platform for bioinformatics, systems synthetic biology, and systems metabolic engineering.

  20. Systems Biology as an Integrated Platform for Bioinformatics, Systems Synthetic Biology, and Systems Metabolic Engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Wu, Chia-Chou

    2013-01-01

    Systems biology aims at achieving a system-level understanding of living organisms and applying this knowledge to various fields such as synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, and medicine. System-level understanding of living organisms can be derived from insight into: (i) system structure and the mechanism of biological networks such as gene regulation, protein interactions, signaling, and metabolic pathways; (ii) system dynamics of biological networks, which provides an understanding of stability, robustness, and transduction ability through system identification, and through system analysis methods; (iii) system control methods at different levels of biological networks, which provide an understanding of systematic mechanisms to robustly control system states, minimize malfunctions, and provide potential therapeutic targets in disease treatment; (iv) systematic design methods for the modification and construction of biological networks with desired behaviors, which provide system design principles and system simulations for synthetic biology designs and systems metabolic engineering. This review describes current developments in systems biology, systems synthetic biology, and systems metabolic engineering for engineering and biology researchers. We also discuss challenges and future prospects for systems biology and the concept of systems biology as an integrated platform for bioinformatics, systems synthetic biology, and systems metabolic engineering. PMID:24709875

  1. Autonomy and Fear of Synthetic Biology: How Can Patients' Autonomy Be Enhanced in the Field of Synthetic Biology? A Qualitative Study with Stable Patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rakic, Milenko; Wienand, Isabelle; Shaw, David; Nast, Rebecca; Elger, Bernice S

    2017-04-01

    We analyzed stable patients' views regarding synthetic biology in general, the medical application of synthetic biology, and their potential participation in trials of synthetic biology in particular. The aim of the study was to find out whether patients' views and preferences change after receiving more detailed information about synthetic biology and its clinical applications. The qualitative study was carried out with a purposive sample of 36 stable patients, who suffered from diabetes or gout. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, translated and fully anonymized. Thematic analysis was applied in order to examine stable patients' attitudes towards synthetic biology, its medical application, and their participation in trials. When patients were asked about synthetic biology in general, most of them were anxious that something uncontrollable could be created. After a concrete example of possible future treatment options, patients started to see synthetic biology in a more positive way. Our study constitutes an important first empirical insight into stable patients' views on synthetic biology and into the kind of fears triggered by the term "synthetic biology." Our results show that clear and concrete information can change patients' initial negative feelings towards synthetic biology. Information should thus be transmitted with great accuracy and transparency in order to reduce irrational fears of patients and to minimize the risk that researchers present facts too positively for the purposes of persuading patients to participate in clinical trials. Potential participants need to be adequately informed in order to be able to autonomously decide whether to participate in human subject research involving synthetic biology.

  2. Synthetic Biology and Human Health: Potential Applications for Spaceflight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karouia, Fathi; Carr, Christopher; Cai, Yizhi; Chen, Y.; Grenon, Marlene; Larios-Sanz, Maia; Jones, Jeffrey A.; Santos, Orlando

    2011-01-01

    Human space travelers experience a unique environment that affects homeostasis and physiologic adaptation. Spaceflight-related changes have been reported in the musculo-skeletal, cardiovascular, neurovestibular, endocrine, and immune systems. The spacecraft environment further subjects the traveler to noise and gravitational forces, as well as airborne chemical, microbiological contaminants, and radiation exposure. As humans prepare for longer duration missions effective countermeasures must be developed, verified, and implemented to ensure mission success. Over the past ten years, synthetic biology has opened new avenues for research and development in areas such as biological control, biomaterials, sustainable energy production, bioremediation, and biomedical therapies. The latter in particular is of great interest to the implementation of long-duration human spaceflight capabilities. This article discusses the effects of spaceflight on humans, and reviews current capabilities and potential needs associated with the health of the astronauts where synthetic biology could play an important role in the pursuit of space exploration.

  3. Plant synthetic biology for molecular engineering of signalling and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemhauser, Jennifer L; Torii, Keiko U

    2016-03-02

    Molecular genetic studies of model plants in the past few decades have identified many key genes and pathways controlling development, metabolism and environmental responses. Recent technological and informatics advances have led to unprecedented volumes of data that may uncover underlying principles of plants as biological systems. The newly emerged discipline of synthetic biology and related molecular engineering approaches is built on this strong foundation. Today, plant regulatory pathways can be reconstituted in heterologous organisms to identify and manipulate parameters influencing signalling outputs. Moreover, regulatory circuits that include receptors, ligands, signal transduction components, epigenetic machinery and molecular motors can be engineered and introduced into plants to create novel traits in a predictive manner. Here, we provide a brief history of plant synthetic biology and significant recent examples of this approach, focusing on how knowledge generated by the reference plant Arabidopsis thaliana has contributed to the rapid rise of this new discipline, and discuss potential future directions.

  4. Synthetic biology devices for in vitro and in vivo diagnostics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slomovic, Shimyn; Pardee, Keith; Collins, James J

    2015-11-24

    There is a growing need to enhance our capabilities in medical and environmental diagnostics. Synthetic biologists have begun to focus their biomolecular engineering approaches toward this goal, offering promising results that could lead to the development of new classes of inexpensive, rapidly deployable diagnostics. Many conventional diagnostics rely on antibody-based platforms that, although exquisitely sensitive, are slow and costly to generate and cannot readily confront rapidly emerging pathogens or be applied to orphan diseases. Synthetic biology, with its rational and short design-to-production cycles, has the potential to overcome many of these limitations. Synthetic biology devices, such as engineered gene circuits, bring new capabilities to molecular diagnostics, expanding the molecular detection palette, creating dynamic sensors, and untethering reactions from laboratory equipment. The field is also beginning to move toward in vivo diagnostics, which could provide near real-time surveillance of multiple pathological conditions. Here, we describe current efforts in synthetic biology, focusing on the translation of promising technologies into pragmatic diagnostic tools and platforms.

  5. Bottom-Up Assembly and Applications of Photonic Materials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanbin Zheng

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The assembly of colloidal building-blocks is an efficient, inexpensive and flexible approach for the fabrication of a wide variety of photonic materials with designed shapes and large areas. In this review, the various assembly routes to the fabrication of colloidal crystals and their post-assembly modifications to the production of photonic materials are first described. Then, the emerging applications of the colloidal photonic structures in various fields such as biological and chemical sensing, anti-reflection, photovoltaics, and light extraction are summarized.

  6. Where to start? Bottom-up attention improves working memory by determining encoding order.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravizza, Susan M; Uitvlugt, Mitchell G; Hazeltine, Eliot

    2016-12-01

    The present study aimed to characterize the mechanism by which working memory is enhanced for items that capture attention because of their novelty or saliency-that is, via bottom-up attention. The first experiment replicated previous research by corroborating that bottom-up attention directed to an item is sufficient for enhancing working memory and, moreover, generalized the effect to the domain of verbal working memory. The subsequent 3 experiments sought to determine how bottom-up attention affects working memory. We considered 2 hypotheses: (1) Bottom-up attention enhances the encoded representation of the stimulus, similar to how voluntary attention functions, or (2) It affects the order of encoding by shifting priority onto the attended stimulus. By manipulating how stimuli were presented (simultaneous/sequential display) and whether the cue predicted the tested items, we found evidence that bottom-up attention improves working memory performance via the order of encoding hypothesis. This finding was observed across change detection and free recall paradigms. In contrast, voluntary attention improved working memory regardless of encoding order and showed greater effects on working memory. We conclude that when multiple information sources compete, bottom-up attention prioritizes the location at which encoding should begin. When encoding order is set, bottom-up attention has little or no benefit to working memory. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  7. Phage Therapy in the Era of Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbu, E Magda; Cady, Kyle C; Hubby, Bolyn

    2016-10-03

    For more than a century, bacteriophage (or phage) research has enabled some of the most important discoveries in biological sciences and has equipped scientists with many of the molecular biology tools that have advanced our understanding of replication, maintenance, and expression of genetic material. Phages have also been recognized and exploited as natural antimicrobial agents and nanovectors for gene therapy, but their potential as therapeutics has not been fully exploited in Western medicine because of challenges such as narrow host range, bacterial resistance, and unique pharmacokinetics. However, increasing concern related to the emergence of bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics has heightened interest in phage therapy and the development of strategies to overcome hurdles associated with bacteriophage therapeutics. Recent progress in sequencing technologies, DNA manipulation, and synthetic biology allowed scientists to refactor the entire bacterial genome of Mycoplasma mycoides, thereby creating the first synthetic cell. These new strategies for engineering genomes may have the potential to accelerate the construction of designer phage genomes with superior therapeutic potential. Here, we discuss the use of phage as therapeutics, as well as how synthetic biology can create bacteriophage with desirable attributes. Copyright © 2016 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  8. A standard-enabled workflow for synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Chris J; Beal, Jacob; Gorochowski, Thomas E; Kuwahara, Hiroyuki; Madsen, Curtis; McLaughlin, James Alastair; Mısırlı, Göksel; Nguyen, Tramy; Oberortner, Ernst; Samineni, Meher; Wipat, Anil; Zhang, Michael; Zundel, Zach

    2017-06-15

    A synthetic biology workflow is composed of data repositories that provide information about genetic parts, sequence-level design tools to compose these parts into circuits, visualization tools to depict these designs, genetic design tools to select parts to create systems, and modeling and simulation tools to evaluate alternative design choices. Data standards enable the ready exchange of information within such a workflow, allowing repositories and tools to be connected from a diversity of sources. The present paper describes one such workflow that utilizes, among others, the Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL) to describe genetic designs, the Systems Biology Markup Language to model these designs, and SBOL Visual to visualize these designs. We describe how a standard-enabled workflow can be used to produce types of design information, including multiple repositories and software tools exchanging information using a variety of data standards. Recently, the ACS Synthetic Biology journal has recommended the use of SBOL in their publications. © 2017 The Author(s); published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  9. Specifications of Standards in Systems and Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreiber, Falk; Bader, Gary D; Golebiewski, Martin; Hucka, Michael; Kormeier, Benjamin; Le Novère, Nicolas; Myers, Chris; Nickerson, David; Sommer, Björn; Waltemath, Dagmar; Weise, Stephan

    2015-09-04

    Standards shape our everyday life. From nuts and bolts to electronic devices and technological processes, standardised products and processes are all around us. Standards have technological and economic benefits, such as making information exchange, production, and services more efficient. However, novel, innovative areas often either lack proper standards, or documents about standards in these areas are not available from a centralised platform or formal body (such as the International Standardisation Organisation). Systems and synthetic biology is a relatively novel area, and it is only in the last decade that the standardisation of data, information, and models related to systems and synthetic biology has become a community-wide effort. Several open standards have been established and are under continuous development as a community initiative. COMBINE, the ‘COmputational Modeling in BIology’ NEtwork has been established as an umbrella initiative to coordinate and promote the development of the various community standards and formats for computational models. There are yearly two meeting, HARMONY (Hackathons on Resources for Modeling in Biology), Hackathon-type meetings with a focus on development of the support for standards, and COMBINE forums, workshop-style events with oral presentations, discussion, poster, and breakout sessions for further developing the standards. For more information see http://co.mbine.org/. So far the different standards were published and made accessible through the standards’ web- pages or preprint services. The aim of this special issue is to provide a single, easily accessible and citable platform for the publication of standards in systems and synthetic biology. This special issue is intended to serve as a central access point to standards and related initiatives in systems and synthetic biology, it will be published annually to provide an opportunity for standard development groups to communicate updated specifications.

  10. Integrating biological redesign: where synthetic biology came from and where it needs to go.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Way, Jeffrey C; Collins, James J; Keasling, Jay D; Silver, Pamela A

    2014-03-27

    Synthetic biology seeks to extend approaches from engineering and computation to redesign of biology, with goals such as generating new chemicals, improving human health, and addressing environmental issues. Early on, several guiding principles of synthetic biology were articulated, including design according to specification, separation of design from fabrication, use of standardized biological parts and organisms, and abstraction. We review the utility of these principles over the past decade in light of the field's accomplishments in building complex systems based on microbial transcription and metabolism and describe the progress in mammalian cell engineering. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. [Application of microelectronics CAD tools to synthetic biology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madec, Morgan; Haiech, Jacques; Rosati, Élise; Rezgui, Abir; Gendrault, Yves; Lallement, Christophe

    2017-02-01

    Synthetic biology is an emerging science that aims to create new biological functions that do not exist in nature, based on the knowledge acquired in life science over the last century. Since the beginning of this century, several projects in synthetic biology have emerged. The complexity of the developed artificial bio-functions is relatively low so that empirical design methods could be used for the design process. Nevertheless, with the increasing complexity of biological circuits, this is no longer the case and a large number of computer aided design softwares have been developed in the past few years. These tools include languages for the behavioral description and the mathematical modelling of biological systems, simulators at different levels of abstraction, libraries of biological devices and circuit design automation algorithms. All of these tools already exist in other fields of engineering sciences, particularly in microelectronics. This is the approach that is put forward in this paper. © 2017 médecine/sciences – Inserm.

  12. Mapping practices of project management – merging top-down and bottom-up perspectives

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thuesen, Christian

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a new methodology for studying different accounts of project management practices based on network mapping and analysis. Drawing upon network mapping and visualization as an analytical strategy top-down and bottom-up accounts of project management practice are analysed...... and compared. The analysis initially reveals a substantial difference between the top-down and bottom-up accounts of practice. Furthermore it identifies a soft side of project management that is central in the bottom-up account but absent from the top-down. Finally, the study shows that network mapping...

  13. Metabolic Network Discovery by Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approaches and Paths for Reconciliation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Çakır, Tunahan, E-mail: tcakir@gyte.edu.tr [Computational Systems Biology Group, Department of Bioengineering, Gebze Technical University (formerly known as Gebze Institute of Technology), Gebze (Turkey); Khatibipour, Mohammad Jafar [Computational Systems Biology Group, Department of Bioengineering, Gebze Technical University (formerly known as Gebze Institute of Technology), Gebze (Turkey); Department of Chemical Engineering, Gebze Technical University (formerly known as Gebze Institute of Technology), Gebze (Turkey)

    2014-12-03

    The primary focus in the network-centric analysis of cellular metabolism by systems biology approaches is to identify the active metabolic network for the condition of interest. Two major approaches are available for the discovery of the condition-specific metabolic networks. One approach starts from genome-scale metabolic networks, which cover all possible reactions known to occur in the related organism in a condition-independent manner, and applies methods such as the optimization-based Flux-Balance Analysis to elucidate the active network. The other approach starts from the condition-specific metabolome data, and processes the data with statistical or optimization-based methods to extract information content of the data such that the active network is inferred. These approaches, termed bottom-up and top-down, respectively, are currently employed independently. However, considering that both approaches have the same goal, they can both benefit from each other paving the way for the novel integrative analysis methods of metabolome data- and flux-analysis approaches in the post-genomic era. This study reviews the strengths of constraint-based analysis and network inference methods reported in the metabolic systems biology field; then elaborates on the potential paths to reconcile the two approaches to shed better light on how the metabolism functions.

  14. Metabolic Network Discovery by Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approaches and Paths for Reconciliation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Çakır, Tunahan; Khatibipour, Mohammad Jafar

    2014-01-01

    The primary focus in the network-centric analysis of cellular metabolism by systems biology approaches is to identify the active metabolic network for the condition of interest. Two major approaches are available for the discovery of the condition-specific metabolic networks. One approach starts from genome-scale metabolic networks, which cover all possible reactions known to occur in the related organism in a condition-independent manner, and applies methods such as the optimization-based Flux-Balance Analysis to elucidate the active network. The other approach starts from the condition-specific metabolome data, and processes the data with statistical or optimization-based methods to extract information content of the data such that the active network is inferred. These approaches, termed bottom-up and top-down, respectively, are currently employed independently. However, considering that both approaches have the same goal, they can both benefit from each other paving the way for the novel integrative analysis methods of metabolome data- and flux-analysis approaches in the post-genomic era. This study reviews the strengths of constraint-based analysis and network inference methods reported in the metabolic systems biology field; then elaborates on the potential paths to reconcile the two approaches to shed better light on how the metabolism functions.

  15. Synthetic glycopeptides and glycoproteins with applications in biological research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ulrika Westerlind

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Over the past few years, synthetic methods for the preparation of complex glycopeptides have been drastically improved. The need for homogenous glycopeptides and glycoproteins with defined chemical structures to study diverse biological phenomena further enhances the development of methodologies. Selected recent advances in synthesis and applications, in which glycopeptides or glycoproteins serve as tools for biological studies, are reviewed. The importance of specific antibodies directed to the glycan part, as well as the peptide backbone has been realized during the development of synthetic glycopeptide-based anti-tumor vaccines. The fine-tuning of native chemical ligation (NCL, expressed protein ligation (EPL, and chemoenzymatic glycosylation techniques have all together enabled the synthesis of functional glycoproteins. The synthesis of structurally defined, complex glycopeptides or glyco-clusters presented on natural peptide backbones, or mimics thereof, offer further possibilities to study protein-binding events.

  16. The metaphysical lessons of synthetic biology and neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baertschi, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, I examine some important metaphysical lessons that are often presented as derived from two new scientific disciplines: synthetic biology and neuroscience. I analyse four of them: the nature of life, the existence of a soul (the mind-body problem), personhood, and free will. Many caveats are in order, and each 'advance' or each case should be assessed for itself. I conclude that a main lesson can nevertheless be learned: in conjunction with modern science, neuroscience and synthetic biology allow us to enrich old metaphysical debates, to deepen and even renew them. In particular, it becomes less and less plausible to consider life, mind, person, and agency as non-natural or non-physical entities. Copyright © 2015 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  17. Synthetic Biology and Ethics: Past, Present, and Future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Häyry, Matti

    2017-04-01

    This article explores the ethical issues that have been identified in emerging technologies, from early genetic engineering to synthetic biology. The scientific advances in the field form a continuum, and some ethical considerations can be raised time and again when new developments occur. An underlying concern is the cumulative effect of scientific advances and ensuing technological innovation that can change our understanding of life and humanity.

  18. Synthetic Biology: Life, Jim, but Not As We Know It

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallinan, Jennifer

    Frankenstein, Mary Shelley's classic tale of horror, warns of the perils of hubris: of the terrible fate that awaits when Man plays God and attempts to create life. Molecular biologists are clearly not listening. Not content with merely inserting the occasional gene into the genome of an existing organism. they are developing a whole new field, Synthetic Biology, which aims to engineer from first principles organisms with desirable, controllable qualities.

  19. Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution and Design (SEED) Conference 2014

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Voigt, Christopher [Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    2014-07-01

    SEED2014 focused on advances in the science and technology emerging from the field of synthetic biology. We broadly define this as technologies that accelerate the process of genetic engineering. It highlighted new tool development, as well as the application of these tools to diverse problems in biotechnology, including therapeutics, industrial chemicals and fuels, natural products, and agriculture. Systems spanned from in vitro experiments and viruses, through diverse bacteria, to eukaryotes (yeast, mammalian cells, plants).

  20. Synthetic biology and the prospects for responsible innovation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macnaghten, Phil; Owen, Richard; Jackson, Roland

    2016-11-30

    In this article we provide a short review of the debate on responsible innovation and its intersection with synthetic biology, focusing on initiatives we have witnessed and been involved with in the UK. First, we describe the ways in which responsibility in science has been reconfigured institutionally, from an internal focus on the provision of objective and reliable knowledge, to a more external view that embraces the ways in which it has an impact on society. Secondly, we introduce a framework for responsible innovation as a (partial) response to this shift, highlighting its constituent dimensions and the capacities and competencies that are needed to put it into practice. Thirdly, we chart the development of social science research on synthetic biology, addressing its evolution from an 'ethical, legal and social implications' (ELSI) frame to a responsible innovation frame. Fourthly, we review findings from UK social science research with the synthetic biology community setting out challenges for productive collaboration. And finally, we conclude with suggestions on the need for changes in institutional governance. © 2016 The Author(s). published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  1. A Bottom up Initiative: Meditation & Mindfulness 'Eastern' Practices in the "Western" Academia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Singla, Rashmi

    a case of bottom up initiative, where the students themselves have demanded inclusion of non- conventional psychosocial interventions illustrated by meditation and mindfulness as Eastern psychological practices, thus filling the gap related to the existential, spiritual approaches. The western...

  2. The updated bottom up solution applied to atmospheric pressure photoionization and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Updated Bottom Up Solution (UBUS) was recently applied to atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) mass spectrometry (MS) of triacylglycerols (TAGs). This report demonstrates that the UBUS applies equally well to atmospheric pressure photoionization (APPI) MS and to electrospray ionizatio...

  3. pClone: Synthetic Biology Tool Makes Promoter Research Accessible to Beginning Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, A. Malcolm; Eckdahl, Todd; Cronk, Brian; Andresen, Corinne; Frederick, Paul; Huckuntod, Samantha; Shinneman, Claire; Wacker, Annie; Yuan, Jason

    2014-01-01

    The "Vision and Change" report recommended genuine research experiences for undergraduate biology students. Authentic research improves science education, increases the number of scientifically literate citizens, and encourages students to pursue research. Synthetic biology is well suited for undergraduate research and is a growing area…

  4. The Chicago Fire of 1871: A Bottom Up Approach to Disaster Relief

    OpenAIRE

    Skarbek, Emily C.

    2014-01-01

    Can bottom-up relief efforts lead to recovery after disasters? Conventional wisdom and contemporary public policy suggest that major crises require centralized authority to provide disaster relief goods. Using a novel set of comprehensive donation and expenditure data collected from archival records, this paper examines a bottom-up relief effort following one of the most devastating natural disasters of the nineteenth century: the Chicago Fire of 1871. Findings show that while there was no ce...

  5. Generating Systems Biology Markup Language Models from the Synthetic Biology Open Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roehner, Nicholas; Zhang, Zhen; Nguyen, Tramy; Myers, Chris J

    2015-08-21

    In the context of synthetic biology, model generation is the automated process of constructing biochemical models based on genetic designs. This paper discusses the use cases for model generation in genetic design automation (GDA) software tools and introduces the foundational concepts of standards and model annotation that make this process useful. Finally, this paper presents an implementation of model generation in the GDA software tool iBioSim and provides an example of generating a Systems Biology Markup Language (SBML) model from a design of a 4-input AND sensor written in the Synthetic Biology Open Language (SBOL).

  6. Bottom-up vs. top-down effects on terrestrial insect herbivores: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidal, Mayra C; Murphy, Shannon M

    2018-01-01

    Primary consumers are under strong selection from resource ('bottom-up') and consumer ('top-down') controls, but the relative importance of these selective forces is unknown. We performed a meta-analysis to compare the strength of top-down and bottom-up forces on consumer fitness, considering multiple predictors that can modulate these effects: diet breadth, feeding guild, habitat/environment, type of bottom-up effects, type of top-down effects and how consumer fitness effects are measured. We focused our analyses on the most diverse group of primary consumers, herbivorous insects, and found that in general top-down forces were stronger than bottom-up forces. Notably, chewing, sucking and gall-making herbivores were more affected by top-down than bottom-up forces, top-down forces were stronger than bottom-up in both natural and controlled (cultivated) environments, and parasitoids and predators had equally strong top-down effects on insect herbivores. Future studies should broaden the scope of focal consumers, particularly in understudied terrestrial systems, guilds, taxonomic groups and top-down controls (e.g. pathogens), and test for more complex indirect community interactions. Our results demonstrate the surprising strength of forces exerted by natural enemies on herbivorous insects, and thus the necessity of using a tri-trophic approach when studying insect-plant interactions. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  7. Transcription control engineering and applications in synthetic biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael D. Engstrom

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available In synthetic biology, researchers assemble biological components in new ways to produce systems with practical applications. One of these practical applications is control of the flow of genetic information (from nucleic acid to protein, a.k.a. gene regulation. Regulation is critical for optimizing protein (and therefore activity levels and the subsequent levels of metabolites and other cellular properties. The central dogma of molecular biology posits that information flow commences with transcription, and accordingly, regulatory tools targeting transcription have received the most attention in synthetic biology. In this mini-review, we highlight many past successes and summarize the lessons learned in developing tools for controlling transcription. In particular, we focus on engineering studies where promoters and transcription terminators (cis-factors were directly engineered and/or isolated from DNA libraries. We also review several well-characterized transcription regulators (trans-factors, giving examples of how cis- and trans-acting factors have been combined to create digital and analogue switches for regulating transcription in response to various signals. Last, we provide examples of how engineered transcription control systems have been used in metabolic engineering and more complicated genetic circuits. While most of our mini-review focuses on the well-characterized bacterium Escherichia coli, we also provide several examples of the use of transcription control engineering in non-model organisms. Similar approaches have been applied outside the bacterial kingdom indicating that the lessons learned from bacterial studies may be generalized for other organisms.

  8. Transcription control engineering and applications in synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engstrom, Michael D; Pfleger, Brian F

    2017-09-01

    In synthetic biology, researchers assemble biological components in new ways to produce systems with practical applications. One of these practical applications is control of the flow of genetic information (from nucleic acid to protein), a.k.a. gene regulation. Regulation is critical for optimizing protein (and therefore activity) levels and the subsequent levels of metabolites and other cellular properties. The central dogma of molecular biology posits that information flow commences with transcription, and accordingly, regulatory tools targeting transcription have received the most attention in synthetic biology. In this mini-review, we highlight many past successes and summarize the lessons learned in developing tools for controlling transcription. In particular, we focus on engineering studies where promoters and transcription terminators ( cis -factors) were directly engineered and/or isolated from DNA libraries. We also review several well-characterized transcription regulators ( trans- factors), giving examples of how cis- and trans -acting factors have been combined to create digital and analogue switches for regulating transcription in response to various signals. Last, we provide examples of how engineered transcription control systems have been used in metabolic engineering and more complicated genetic circuits. While most of our mini-review focuses on the well-characterized bacterium Escherichia coli , we also provide several examples of the use of transcription control engineering in non-model organisms. Similar approaches have been applied outside the bacterial kingdom indicating that the lessons learned from bacterial studies may be generalized for other organisms.

  9. Synthetic biology approaches in drug discovery and pharmaceutical biotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neumann, Heinz; Neumann-Staubitz, Petra

    2010-06-01

    Synthetic biology is the attempt to apply the concepts of engineering to biological systems with the aim to create organisms with new emergent properties. These organisms might have desirable novel biosynthetic capabilities, act as biosensors or help us to understand the intricacies of living systems. This approach has the potential to assist the discovery and production of pharmaceutical compounds at various stages. New sources of bioactive compounds can be created in the form of genetically encoded small molecule libraries. The recombination of individual parts has been employed to design proteins that act as biosensors, which could be used to identify and quantify molecules of interest. New biosynthetic pathways may be designed by stitching together enzymes with desired activities, and genetic code expansion can be used to introduce new functionalities into peptides and proteins to increase their chemical scope and biological stability. This review aims to give an insight into recently developed individual components and modules that might serve as parts in a synthetic biology approach to pharmaceutical biotechnology.

  10. Erasing Borders: A Brief Chronicle of Early Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peretó, Juli

    2016-12-01

    Synthetic Biology is currently presented as an emergent field involving the application of engineering principles to living matter. However, the scientific pursuit of making life in a laboratory is not new and has been the ultimate, if somewhat distant, aim of the origin-of-life research program for many years. Actually, over a century ago, the idea that the synthesis of life was indispensable to fully understand its nature already appealed to material scientists and evolutionists alike. Jacques Loeb proposed a research program from an engineering standpoint, following a synthetic method (experimental abiogenesis) and based on his mechanist vision of living beings, which he considered true chemical machines. Early synthetic biology endeavors, such as the premature experiments by Alfonso L. Herrera in Mexico, Stéphane Leduc in France, and John B. Burke in United Kingdom, were easily ridiculed on both scientific and ideological grounds. However, in retrospect, all those attempts should be considered as legitimate and sincere anti-vitalistic efforts to cross the apparent border between inert and living matter.

  11. Suture, synthetic, or biologic in contaminated ventral hernia repair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bondre, Ioana L; Holihan, Julie L; Askenasy, Erik P; Greenberg, Jacob A; Keith, Jerrod N; Martindale, Robert G; Roth, J Scott; Liang, Mike K

    2016-02-01

    Data are lacking to support the choice between suture, synthetic mesh, or biologic matrix in contaminated ventral hernia repair (VHR). We hypothesize that in contaminated VHR, suture repair is associated with the lowest rate of surgical site infection (SSI). A multicenter database of all open VHR performed at from 2010-2011 was reviewed. All patients with follow-up of 1 mo and longer were included. The primary outcome was SSI as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The secondary outcome was hernia recurrence (assessed clinically or radiographically). Multivariate analysis (stepwise regression for SSI and Cox proportional hazard model for recurrence) was performed. A total of 761 VHR were reviewed for a median (range) follow-up of 15 (1-50) mo: there were 291(38%) suture, 303 (40%) low-density and/or mid-density synthetic mesh, and 167(22%) biologic matrix repair. On univariate analysis, there were differences in the three groups including ethnicity, ASA, body mass index, institution, diabetes, primary versus incisional hernia, wound class, hernia size, prior VHR, fascial release, skin flaps, and acute repair. The unadjusted outcomes for SSI (15.1%; 17.8%; 21.0%; P = 0.280) and recurrence (17.8%; 13.5%; 21.5%; P = 0.074) were not statistically different between groups. On multivariate analysis, biologic matrix was associated with a nonsignificant reduction in both SSI and recurrences, whereas synthetic mesh associated with fewer recurrences compared to suture (hazard ratio = 0.60; P = 0.015) and nonsignificant increase in SSI. Interval estimates favored biologic matrix repair in contaminated VHR; however, these results were not statistically significant. In the absence of higher level evidence, surgeons should carefully balance risk, cost, and benefits in managing contaminated ventral hernia repair. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Materials Manufactured from 3D Printed Synthetic Biology Arrays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentry, Diana; Micks, Ashley

    2013-01-01

    Many complex, biologically-derived materials have extremely useful properties (think wood or silk), but are unsuitable for space-related applications due to production, manufacturing, or processing limitations. Large-scale ecosystem-based production, such as raising and harvesting trees for wood, is impractical in a self-contained habitat such as a space station or potential Mars colony. Manufacturing requirements, such as the specialized equipment needed to harvest and process cotton, add too much upmass for current launch technology. Cells in nature are already highly specialized for making complex biological materials on a micro scale. We envision combining these strengths with the recently emergent technologies of synthetic biology and 3D printing to create 3D-structured arrays of cells that are bioengineered to secrete different materials in a specified three-dimensional pattern.

  13. Design of synthetic biological logic circuits based on evolutionary algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuang, Chia-Hua; Lin, Chun-Liang; Chang, Yen-Chang; Jennawasin, Tanagorn; Chen, Po-Kuei

    2013-08-01

    The construction of an artificial biological logic circuit using systematic strategy is recognised as one of the most important topics for the development of synthetic biology. In this study, a real-structured genetic algorithm (RSGA), which combines general advantages of the traditional real genetic algorithm with those of the structured genetic algorithm, is proposed to deal with the biological logic circuit design problem. A general model with the cis-regulatory input function and appropriate promoter activity functions is proposed to synthesise a wide variety of fundamental logic gates such as NOT, Buffer, AND, OR, NAND, NOR and XOR. The results obtained can be extended to synthesise advanced combinational and sequential logic circuits by topologically distinct connections. The resulting optimal design of these logic gates and circuits are established via the RSGA. The in silico computer-based modelling technology has been verified showing its great advantages in the purpose.

  14. The fusion of biology, computer science, and engineering: towards efficient and successful synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linshiz, Gregory; Goldberg, Alex; Konry, Tania; Hillson, Nathan J

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a nascent field that emerged in earnest only around the turn of the millennium. It aims to engineer new biological systems and impart new biological functionality, often through genetic modifications. The design and construction of new biological systems is a complex, multistep process, requiring multidisciplinary collaborative efforts from "fusion" scientists who have formal training in computer science or engineering, as well as hands-on biological expertise. The public has high expectations for synthetic biology and eagerly anticipates the development of solutions to the major challenges facing humanity. This article discusses laboratory practices and the conduct of research in synthetic biology. It argues that the fusion science approach, which integrates biology with computer science and engineering best practices, including standardization, process optimization, computer-aided design and laboratory automation, miniaturization, and systematic management, will increase the predictability and reproducibility of experiments and lead to breakthroughs in the construction of new biological systems. The article also discusses several successful fusion projects, including the development of software tools for DNA construction design automation, recursive DNA construction, and the development of integrated microfluidics systems.

  15. Automated Design Framework for Synthetic Biology Exploiting Pareto Optimality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otero-Muras, Irene; Banga, Julio R

    2017-07-21

    In this work we consider Pareto optimality for automated design in synthetic biology. We present a generalized framework based on a mixed-integer dynamic optimization formulation that, given design specifications, allows the computation of Pareto optimal sets of designs, that is, the set of best trade-offs for the metrics of interest. We show how this framework can be used for (i) forward design, that is, finding the Pareto optimal set of synthetic designs for implementation, and (ii) reverse design, that is, analyzing and inferring motifs and/or design principles of gene regulatory networks from the Pareto set of optimal circuits. Finally, we illustrate the capabilities and performance of this framework considering four case studies. In the first problem we consider the forward design of an oscillator. In the remaining problems, we illustrate how to apply the reverse design approach to find motifs for stripe formation, rapid adaption, and fold-change detection, respectively.

  16. Synthetic biology in cell-based cancer immunotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakravarti, Deboki; Wong, Wilson W

    2015-08-01

    The adoptive transfer of genetically engineered T cells with cancer-targeting receptors has shown tremendous promise for eradicating tumors in clinical trials. This form of cellular immunotherapy presents a unique opportunity to incorporate advanced systems and synthetic biology approaches to create cancer therapeutics with novel functions. We first review the development of synthetic receptors, switches, and circuits to control the location, duration, and strength of T cell activity against tumors. In addition, we discuss the cellular engineering and genome editing of host cells (or the chassis) to improve the efficacy of cell-based cancer therapeutics, and to reduce the time and cost of manufacturing. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 3rd congress on applied synthetic biology in Europe (Costa da Caparica, Portugal, February 2016).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cueva, Miguel

    2017-03-25

    The third meeting organised by the European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB) on advances in Applied Synthetic Biotechnology in Europe (ASBE) was held in Costa da Caparica, Portugal, in February 2016. Abundant novel applications in synthetic biology were described in the six sessions of the meeting, which was divided into technology and tools for synthetic biology (I, II and III), bionanoscience, biosynthetic pathways and enzyme synthetic biology, and metabolic engineering and chemical manufacturing. The meeting presented numerous methods for the development of novel synthetic strains, synthetic biological tools and synthetic biology applications. With the aid of synthetic biology, production costs of chemicals, metabolites and food products are expected to decrease, by generating sustainable biochemical production of such resources. Also, such synthetic biological advances could be applied for medical purposes, as in pharmaceuticals and for biosensors. Recurrent, linked themes throughout the meeting were the shortage of resources, the world's transition into a bioeconomy, and how synthetic biology is helping tackle these issues through cutting-edge technologies. While there are still limitations in synthetic biology research, innovation is propelling the development of technology, the standardisation of synthetic biological tools and the use of suitable host organisms. These developments are laying a foundation to providing a future where cutting-edge research could generate potential solutions to society's pressing issues, thus incentivising a transition into a bioeconomy. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Fourier transform Raman spectroscopy of synthetic and biological calcium phosphates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauer, G R; Zunic, W B; Durig, J R; Wuthier, R E

    1994-05-01

    Fourier-transform (FT) Raman spectroscopy was used to characterize the organic and mineral components of biological and synthetic calcium phosphate minerals. Raman spectroscopy provides information on biological minerals that is complimentary to more widely used infrared methodologies as some infrared-inactive vibrational modes are Raman-active. The application of FT-Raman technology has, for the first time, enabled the problems of high sample fluorescence and low signal-to-noise that are inherent in calcified tissues to be overcome. Raman spectra of calcium phosphates are dominated by a very strong band near 960 cm-1 that arises from the symmetric stretching mode (v1) of the phosphate group. Other Raman-active phosphate vibrational bands are seen at approximately 1075 (v3), 590 (v4), and 435 cm-1 (v2). Minerals containing acidic phosphate groups show additional vibrational modes. The different calcium phosphate mineral phases can be distinguished from one another by the relative positions and shapes of these bands in the Raman spectra. FT-Raman spectra of nascent, nonmineralized matrix vesicles (MV) show a distinct absence of the phosphate v1 band even though these structures are rich in calcium and phosphate. Similar results were seen with milk casein and synthetic Ca-phosphatidyl-serine-PO4 complexes. Hence, the phosphate and/or acidic phosphate ions in these noncrystalline biological calcium phosphates is in a molecular environment that differs from that in synthetic amorphous calcium phosphate. In MV, the first distinct mineral phase to form contained acidic phosphate bands similar to those seen in octacalcium phosphate. The mineral phase present in fully mineralized MV was much more apatitic, resembling that found in bones and teeth.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  19. Bottom-up modeling of oil production: A review of approaches

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jakobsson, Kristofer; Söderbergh, Bengt; Snowden, Simon; Aleklett, Kjell

    2014-01-01

    Bottom-up models of oil production are continuously being used to guide investments and policymaking. Compared to simpler top-down models, bottom-up models have a number of advantages due to their modularity, flexibility and concreteness. The purposes of this paper is to identify the crucial modeling challenges, compare the different ways in which nine existing models handle them, assess the appropriateness of these models, and point to possibilities of further development. The conclusions are that the high level of detail in bottom-up models is of questionable value for predictive accuracy, but of great value for identifying areas of uncertainty and new research questions. There is a potential for improved qualitative insights through systematic sensitivity analysis. This potential is at present largely unrealized. - Highlights: • Bottom-up models are influential in the study of the oil production supply chain. • Nine existing bottom-up models are reviewed. • The high level of detail is of questionable value for predictive accuracy. • There is a potential for more systematic sensitivity analysis

  20. Synthetic and systems biology for microbial production of commodity chemicals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chubukov, Victor; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila; Petzold, Christopher J; Keasling, Jay D; Martín, Héctor García

    2016-01-01

    The combination of synthetic and systems biology is a powerful framework to study fundamental questions in biology and produce chemicals of immediate practical application such as biofuels, polymers, or therapeutics. However, we cannot yet engineer biological systems as easily and precisely as we engineer physical systems. In this review, we describe the path from the choice of target molecule to scaling production up to commercial volumes. We present and explain some of the current challenges and gaps in our knowledge that must be overcome in order to bring our bioengineering capabilities to the level of other engineering disciplines. Challenges start at molecule selection, where a difficult balance between economic potential and biological feasibility must be struck. Pathway design and construction have recently been revolutionized by next-generation sequencing and exponentially improving DNA synthesis capabilities. Although pathway optimization can be significantly aided by enzyme expression characterization through proteomics, choosing optimal relative protein expression levels for maximum production is still the subject of heuristic, non-systematic approaches. Toxic metabolic intermediates and proteins can significantly affect production, and dynamic pathway regulation emerges as a powerful but yet immature tool to prevent it. Host engineering arises as a much needed complement to pathway engineering for high bioproduct yields; and systems biology approaches such as stoichiometric modeling or growth coupling strategies are required. A final, and often underestimated, challenge is the successful scale up of processes to commercial volumes. Sustained efforts in improving reproducibility and predictability are needed for further development of bioengineering.

  1. Mimicking biological stress-strain behaviour with synthetic elastomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vatankhah-Varnosfaderani, Mohammad; Daniel, William F. M.; Everhart, Matthew H.; Pandya, Ashish A.; Liang, Heyi; Matyjaszewski, Krzysztof; Dobrynin, Andrey V.; Sheiko, Sergei S.

    2017-09-01

    Despite the versatility of synthetic chemistry, certain combinations of mechanical softness, strength, and toughness can be difficult to achieve in a single material. These combinations are, however, commonplace in biological tissues, and are therefore needed for applications such as medical implants, tissue engineering, soft robotics, and wearable electronics. Present materials synthesis strategies are predominantly Edisonian, involving the empirical mixing of assorted monomers, crosslinking schemes, and occluded swelling agents, but this approach yields limited property control. Here we present a general strategy for mimicking the mechanical behaviour of biological materials by precisely encoding their stress-strain curves in solvent-free brush- and comb-like polymer networks (elastomers). The code consists of three independent architectural parameters—network strand length, side-chain length and grafting density. Using prototypical poly(dimethylsiloxane) elastomers, we illustrate how this parametric triplet enables the replication of the strain-stiffening characteristics of jellyfish, lung, and arterial tissues.

  2. Synthetic biology routes to bio-artificial intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaikin, Alexey; Saka, Yasushi; Romano, M. Carmen; Giuraniuc, Claudiu V.; Kanakov, Oleg; Laptyeva, Tetyana

    2016-01-01

    The design of synthetic gene networks (SGNs) has advanced to the extent that novel genetic circuits are now being tested for their ability to recapitulate archetypal learning behaviours first defined in the fields of machine and animal learning. Here, we discuss the biological implementation of a perceptron algorithm for linear classification of input data. An expansion of this biological design that encompasses cellular ‘teachers’ and ‘students’ is also examined. We also discuss implementation of Pavlovian associative learning using SGNs and present an example of such a scheme and in silico simulation of its performance. In addition to designed SGNs, we also consider the option to establish conditions in which a population of SGNs can evolve diversity in order to better contend with complex input data. Finally, we compare recent ethical concerns in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and the future challenges raised by bio-artificial intelligence (BI). PMID:27903825

  3. ‘Can Simple Biological Systems be Built from Standardized Interchangeable Parts?’:Negotiating Biology and Engineering in a Synthetic Biology Competition

    OpenAIRE

    Frow, Emma; Calvert, Jane

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic biology represents a recent attempt to bring engineering principles and practices to working with biology. In practice, the nature of the relationship between engineering and biology in synthetic biology is a subject of ongoing debate. The disciplines of biology and engineering are typically seen to involve differentways of knowing and doing, and to embody different assumptions and objectives. Tensions between these approaches are playing out as the field of synthetic biology is bei...

  4. Cell-free synthetic biology: thinking outside the cell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgman, C Eric; Jewett, Michael C

    2012-05-01

    Cell-free synthetic biology is emerging as a powerful approach aimed to understand, harness, and expand the capabilities of natural biological systems without using intact cells. Cell-free systems bypass cell walls and remove genetic regulation to enable direct access to the inner workings of the cell. The unprecedented level of control and freedom of design, relative to in vivo systems, has inspired the rapid development of engineering foundations for cell-free systems in recent years. These efforts have led to programmed circuits, spatially organized pathways, co-activated catalytic ensembles, rational optimization of synthetic multi-enzyme pathways, and linear scalability from the micro-liter to the 100-liter scale. It is now clear that cell-free systems offer a versatile test-bed for understanding why nature's designs work the way they do and also for enabling biosynthetic routes to novel chemicals, sustainable fuels, and new classes of tunable materials. While challenges remain, the emergence of cell-free systems is poised to open the way to novel products that until now have been impractical, if not impossible, to produce by other means. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Is there anything unique in the ethics of synthetic biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyd, David

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic biology does not create any ethical dilemmas that have not already been raised in the development of practices such as genetic screening, genetic engineering, and other interventions in the evolutionary processes. The issue is, nevertheless, ethically serious. Two different angles are examined: the philosophical legitimacy of human intervention in the shaping of human nature, and the more pragmatic (though by no means less important) question of the risks involved in such a novel line of research. As for the first, the claim made here is that in principle there is no constraint in human intervention in the world, since ultimately the source of any value lies in human interests, welfare, and values. This is an approach that is opposite to Habermas's. As for the practical problem of risk, research in synthetic biology calls for particular caution, since in at least the first stages of a new research or program, there is no social regulation, and society is wholly dependent on the scientist's ethical integrity.

  6. Bacterial microcompartments as metabolic modules for plant synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Esquer, C Raul; Newnham, Sarah E; Kerfeld, Cheryl A

    2016-07-01

    Bacterial microcompartments (BMCs) are megadalton-sized protein assemblies that enclose segments of metabolic pathways within cells. They increase the catalytic efficiency of the encapsulated enzymes while sequestering volatile or toxic intermediates from the bulk cytosol. The first BMCs discovered were the carboxysomes of cyanobacteria. Carboxysomes compartmentalize the enzyme ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RuBisCO) with carbonic anhydrase. They enhance the carboxylase activity of RuBisCO by increasing the local concentration of CO2 in the vicinity of the enzyme's active site. As a metabolic module for carbon fixation, carboxysomes could be transferred to eukaryotic organisms (e.g. plants) to increase photosynthetic efficiency. Within the scope of synthetic biology, carboxysomes and other BMCs hold even greater potential when considered a source of building blocks for the development of nanoreactors or three-dimensional scaffolds to increase the efficiency of either native or heterologously expressed enzymes. The carboxysome serves as an ideal model system for testing approaches to engineering BMCs because their expression in cyanobacteria provides a sensitive screen for form (appearance of polyhedral bodies) and function (ability to grow on air). We recount recent progress in the re-engineering of the carboxysome shell and core to offer a conceptual framework for the development of BMC-based architectures for applications in plant synthetic biology. © 2016 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Inelastic neutron scattering from synthetic and biological polymers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    White, J.W.

    1976-01-01

    Neutron elastic and inelastic scattering measurements have provided many unique insights into structure, and by reviewing progress on synthetics, important differences likely to arise in biological systems are identified and a direction for studies of the latter is suggested. By neutron inelastic scattering it is possible to measure the frequency of thermally excited interatomic and intermolecular vibrations in crystals. With perfect organic and inorganic crystals the technique is now classical and has given great insight into the crystal forces responsible for the observed structures as well as the phase transitions they undergo. The study of polymer crystals immediately presents two problems of disorder: (1) Macroscopic disorder arises because the sample is a mixture of amorphous and crystalline fractions, and it may be acute enough to inhibit growth of a single crystal large enough for neutron studies. (2) Microscopic disorder in the packing of polymer chains in the ''crystalline'' regions is indicated by broadening of Bragg peaks. Both types of disorder problem arise in biological systems. The methods by which they were partially overcome to allow neutron measurements with synthetic polymers are described but first a classical example of the determination of interatomic forces by inelastic neutron scattering is given

  8. MIDAS: A Modular DNA Assembly System for Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Dolleweerd, Craig J; Kessans, Sarah A; Van de Bittner, Kyle C; Bustamante, Leyla Y; Bundela, Rudranuj; Scott, Barry; Nicholson, Matthew J; Parker, Emily J

    2018-04-20

    A modular and hierarchical DNA assembly platform for synthetic biology based on Golden Gate (Type IIS restriction enzyme) cloning is described. This enabling technology, termed MIDAS (for Modular Idempotent DNA Assembly System), can be used to precisely assemble multiple DNA fragments in a single reaction using a standardized assembly design. It can be used to build genes from libraries of sequence-verified, reusable parts and to assemble multiple genes in a single vector, with full user control over gene order and orientation, as well as control of the direction of growth (polarity) of the multigene assembly, a feature that allows genes to be nested between other genes or genetic elements. We describe the detailed design and use of MIDAS, exemplified by the reconstruction, in the filamentous fungus Penicillium paxilli, of the metabolic pathway for production of paspaline and paxilline, key intermediates in the biosynthesis of a range of indole diterpenes-a class of secondary metabolites produced by several species of filamentous fungi. MIDAS was used to efficiently assemble a 25.2 kb plasmid from 21 different modules (seven genes, each composed of three basic parts). By using a parts library-based system for construction of complex assemblies, and a unique set of vectors, MIDAS can provide a flexible route to assembling tailored combinations of genes and other genetic elements, thereby supporting synthetic biology applications in a wide range of expression hosts.

  9. Learning from biology: synthetic lipoproteins for drug delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Huang; Cruz, William; Chen, Juan; Zheng, Gang

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic lipoproteins represent a relevant tool for targeted delivery of biological/chemical agents (chemotherapeutics, siRNAs, photosensitizers, and imaging contrast agents) into various cell types. These nanoparticles offer a number of advantages for drugs delivery over their native counterparts while retaining their natural characteristics and biological functions. Their ultra-small size (lipoprotein receptors, i.e., low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) and Scavenger receptor class B member 1 (SRB1) that are found in a number of pathological conditions (e.g., cancer, atherosclerosis), make them superior delivery strategies when compared with other nanoparticle systems. We review the various approaches that have been developed for the generation of synthetic lipoproteins and their respective applications in vitro and in vivo. More specifically, we summarize the approaches employed to address the limitation on use of reconstituted lipoproteins by means of natural or recombinant apolipoproteins, as well as apolipoprotein mimetic molecules. Finally, we provide an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches and discuss future perspectives for clinical translation of these nanoparticles. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Increased performance in a bottom-up designed robot by experimentally guided redesign

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Jørgen Christian

    2013-01-01

    Purpose – Using a bottom-up, model-free approach when building robots is often seen as a less scientific way, compared to a top-down model-based approach, because the results are not easily generalizable to other systems. The authors, however, hypothesize that this problem may be addressed by using...... the bottom-up, mode-free approach, the authors used the robotic construction kit, LocoKit. This construction kit allows researchers to construct legged robots, without having a mathematical model beforehand. The authors used no specific mathematical model to design the robot, but instead used intuition...... solid experimental methods. The purpose of this paper is to show how well-known experimental methods from bio-mechanics are used to measure and locate weaknesses in a bottom-up, model-free implementation of a quadruped walker and come up with a better solution. Design/methodology/approach – To study...

  11. When endogenous spatial attention improves conscious perception: effects of alerting and bottom-up activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botta, Fabiano; Lupiáñez, Juan; Chica, Ana B

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have consistently demonstrated that conscious perception interacts with exogenous attentional orienting, but it can be dissociated from endogenous attentional orienting (Chica Lasaponara, et al., 2011; Wyart & Tallon-Baudry, 2008). It has been hypothesized that enhanced conscious processing at exogenously attended locations results from a synergistic action of spatial orienting, bottom-up activation, and phasic alerting induced by the abrupt onset of the exogenous cue (Chica, Lasaponara, et al., 2011). Instead, as endogenous cues need more time to be interpreted, the phasic alerting they produce may have dissipated when the target appears. Furthermore, endogenous cues presumably elicit a weak bottom-up activation at the cued location. Consistent with these hypotheses, we observed that endogenous attention modulated conscious perception, but only when phasic alerting or bottom-up activation was increased. Results are discussed in the context of recent theoretical models of consciousness (Dehaene, Changeux, Naccache, Sackur, & Sergent, 2006). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Bottom-up learning of hierarchical models in a class of deterministic POMDP environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itoh Hideaki

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The theory of partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs is a useful tool for developing various intelligent agents, and learning hierarchical POMDP models is one of the key approaches for building such agents when the environments of the agents are unknown and large. To learn hierarchical models, bottom-up learning methods in which learning takes place in a layer-by-layer manner from the lowest to the highest layer are already extensively used in some research fields such as hidden Markov models and neural networks. However, little attention has been paid to bottom-up approaches for learning POMDP models. In this paper, we present a novel bottom-up learning algorithm for hierarchical POMDP models and prove that, by using this algorithm, a perfect model (i.e., a model that can perfectly predict future observations can be learned at least in a class of deterministic POMDP environments

  13. Basic science through engineering? Synthetic modeling and the idea of biology-inspired engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knuuttila, Tarja; Loettgers, Andrea

    2013-06-01

    Synthetic biology is often understood in terms of the pursuit for well-characterized biological parts to create synthetic wholes. Accordingly, it has typically been conceived of as an engineering dominated and application oriented field. We argue that the relationship of synthetic biology to engineering is far more nuanced than that and involves a sophisticated epistemic dimension, as shown by the recent practice of synthetic modeling. Synthetic models are engineered genetic networks that are implanted in a natural cell environment. Their construction is typically combined with experiments on model organisms as well as mathematical modeling and simulation. What is especially interesting about this combinational modeling practice is that, apart from greater integration between these different epistemic activities, it has also led to the questioning of some central assumptions and notions on which synthetic biology is based. As a result synthetic biology is in the process of becoming more "biology inspired." Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Integrated Assessment of Energy Policies: A Decomposition of Top-Down and Bottom-Up

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boehringer, Christoph (Univ. of Oldenburg (Germany)); Rutherford, Thomas F. (ETH Zuerich (Switzerland))

    2008-01-15

    The formulation of market equilibrium problems as mixed complementarity problems (MCP) permits integration of bottom-up programming models of the energy system into top-down general equilibrium models of the overall economy. Yet, in practise the MCP approach loses analytical tractability of income effects, when the energy system includes upper and lowrbounds on many decision variables . We therefore advocate the use of complementarity methods to solve only the top-down economic equilibrium model and employ quadratic programming to solve the underlying bottom-up energy supply model. A simple iterative procedure reconciles the equilibrium prices and quantities between both models.

  15. Bottom-up and top-down effects on plant communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Souza, Lara; Zelikova, Tamara Jane; Sanders, Nate

    2016-01-01

    -down) and soil nitrogen (bottom-up) were manipulated over six years in an existing old-field community. We tracked plant α and β diversity - within plot richness and among plot biodiversity- and aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) over the course of the experiment. We found that bottom-up factors...... affected ANPP while top-down factors influenced plant community structure. Across years, while N reduction lowered ANPP by 10%, N reduction did not alter ANPP relative to control plots. Further, N reduction lowered ANPP by 20% relative to N addition plots. On the other hand, the reduction of insect...... community composition via shifts in plant dominance....

  16. Synthetic biology and its alternatives. Descartes, Kant and the idea of engineering biological machines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kogge, Werner; Richter, Michael

    2013-06-01

    The engineering-based approach of synthetic biology is characterized by an assumption that 'engineering by design' enables the construction of 'living machines'. These 'machines', as biological machines, are expected to display certain properties of life, such as adapting to changing environments and acting in a situated way. This paper proposes that a tension exists between the expectations placed on biological artefacts and the notion of producing such systems by means of engineering; this tension makes it seem implausible that biological systems, especially those with properties characteristic of living beings, can in fact be produced using the specific methods of engineering. We do not claim that engineering techniques have nothing to contribute to the biotechnological construction of biological artefacts. However, drawing on Descartes's and Kant's thinking on the relationship between the organism and the machine, we show that it is considerably more plausible to assume that distinctively biological artefacts emerge within a paradigm different from the paradigm of the Cartesian machine that underlies the engineering approach. We close by calling for increased attention to be paid to approaches within molecular biology and chemistry that rest on conceptions different from those of synthetic biology's engineering paradigm. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Approaches in studying the pharmacology of Chinese Medicine formulas: bottom-up, top-down-and meeting in the middle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Tao; Zhong, Linda L D; Lin, Chen-Yuan; Zhao, Ling; Ning, Zi-Wan; Hu, Dong-Dong; Zhang, Man; Tian, Ke; Cheng, Chung-Wah; Bian, Zhao-Xiang

    2018-01-01

    Investigating the pharmacology is key to the modernization of Chinese Medicine (CM) formulas. However, identifying which are the active compound(s) of CM formulas, which biological entities they target, and through which signaling pathway(s) they act to modify disease symptoms, are still difficult tasks for researchers, even when equipped with an arsenal of advanced modern technologies. Multiple approaches, including network pharmacology, pharmaco-genomics, -proteomics, and -metabolomics, have been developed to study the pharmacology of CM formulas. They fall into two general categories in terms of how they tackle a problem: bottom-up and top-down. In this article, we compared these two different approaches in several dimensions by using the case of MaZiRenWan (MZRW, also known as Hemp Seed Pill), a CM herbal formula for functional constipation. Multiple hypotheses are easy to be proposed in the bottom-up approach (e.g. network pharmacology); but these hypotheses are usually false positives and hard to be tested. In contrast, it is hard to suggest hypotheses in the top-down approach (e.g. pharmacometabolomics); however, once a hypothesis is proposed, it is much easier to be tested. Merging of these two approaches could results in a powerful approach, which could be the new paradigm for the pharmacological study of CM formulas.

  18. Roll-to-roll UV imprint for bottom-up transistor fabrication

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maury, P.; Turkenburg, D.H.; Stroeks, N.; Giesen, P.; Wijnen, M.; Tacken, R.; Meinders, E.R.; Werf, R. van der

    2011-01-01

    We propose a design to fabricate transistors on flexible substrates in a bottom-up fashion using R2R UV-imprint lithography. The design consists of a template composed of multilevel as well as gray level features, the later used to facilitate device interconnection. A hard mold is fabricated by LBR

  19. Coupling 2D Finite Element Models and Circuit Equations Using a Bottom-Up Methodology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-11-01

    EQUATIONS USING A BOTTOM-UP METHODOLOGY E. G6mezl, J. Roger-Folch2 , A. Gabald6nt and A. Molina’ ’Dpto. de Ingenieria Eldctrica. Universidad Polit...de Ingenieria Elictrica. ETSII. Universidad Politdcnica de Valencia. PO Box 22012, 46071. Valencia, Spain. E-mail: iroger adie.upv.es ABSTRACT The

  20. The Girlfriends Project: Evaluating a Promising Community-Based Intervention from a Bottom-Up Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawk, Mary

    2015-01-01

    Randomized controlled trials are the gold standard in research but may not fully explain or predict outcome variations in community-based interventions. Demonstrating efficacy of externally driven programs in well-controlled environments may not translate to community-based implementation where resources and priorities vary. A bottom-up evaluation…

  1. Bottom-up and top-down emotion generation: implications for emotion regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misra, Supriya; Prasad, Aditya K.; Pereira, Sean C.; Gross, James J.

    2012-01-01

    Emotion regulation plays a crucial role in adaptive functioning and mounting evidence suggests that some emotion regulation strategies are often more effective than others. However, little attention has been paid to the different ways emotions can be generated: from the ‘bottom-up’ (in response to inherently emotional perceptual properties of the stimulus) or ‘top-down’ (in response to cognitive evaluations). Based on a process priming principle, we hypothesized that mode of emotion generation would interact with subsequent emotion regulation. Specifically, we predicted that top-down emotions would be more successfully regulated by a top-down regulation strategy than bottom-up emotions. To test this hypothesis, we induced bottom-up and top-down emotions, and asked participants to decrease the negative impact of these emotions using cognitive reappraisal. We observed the predicted interaction between generation and regulation in two measures of emotional responding. As measured by self-reported affect, cognitive reappraisal was more successful on top-down generated emotions than bottom-up generated emotions. Neurally, reappraisal of bottom-up generated emotions resulted in a paradoxical increase of amygdala activity. This interaction between mode of emotion generation and subsequent regulation should be taken into account when comparing of the efficacy of different types of emotion regulation, as well as when reappraisal is used to treat different types of clinical disorders. PMID:21296865

  2. Electrodeposition in capillaries: Bottom-up micro and nanopatterning of functional materials on conductive substrates

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    George, A.; Maijenburg, A.W.; Maas, M.G.; Blank, David H.A.; ten Elshof, Johan E.

    2011-01-01

    A cost-effective and versatile methodology for bottom-up patterned growth of inorganic and metallic materials on the micro- and nanoscale is presented. Pulsed electrodeposition was employed to deposit arbitrary patterns of Ni, ZnO, and FeO(OH) of high quality, with lateral feature sizes down to

  3. Oriented bottom-up growth of armchair graphene nanoribbons on germanium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, Michael Scott; Jacobberger, Robert Michael

    2016-03-15

    Graphene nanoribbon arrays, methods of growing graphene nanoribbon arrays and electronic and photonic devices incorporating the graphene nanoribbon arrays are provided. The graphene nanoribbons in the arrays are formed using a scalable, bottom-up, chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technique in which the (001) facet of the germanium is used to orient the graphene nanoribbon crystals along the [110] directions of the germanium.

  4. Comparing Top-Down with Bottom-Up Approaches: Teaching Data Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kung, Hsiang-Jui; Kung, LeeAnn; Gardiner, Adrian

    2013-01-01

    Conceptual database design is a difficult task for novice database designers, such as students, and is also therefore particularly challenging for database educators to teach. In the teaching of database design, two general approaches are frequently emphasized: top-down and bottom-up. In this paper, we present an empirical comparison of students'…

  5. Bottom-up and Top-down: An alternate classification of LD authoring approaches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sodhi, Tim; Miao, Yongwu; Brouns, Francis; Koper, Rob

    2007-01-01

    Sodhi, T., Miao, Y., Brouns, F., & Koper, E. J. R. (2007). Bottom-up and Top-down: An alternate classification of LD authoring approaches. Paper presented at the TENCompetence Open Workshop on Current research on IMS Learning Design and Lifelong Competence Development Infrastructures. June, 21-22,

  6. Enhanced Photon Extraction from a Nanowire Quantum Dot Using a Bottom-Up Photonic Shell

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jeannin, Mathieu; Cremel, Thibault; Häyrynen, Teppo

    2017-01-01

    Semiconductor nanowires offer the possibility to grow high-quality quantum-dot heterostructures, and, in particular, CdSe quantum dots inserted in ZnSe nanowires have demonstrated the ability to emit single photons up to room temperature. In this paper, we demonstrate a bottom-up approach...

  7. Bottom-up processes influence the demography and life-cycle phenology of Hawaiian bird communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jared D. Wolfe; C. John Ralph; Andrew Wiegardt

    2017-01-01

    Changes in climate can indirectly regulate populations at higher trophic levels by influencing the availability of food resources in the lower reaches of the food web. As such, species that rely on fruit and nectar food resources may be particularly sensitive to these bottom-up perturbations due to the strength of their trophic linkages with climatically-...

  8. Iodine versus Bromine Functionalization for Bottom-Up Graphene Nanoribbon Growth

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bronner, Christopher; Marangoni, Tomas; Rizzo, Daniel J.

    2017-01-01

    Deterministic bottom-up approaches for synthesizing atomically well-defined graphene nanoribbons (GNRs) largely rely on the surface-catalyzed activation of selected labile bonds in a molecular precursor followed by step-growth polymerization and cyclodehydrogenation. While the majority of success...

  9. Ortholog prediction of the Aspergillus genus applicable for synthetic biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Jane Lind Nybo; Vesth, Tammi Camilla; Theobald, Sebastian

    of genotype-to-phenotype. To achieve this, we have developed orthologous protein prediction software that utilizes genus-wide genetic diversity. The approach is optimized for large data sets, based on BLASTp considering protein identity and alignment coverage, and clustering using single linkage of bi......The Aspergillus genus contains leading industrial microorganisms, excelling in producing bioactive compounds and enzymes. Using synthetic biology and bioinformatics, we aim to re-engineer these organisms for applications within human health, pharmaceuticals, environmental engineering, and food......-directional hits. The result is orthologous protein families describing the genomic and functional features of individual species, clades and the core/pan genome of Aspergillus; and applicable to genotype-to-phenotype analyses in other microbial genera....

  10. Testing of Synthetic Biological Membranes for Forward Osmosis Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parodi, Jurek; Mangado, Jaione Romero; Stefanson, Ofir; Flynn, Michael; Mancinelli, Rocco; Kawashima, Brian; Trieu, Serena; Brozell, Adrian; Rosenberg, Kevan

    2016-01-01

    Commercially available forward osmosis membranes have been extensively tested for human space flight wastewater treatment. Despite the improvements achieved in the last decades, there is still a challenge to produce reliable membranes with anti-fouling properties, chemical resistance, and high flux and selectivity. Synthetic biological membranes that mimic the ones present in nature, which underwent millions of years of evolution, represent a potential solution for further development and progress in membrane technology. Biomimetic forward osmosis membranes based on a polymeric support filter and coated with surfactant multilayers have been engineered to investigate how different manufacturing processes impact the performance and structure of the membrane. However, initial results of the first generation prototype membranes tests reveal a high scatter in the data, due to the current testing apparatus set up. The testing apparatus has been upgraded to improve data collection, reduce errors, and to allow higher control of the testing process.

  11. Engineering Therapeutic T Cells: From Synthetic Biology to Clinical Trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esensten, Jonathan H; Bluestone, Jeffrey A; Lim, Wendell A

    2017-01-24

    Engineered T cells are currently in clinical trials to treat patients with cancer, solid organ transplants, and autoimmune diseases. However, the field is still in its infancy. The design, and manufacturing, of T cell therapies is not standardized and is performed mostly in academic settings by competing groups. Reliable methods to define dose and pharmacokinetics of T cell therapies need to be developed. As of mid-2016, there are no US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved T cell therapeutics on the market, and FDA regulations are only slowly adapting to the new technologies. Further development of engineered T cell therapies requires advances in immunology, synthetic biology, manufacturing processes, and government regulation. In this review, we outline some of these challenges and discuss the contributions that pathologists can make to this emerging field.

  12. Synthetic biology in the view of European public funding organisations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pei, Lei; Gaisser, Sibylle; Schmidt, Markus

    2012-01-01

    We analysed the decisions of major European public funding organisations to fund or not to fund synthetic biology (SB) and related ethical, legal and social implication (ELSI) studies. We investigated the reaction of public organisations in six countries (Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK) towards SB that may influence SB’s further development in Europe. We examined R&D and ELSI communities and their particular funding situation. Our results show that the funding situation for SB varies considerably among the analysed countries, with the UK as the only country with an established funding scheme for R&D and ELSI that successfully integrates these research communities. Elsewhere, we determined a general lack of funding (France), difficulties in funding ELSI work (Switzerland), lack of an R&D community (Austria), too small ELSI communities (France, Switzerland, Netherlands), or difficulties in linking existing communities with available funding sources (Germany), partly due to an unclear SB definition. PMID:22586841

  13. Six recommendations on “Synthetic Biology & Intellectual Property Rights”

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Minssen, Timo; Rutz, Berthold; van Zimmeren, Esther

    2015-01-01

    In September 2014 the European Commission’s Scientific Committees published a Final Opinion, which defines synthetic biology (SB) as follows: “SynBio is the application of science, technology and engineering to facilitate and accelerate the design, manufacture and/or modification of genetic...... materials in living organisms”. This operational definition offered by the Scientific Committees is derived from a working understanding of SynBio as a collection of conceptual and technological advances. It is sufficiently broad to include new developments in the field and also addresses the need...... for a definition that enables risk assessment.In order to promote an adequate development of SB that will secure innovation and cooperation and prevent fragmentation, it is important to identify and assess new risks and other issues early on to enable scientists, industry, funding agencies and other stakeholders...

  14. Plant glyco-biotechnology on the way to synthetic biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas eLoos

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Plants are increasingly being used for the production of recombinant proteins. One reason is that plants are highly amenable for glycan engineering processes and allow the production of therapeutic proteins with increased efficacies due to optimized glycosylation profiles. Removal and insertion of glycosylation reactions by knock-out/knock-down approaches and introduction of glycosylation enzymes have paved the way for the humanization of the plant glycosylation pathway. The insertion of heterologous enzymes at exactly the right stage of the existing glycosylation pathway has turned out to be of utmost importance for optimal results. To enable such precise targeting chimeric enzymes have been constructed. In this short review we will exemplify the importance of correct targeting of glycosyltransferases, we will give an overview of the targeting mechanism of glycosyltransferases, describe chimeric enzymes used in plant N-glycosylation engineering and illustrate how plant glycoengineering builds on the tools offered by synthetic biology to construct such chimeric enzymes.

  15. PGASO: A synthetic biology tool for engineering a cellulolytic yeast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chang Jui-Jen

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To achieve an economical cellulosic ethanol production, a host that can do both cellulosic saccharification and ethanol fermentation is desirable. However, to engineer a non-cellulolytic yeast to be such a host requires synthetic biology techniques to transform multiple enzyme genes into its genome. Results A technique, named Promoter-based Gene Assembly and Simultaneous Overexpression (PGASO, that employs overlapping oligonucleotides for recombinatorial assembly of gene cassettes with individual promoters, was developed. PGASO was applied to engineer Kluyveromycesmarxianus KY3, which is a thermo- and toxin-tolerant yeast. We obtained a recombinant strain, called KR5, that is capable of simultaneously expressing exoglucanase and endoglucanase (both of Trichodermareesei, a beta-glucosidase (from a cow rumen fungus, a neomycin phosphotransferase, and a green fluorescent protein. High transformation efficiency and accuracy were achieved as ~63% of the transformants was confirmed to be correct. KR5 can utilize beta-glycan, cellobiose or CMC as the sole carbon source for growth and can directly convert cellobiose and beta-glycan to ethanol. Conclusions This study provides the first example of multi-gene assembly in a single step in a yeast species other than Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We successfully engineered a yeast host with a five-gene cassette assembly and the new host is capable of co-expressing three types of cellulase genes. Our study shows that PGASO is an efficient tool for simultaneous expression of multiple enzymes in the kefir yeast KY3 and that KY3 can serve as a host for developing synthetic biology tools.

  16. Challenges for the European governance of synthetic biology for human health

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stemerding, D.; Douglas, C.

    2014-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a series of scientific and technological practices involved in the application of engineering principles to the design and production of predictable and robust biological systems. While policy discussions abound in this area, emerging technologies like synthetic biology present

  17. [Application of synthetic biology to sustainable utilization of Chinese materia medica resources].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lu-Qi; Gao, Wei; Zhou, Yong-Jin

    2014-01-01

    Bioactive natural products are the material bases of Chinese materia medica resources. With successful applications of synthetic biology strategies to the researches and productions of taxol, artemisinin and tanshinone, etc, the potential ability of synthetic biology in the sustainable utilization of Chinese materia medica resources has been attracted by many researchers. This paper reviews the development of synthetic biology, the opportunities of sustainable utilization of Chinese materia medica resources, and the progress of synthetic biology applied to the researches of bioactive natural products. Furthermore, this paper also analyzes how to apply synthetic biology to sustainable utilization of Chinese materia medica resources and what the crucial factors are. Production of bioactive natural products with synthetic biology strategies will become a significant approach for the sustainable utilization of Chinese materia medica resources.

  18. Comparison between bottom-up and top-down approaches in the estimation of measurement uncertainty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jun Hyung; Choi, Jee-Hye; Youn, Jae Saeng; Cha, Young Joo; Song, Woonheung; Park, Ae Ja

    2015-06-01

    Measurement uncertainty is a metrological concept to quantify the variability of measurement results. There are two approaches to estimate measurement uncertainty. In this study, we sought to provide practical and detailed examples of the two approaches and compare the bottom-up and top-down approaches to estimating measurement uncertainty. We estimated measurement uncertainty of the concentration of glucose according to CLSI EP29-A guideline. Two different approaches were used. First, we performed a bottom-up approach. We identified the sources of uncertainty and made an uncertainty budget and assessed the measurement functions. We determined the uncertainties of each element and combined them. Second, we performed a top-down approach using internal quality control (IQC) data for 6 months. Then, we estimated and corrected systematic bias using certified reference material of glucose (NIST SRM 965b). The expanded uncertainties at the low glucose concentration (5.57 mmol/L) by the bottom-up approach and top-down approaches were ±0.18 mmol/L and ±0.17 mmol/L, respectively (all k=2). Those at the high glucose concentration (12.77 mmol/L) by the bottom-up and top-down approaches were ±0.34 mmol/L and ±0.36 mmol/L, respectively (all k=2). We presented practical and detailed examples for estimating measurement uncertainty by the two approaches. The uncertainties by the bottom-up approach were quite similar to those by the top-down approach. Thus, we demonstrated that the two approaches were approximately equivalent and interchangeable and concluded that clinical laboratories could determine measurement uncertainty by the simpler top-down approach.

  19. BrisSynBio: a BBSRC/EPSRC-funded Synthetic Biology Research Centre.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sedgley, Kathleen R; Race, Paul R; Woolfson, Derek N

    2016-06-15

    BrisSynBio is the Bristol-based Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)/Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)-funded Synthetic Biology Research Centre. It is one of six such Centres in the U.K. BrisSynBio's emphasis is on rational and predictive bimolecular modelling, design and engineering in the context of synthetic biology. It trains the next generation of synthetic biologists in these approaches, to facilitate translation of fundamental synthetic biology research to industry and the clinic, and to do this within an innovative and responsible research framework. © 2016 The Author(s).

  20. METABOLIC MODELLING IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF CELL FACTORIES BY SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Jouhten

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Cell factories are commonly microbial organisms utilized for bioconversion of renewable resources to bulk or high value chemicals. Introduction of novel production pathways in chassis strains is the core of the development of cell factories by synthetic biology. Synthetic biology aims to create novel biological functions and systems not found in nature by combining biology with engineering. The workflow of the development of novel cell factories with synthetic biology is ideally linear which will be attainable with the quantitative engineering approach, high-quality predictive models, and libraries of well-characterized parts. Different types of metabolic models, mathematical representations of metabolism and its components, enzymes and metabolites, are useful in particular phases of the synthetic biology workflow. In this minireview, the role of metabolic modelling in synthetic biology will be discussed with a review of current status of compatible methods and models for the in silico design and quantitative evaluation of a cell factory.

  1. Synthetic Biology and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2015-01-01

    "Are we alone?" is one of the primary questions of astrobiology, and whose answer defines our significance in the universe. Unfortunately, this quest is hindered by the fact that we have only one confirmed example of life, that of earth. While this is enormously helpful in helping to define the minimum envelope for life, it strains credulity to imagine that life, if it arose multiple times, has not taken other routes. To help fill this gap, our lab has begun using synthetic biology - the design and construction of new biological parts and systems and the redesign of existing ones for useful purposes - as an enabling technology. One theme, the "Hell Cell" project, focuses on creating artificial extremophiles in order to push the limits for Earth life, and to understand how difficult it is for life to evolve into extreme niches. In another project, we are re-evolving biotic functions using only the most thermodynamically stable amino acids in order to understand potential capabilities of an early organism with a limited repertoire of amino acids.

  2. Synthetic Biology as an Enabling Technology for Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2016-01-01

    Human exploration off planet is severely limited by the cost of launching materials into space and by re-supply. Thus materials brought from Earth must be light, stable and reliable at destination. Using traditional approaches, a lunar or Mars base would require either transporting a hefty store of metals or heavy manufacturing equipment and construction materials for in situ extraction; both would severely limit any other mission objectives. Long-term human space presence requires periodic replenishment, adding a massive cost overhead. Even robotic missions often sacrifice science goals for heavy radiation and thermal protection. Biology has the potential to solve these problems because life can replicate and repair itself, and perform a wide variety of chemical reactions including making food, fuel and materials. Synthetic biology enhances and expands life's evolved repertoire. Using organisms as feedstock, additive manufacturing through bioprinting will make possible the dream of producing bespoke tools, food, smart fabrics and even replacement organs on demand. This new approach and the resulting novel products will enable human exploration and settlement on Mars, while providing new manufacturing approaches for life on Earth.

  3. Evolving cell models for systems and synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Hongqing; Romero-Campero, Francisco J; Heeb, Stephan; Cámara, Miguel; Krasnogor, Natalio

    2010-03-01

    This paper proposes a new methodology for the automated design of cell models for systems and synthetic biology. Our modelling framework is based on P systems, a discrete, stochastic and modular formal modelling language. The automated design of biological models comprising the optimization of the model structure and its stochastic kinetic constants is performed using an evolutionary algorithm. The evolutionary algorithm evolves model structures by combining different modules taken from a predefined module library and then it fine-tunes the associated stochastic kinetic constants. We investigate four alternative objective functions for the fitness calculation within the evolutionary algorithm: (1) equally weighted sum method, (2) normalization method, (3) randomly weighted sum method, and (4) equally weighted product method. The effectiveness of the methodology is tested on four case studies of increasing complexity including negative and positive autoregulation as well as two gene networks implementing a pulse generator and a bandwidth detector. We provide a systematic analysis of the evolutionary algorithm's results as well as of the resulting evolved cell models.

  4. Synthetic biology routes to bio-artificial intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesbeth, Darren N; Zaikin, Alexey; Saka, Yasushi; Romano, M Carmen; Giuraniuc, Claudiu V; Kanakov, Oleg; Laptyeva, Tetyana

    2016-11-30

    The design of synthetic gene networks (SGNs) has advanced to the extent that novel genetic circuits are now being tested for their ability to recapitulate archetypal learning behaviours first defined in the fields of machine and animal learning. Here, we discuss the biological implementation of a perceptron algorithm for linear classification of input data. An expansion of this biological design that encompasses cellular 'teachers' and 'students' is also examined. We also discuss implementation of Pavlovian associative learning using SGNs and present an example of such a scheme and in silico simulation of its performance. In addition to designed SGNs, we also consider the option to establish conditions in which a population of SGNs can evolve diversity in order to better contend with complex input data. Finally, we compare recent ethical concerns in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) and the future challenges raised by bio-artificial intelligence (BI). © 2016 The Author(s). This is an open access article published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society and distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY).

  5. Agricultural ammonia emissions in China: reconciling bottom-up and top-down estimates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Zhang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Current estimates of agricultural ammonia (NH3 emissions in China differ by more than a factor of 2, hindering our understanding of their environmental consequences. Here we apply both bottom-up statistical and top-down inversion methods to quantify NH3 emissions from agriculture in China for the year 2008. We first assimilate satellite observations of NH3 column concentration from the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES using the GEOS-Chem adjoint model to optimize Chinese anthropogenic NH3 emissions at the 1∕2°  ×  2∕3° horizontal resolution for March–October 2008. Optimized emissions show a strong summer peak, with emissions about 50 % higher in summer than spring and fall, which is underestimated in current bottom-up NH3 emission estimates. To reconcile the latter with the top-down results, we revisit the processes of agricultural NH3 emissions and develop an improved bottom-up inventory of Chinese NH3 emissions from fertilizer application and livestock waste at the 1∕2°  ×  2∕3° resolution. Our bottom-up emission inventory includes more detailed information on crop-specific fertilizer application practices and better accounts for meteorological modulation of NH3 emission factors in China. We find that annual anthropogenic NH3 emissions are 11.7 Tg for 2008, with 5.05 Tg from fertilizer application and 5.31 Tg from livestock waste. The two sources together account for 88 % of total anthropogenic NH3 emissions in China. Our bottom-up emission estimates also show a distinct seasonality peaking in summer, consistent with top-down results from the satellite-based inversion. Further evaluations using surface network measurements show that the model driven by our bottom-up emissions reproduces the observed spatial and seasonal variations of NH3 gas concentrations and ammonium (NH4+ wet deposition fluxes over China well, providing additional credibility to the improvements we have made to our

  6. Applications of cell-free protein synthesis in synthetic biology: Interfacing bio-machinery with synthetic environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kyung-Ho; Kim, Dong-Myung

    2013-11-01

    Synthetic biology is built on the synthesis, engineering, and assembly of biological parts. Proteins are the first components considered for the construction of systems with designed biological functions because proteins carry out most of the biological functions and chemical reactions inside cells. Protein synthesis is considered to comprise the most basic levels of the hierarchical structure of synthetic biology. Cell-free protein synthesis has emerged as a powerful technology that can potentially transform the concept of bioprocesses. With the ability to harness the synthetic power of biology without many of the constraints of cell-based systems, cell-free protein synthesis enables the rapid creation of protein molecules from diverse sources of genetic information. Cell-free protein synthesis is virtually free from the intrinsic constraints of cell-based methods and offers greater flexibility in system design and manipulability of biological synthetic machinery. Among its potential applications, cell-free protein synthesis can be combined with various man-made devices for rapid functional analysis of genomic sequences. This review covers recent efforts to integrate cell-free protein synthesis with various reaction devices and analytical platforms. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  7. Dynamics of problem setting and framing in citizen discussions on synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betten, Afke Wieke; Broerse, Jacqueline E W; Kupper, Frank

    2018-04-01

    Synthetic biology is an emerging scientific field where engineers and biologists design and build biological systems for various applications. Developing synthetic biology responsibly in the public interest necessitates a meaningful societal dialogue. In this article, we argue that facilitating such a dialogue requires an understanding of how people make sense of synthetic biology. We performed qualitative research to unravel the underlying dynamics of problem setting and framing in citizen discussions on synthetic biology. We found that most people are not inherently for or against synthetic biology as a technology or development in itself, but that their perspectives are framed by core values about our relationships with science and technology and that sensemaking is much dependent on the context and general feelings of (dis)content. Given that there are many assumptions focused on a more binary idea of the public's view, we emphasize the need for frame awareness and understanding in a meaningful dialogue.

  8. A top-down bottom-up modeling approach to climate change policy analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tuladhar, Sugandha D.; Yuan, Mei; Bernstein, Paul; Montgomery, W. David; Smith, Anne

    2009-01-01

    This paper analyzes macroeconomic impacts of U.S. climate change policies for three different emissions pathways using a top-down bottom-up integrated model. The integrated model couples a technology-rich, bottom-up model of the U.S. electricity sector with a fully dynamic, forward-looking general equilibrium model of the U.S. economy. Our model provides a unique and consistent modeling framework for climate change analysis. Because of the model's detail and flexibility, we use it to examine additional scenarios to analyze many of the major uncertainties surrounding the implementation and impact of climate change policies - the role of command-and-control measures, loss in flexibility mechanisms such as banking, limits on low-emitting technology, and availability of offsets. The results consistently demonstrate that those policies that combine market-oriented abatement incentives with full flexibility are the most cost-effective. (author)

  9. The generation of myricetin-nicotinamide nanococrystals by top down and bottom up technologies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Mingyu; Hong, Chao; Li, Guowen; Ma, Ping; Xie, Yan

    2016-09-30

    Myricetin-nicotinamide (MYR-NIC) nanococrystal preparation methods were developed and optimized using both top down and bottom up approaches. The grinding (top down) method successfully achieved nanococrystals, but there were some micrometer range particles and aggregation. The key consideration of the grinding technology was to control the milling time to determine a balance between the particle size and distribution. In contrast, a modified bottom up approach based on a solution method in conjunction with sonochemistry resulted in a uniform MYR-NIC nanococrystal that was confirmed by powder x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, dynamic light scattering, and differential scanning calorimeter, and the particle dissolution rate and amount were significantly greater than that of MYR-NIC cocrystal. Notably, this was a simple method without the addition of any non-solvent. We anticipate our findings will provide some guidance for future nanococrystal preparation as well as its application in both chemical and pharmaceutical area.

  10. A Bottom-up Approach to Environmental Cost-Benefit Analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carolus, Johannes Friedrich; Hanley, Nick; Olsen, Søren Bøye

    with the underlying environmental problem, and then assesses costs and benefits of various strategies and solutions suggested by local and directly affected stakeholders. For empirical case studies concerning two river catchments in Sweden and Latvia, the bottom-up CBA approach utilises local knowledge, assesses......Cost-Benefit Analysis is a method to assess the effects of policies and projects on social welfare. CBAs are usually applied in a top-down approach, in the sense that a decision-making body first decides on which policies or projects are to be considered, and then applies a set of uniform criteria...... plans which are not only developed for local conditions but are also likely to be more acceptable to local society, and sheds additional light on possible distributional effects. By not only benefitting from, but also supporting participative environmental planning, bottom-up CBA is in line...

  11. Top-down versus bottom-up processing of influence diagrams in probabilistic analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Timmerman, R.D.; Burns, T.J.; Dodds, H.L. Jr.

    1986-01-01

    Recent work by Phillips and Selby has shown that influence diagram methodology can be a useful analytical tool in reactor safety studies. In some instances an influence diagram can be used as a graphical representation of probabilistic dependence within a system or event sequence. Under these circumstances, Bayesian statistics is employed to transform the relationships depicted in the influence diagram into the correct expression for a desired marginal probability (e.g. the top node). Top-down and bottom-up algorithms have emerged as the dominant methods for quantifying influence diagrams. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate a potential error in employing the bottom-up algorithm when dealing with interdependencies

  12. Mechanisms of knowledge flows in bottom-up and top-down cluster initiatives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wojciech Dyba

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge flows are widely believed to be a phenomenon of clusters, and inducing them is one of the chief objectives in establishing and promoting cluster initiatives (CI. However, not many studies discuss how these flows and their effects may differ depending on the mode of CI creation and on the role of public authorities in this process. The main aim of this article is to compare mechanisms of knowledge flows in bottom-up and top-down cluster initiatives. The results of an empirical research involving two case studies in western Poland, obtained through the use of Social Network Analysis (SNA, allowed stating that in bottom-up cluster initiatives firms which were innovation leaders played a prime role in disseminating technological and business knowledge, while in the top-down initiatives the most important were representatives of universities and research centres as well as formal coordinators of cooperation. Policy implications stemming from these results were identified.

  13. Top-down versus bottom-up processing of influence diagrams in probabilistic analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Timmerman, R.D.; Burns, T.J.; Dodds, H.L. Jr.

    1984-01-01

    Recent work by Phillips et al., and Selby et al., has shown that influence diagram methodology can be a useful analytical tool in reactor safety studies. An influence diagram is a graphical representation of probabilistic dependence within a system or event sequence. Bayesian statistics are employed to transform the relationships depicted in the influence diagram into the correct expression for a desired marginal probability (e.g. the top event). As with fault trees, top-down and bottom-up algorithms have emerged as the dominant methods for quantifying influence diagrams. Purpose of this paper is to demonstrate a potential error in employing the bottom-up algorithm when dealing with interdependencies. In addition, the computing efficiency of both methods is discussed

  14. Learning affects top down and bottom up modulation of eye movements in decision making

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orquin, Jacob Lund; Bagger, Martin; Mueller Loose, Simone

    2013-01-01

    Repeated decision making is subject to changes over time such as decreases in decision time and information use and increases in decision accuracy. We show that a traditional strategy selection view of decision making cannot account for these temporal dynamics without relaxing main assumptions...... about what defines a decision strategy. As an alternative view we suggest that temporal dynamics in decision making are driven by attentional and perceptual processes and that this view has been expressed in the information reduction hypothesis. We test the information reduction hypothesis by integrating...... it in a broader framework of top down and bottom up processes and derive the predictions that repeated decisions increase top down control of attention capture which in turn leads to a reduction in bottom up attention capture. To test our hypotheses we conducted a repeated discrete choice experiment with three...

  15. A balance of bottom-up and top-down in linking climate policies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Jessica F.; Sterner, Thomas; Wagner, Gernot

    2014-12-01

    Top-down climate negotiations embodied by the Kyoto Protocol have all but stalled, chiefly because of disagreements over targets and objections to financial transfers. To avoid those problems, many have shifted their focus to linkage of bottom-up climate policies such as regional carbon markets. This approach is appealing, but we identify four obstacles to successful linkage: different levels of ambition; competing domestic policy objectives; objections to financial transfers; and the difficulty of close regulatory coordination. Even with a more decentralized approach, overcoming the 'global warming gridlock' of the intergovernmental negotiations will require close international coordination. We demonstrate how a balance of bottom-up and top-down elements can create a path toward an effective global climate architecture.

  16. A constraint-based bottom-up counterpart to definite clause grammars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Henning

    2004-01-01

    A new grammar formalism, CHR Grammars (CHRG), is proposed that provides a constraint-solving approach to language analysis, built on top of the programming language of Constraint Handling Rules in the same way as Definite Clause Grammars (DCG) on Prolog. CHRG works bottom-up and adds the following......, integrity constraints, operators a la assumption grammars, and to incorporate other constraint solvers. (iv)~Context-sensitive rules that apply for disambiguation, coordination in natural language and tagger-like rules....

  17. Top down and bottom up selection drives variations in frequency and form of a visual signal

    OpenAIRE

    Yeh, Chien-Wei; Blamires, Sean J.; Liao, Chen-Pan; Tso, I.-Min

    2015-01-01

    The frequency and form of visual signals can be shaped by selection from predators, prey or both. When a signal simultaneously attracts predators and prey, selection may favour a strategy that minimizes risks while attracting prey. Accordingly, varying the frequency and form of the silken decorations added to their web may be a way that Argiope spiders minimize predation while attracting prey. Nonetheless, the role of extraneous factors renders the influences of top down and bottom up selecti...

  18. Dissociable effects of top-down and bottom-up attention during episodic encoding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uncapher, Melina R.; Hutchinson, J. Benjamin; Wagner, Anthony D.

    2011-01-01

    It is well established that the formation of memories for life’s experiences—episodic memory—is influenced by how we attend to those experiences, yet the neural mechanisms by which attention shapes episodic encoding are still unclear. We investigated how top-down and bottom-up attention contribute to memory encoding of visual objects in humans by manipulating both types of attention during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of episodic memory formation. We show that dorsal parietal cortex—specifically, intraparietal sulcus (IPS)—was engaged during top-down attention and was also recruited during the successful formation of episodic memories. By contrast, bottom-up attention engaged ventral parietal cortex—specifically, temporoparietal junction (TPJ)—and was also more active during encoding failure. Functional connectivity analyses revealed further dissociations in how top-down and bottom-up attention influenced encoding: while both IPS and TPJ influenced activity in perceptual cortices thought to represent the information being encoded (fusiform/lateral occipital cortex), they each exerted opposite effects on memory encoding. Specifically, during a preparatory period preceding stimulus presentation, a stronger drive from IPS was associated with a higher likelihood that the subsequently attended stimulus would be encoded. By contrast, during stimulus processing, stronger connectivity with TPJ was associated with a lower likelihood the stimulus would be successfully encoded. These findings suggest that during encoding of visual objects into episodic memory, top-down and bottom-up attention can have opposite influences on perceptual areas that subserve visual object representation, suggesting that one manner in which attention modulates memory is by altering the perceptual processing of to-be-encoded stimuli. PMID:21880922

  19. Bottom-Up Technologies for Reuse: Automated Extractive Adoption of Software Product Lines

    OpenAIRE

    Martinez , Jabier ,; Ziadi , Tewfik; Bissyandé , Tegawendé; Klein , Jacques ,; Le Traon , Yves ,

    2017-01-01

    International audience; Adopting Software Product Line (SPL) engineering principles demands a high up-front investment. Bottom-Up Technologies for Reuse (BUT4Reuse) is a generic and extensible tool aimed to leverage existing similar software products in order to help in extractive SPL adoption. The envisioned users are 1) SPL adopters and 2) Integrators of techniques and algorithms to provide automation in SPL adoption activities. We present the methodology it implies for both types of users ...

  20. Quantifying the Flexibility of Residential Electricity Demand in 2050: a Bottom-Up Approach

    OpenAIRE

    van Stiphout, Arne; Engels, Jonas; Guldentops, Dries; Deconinck, Geert

    2015-01-01

    This work presents a new method to quantify the flexibility of automatic demand response applied to residential electricity demand using price elasticities. A stochastic bottom-up model of flexible electricity demand in 2050 is presented. Three types of flexible devices are implemented: electrical heating, electric vehicles and wet appliances. Each house schedules its flexible demand w.r.t. a varying price signal, in order to minimize electricity cost. Own- and cross-price elasticities are ob...

  1. Selective spatial attention modulates bottom-up informational masking of speech

    OpenAIRE

    Carlile, Simon; Corkhill, Caitlin

    2015-01-01

    To hear out a conversation against other talkers listeners overcome energetic and informational masking. Largely attributed to top-down processes, information masking has also been demonstrated using unintelligible speech and amplitude-modulated maskers suggesting bottom-up processes. We examined the role of speech-like amplitude modulations in information masking using a spatial masking release paradigm. Separating a target talker from two masker talkers produced a 20?dB improvement in speec...

  2. Identifying prognostic features by bottom-up approach and correlating to drug repositioning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Li

    Full Text Available Traditionally top-down method was used to identify prognostic features in cancer research. That is to say, differentially expressed genes usually in cancer versus normal were identified to see if they possess survival prediction power. The problem is that prognostic features identified from one set of patient samples can rarely be transferred to other datasets. We apply bottom-up approach in this study: survival correlated or clinical stage correlated genes were selected first and prioritized by their network topology additionally, then a small set of features can be used as a prognostic signature.Gene expression profiles of a cohort of 221 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC patients were used as a training set, 'bottom-up' approach was applied to discover gene-expression signatures associated with survival in both tumor and adjacent non-tumor tissues, and compared with 'top-down' approach. The results were validated in a second cohort of 82 patients which was used as a testing set.Two sets of gene signatures separately identified in tumor and adjacent non-tumor tissues by bottom-up approach were developed in the training cohort. These two signatures were associated with overall survival times of HCC patients and the robustness of each was validated in the testing set, and each predictive performance was better than gene expression signatures reported previously. Moreover, genes in these two prognosis signature gave some indications for drug-repositioning on HCC. Some approved drugs targeting these markers have the alternative indications on hepatocellular carcinoma.Using the bottom-up approach, we have developed two prognostic gene signatures with a limited number of genes that associated with overall survival times of patients with HCC. Furthermore, prognostic markers in these two signatures have the potential to be therapeutic targets.

  3. Bottom-up laboratory testing of the DKIST Visible Broadband Imager (VBI)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferayorni, Andrew; Beard, Andrew; Cole, Wes; Gregory, Scott; Wöeger, Friedrich

    2016-08-01

    The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) is a 4-meter solar observatory under construction at Haleakala, Hawaii [1]. The Visible Broadband Imager (VBI) is a first light instrument that will record images at the highest possible spatial and temporal resolution of the DKIST at a number of scientifically important wavelengths [2]. The VBI is a pathfinder for DKIST instrumentation and a test bed for developing processes and procedures in the areas of unit, systems integration, and user acceptance testing. These test procedures have been developed and repeatedly executed during VBI construction in the lab as part of a "test early and test often" philosophy aimed at identifying and resolving issues early thus saving cost during integration test and commissioning on summit. The VBI team recently completed a bottom up end-to-end system test of the instrument in the lab that allowed the instrument's functionality, performance, and usability to be validated against documented system requirements. The bottom up testing approach includes four levels of testing, each introducing another layer in the control hierarchy that is tested before moving to the next level. First the instrument mechanisms are tested for positioning accuracy and repeatability using a laboratory position-sensing detector (PSD). Second the real-time motion controls are used to drive the mechanisms to verify speed and timing synchronization requirements are being met. Next the high-level software is introduced and the instrument is driven through a series of end-to-end tests that exercise the mechanisms, cameras, and simulated data processing. Finally, user acceptance testing is performed on operational and engineering use cases through the use of the instrument engineering graphical user interface (GUI). In this paper we present the VBI bottom up test plan, procedures, example test cases and tools used, as well as results from test execution in the laboratory. We will also discuss the benefits realized

  4. Bottom-up approach to sustainable urban development in Lebanon: The case of Zouk Mosbeh

    OpenAIRE

    El Asmar, Jean-Pierre; Ebohon, O. J.; Taki, A. H.

    2012-01-01

    In contrast with the “top-down” approach to development, the dominant methodology in Lebanon, Iemphasize rather the “bottom-up” approach where all stakeholders have equal opportunities to participate in policy formulation and implementation. The bottom-up or participatory approach to sustainable development has hardly been tested for urban development and management in Lebanon. This research concerns the sustainable rehabilitation of the built environment in the area of Zouk Mosbeh (ZM) in ...

  5. Protein chimerism: novel source of protein diversity in humans adds complexity to bottom-up proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casado-Vela, Juan; Lacal, Juan Carlos; Elortza, Felix

    2013-01-01

    Three main molecular mechanisms are considered to contribute expanding the repertoire and diversity of proteins present in living organisms: first, at DNA level (gene polymorphisms and single nucleotide polymorphisms); second, at messenger RNA (pre-mRNA and mRNA) level including alternative splicing (also termed differential splicing or cis-splicing); finally, at the protein level mainly driven through PTM and specific proteolytic cleavages. Chimeric mRNAs constitute an alternative source of protein diversity, which can be generated either by chromosomal translocations or by trans-splicing events. The occurrence of chimeric mRNAs and proteins is a frequent event in cells from the immune system and cancer cells, mainly as a consequence of gene rearrangements. Recent reports support that chimeric proteins may also be expressed at low levels under normal physiological circumstances, thus, representing a novel source of protein diversity. Notably, recent publications demonstrate that chimeric protein products can be successfully identified through bottom-up proteomic analyses. Several questions remain unsolved, such as the physiological role and impact of such chimeric proteins or the potential occurrence of chimeric proteins in higher eukaryotic organisms different from humans. The occurrence of chimeric proteins certainly seems to be another unforeseen source of complexity for the proteome. It may be a process to take in mind not only when performing bottom-up proteomic analyses in cancer studies but also in general bottom-up proteomics experiments. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. Age-related decline in bottom-up processing and selective attention in the very old.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuravleva, Tatyana Y; Alperin, Brittany R; Haring, Anna E; Rentz, Dorene M; Holcomb, Philip J; Daffner, Kirk R

    2014-06-01

    Previous research demonstrating age-related deficits in selective attention have not included old-old adults, an increasingly important group to study. The current investigation compared event-related potentials in 15 young-old (65-79 years old) and 23 old-old (80-99 years old) subjects during a color-selective attention task. Subjects responded to target letters in a specified color (Attend) while ignoring letters in a different color (Ignore) under both low and high loads. There were no group differences in visual acuity, accuracy, reaction time, or latency of early event-related potential components. The old-old group showed a disruption in bottom-up processing, indexed by a substantially diminished posterior N1 (smaller amplitude). They also demonstrated markedly decreased modulation of bottom-up processing based on selected visual features, indexed by the posterior selection negativity (SN), with similar attenuation under both loads. In contrast, there were no group differences in frontally mediated attentional selection, measured by the anterior selection positivity (SP). There was a robust inverse relationship between the size of the SN and SP (the smaller the SN, the larger the SP), which may represent an anteriorly supported compensatory mechanism. In the absence of a decline in top-down modulation indexed by the SP, the diminished SN may reflect age-related degradation of early bottom-up visual processing in old-old adults.

  7. Hierarchical time series bottom-up approach for forecast the export value in Central Java

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahkya, D. A.; Ulama, B. S.; Suhartono

    2017-10-01

    The purpose of this study is Getting the best modeling and predicting the export value of Central Java using a Hierarchical Time Series. The export value is one variable injection in the economy of a country, meaning that if the export value of the country increases, the country’s economy will increase even more. Therefore, it is necessary appropriate modeling to predict the export value especially in Central Java. Export Value in Central Java are grouped into 21 commodities with each commodity has a different pattern. One approach that can be used time series is a hierarchical approach. Hierarchical Time Series is used Buttom-up. To Forecast the individual series at all levels using Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA), Radial Basis Function Neural Network (RBFNN), and Hybrid ARIMA-RBFNN. For the selection of the best models used Symmetric Mean Absolute Percentage Error (sMAPE). Results of the analysis showed that for the Export Value of Central Java, Bottom-up approach with Hybrid ARIMA-RBFNN modeling can be used for long-term predictions. As for the short and medium-term predictions, it can be used a bottom-up approach RBFNN modeling. Overall bottom-up approach with RBFNN modeling give the best result.

  8. Daylighting performance evaluation of a bottom-up motorized roller shade

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kapsis, K.; Athienitis, A.K.; Zmeureanu, R.G. [Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Concordia University, Montreal, QC (Canada); Tzempelikos, A. [School of Civil Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN (United States)

    2010-12-15

    This paper presents an experimental and simulation study for quantifying the daylighting performance of bottom-up roller shades installed in office spaces. The bottom-up shade is a motorized roller shade that opens from top to bottom operating in the opposite direction of a conventional roller shade, so as to cover the bottom part of the window, while allowing daylight to enter from the top part of the window, reaching deeper into the room. A daylighting simulation model, validated with full-scale experiments, was developed in order to establish correlations between the shade position, outdoor illuminance and work plane illuminance for different outdoor conditions. Then, a shading control algorithm was developed for application in any location and orientation. The validated model was employed for a sensitivity analysis of the impact of shade optical properties and control on the potential energy savings due to the use of daylighting. The results showed that Daylight Autonomy for the bottom-up shade is 8-58% higher compared to a conventional roller shade, with a difference of 46% further away from the facade, where the use of electric lighting is needed most of the time. The potential reduction in energy consumption for lighting is 21-41%. (author)

  9. A Bottom-up Trend in Research of Management of Technology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoko Ishino

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Management of Technology (MOT is defined as an academic discipline of management that enables organizations to manage their technological fundamentals to create competitive advantage. MOT covers a wide range of contents including administrative strategy, R&D management, manufacturing management, technology transfer, production control, marketing, accounting, finance, business ethics, and others. For each topic, researchers have conducted their MOT research at various levels. However, a practical and pragmatic side of MOT surely affects its research trends. Finding changes of MOT research trends, or the chronological transitions of principal subjects, can help understand the key concepts of current MOT. This paper studied a bottom-up trend in research fields in MOT by applying a text-mining method to the conference proceedings of IAMOT (International Association for Management of Technology. First, focusing on only nouns found several keywords, which more frequently emerge over time in the IAMOT proceedings. Then, expanding the scope into other parts of speech viewed the keywords in a natural context. Finally, it was found that the use of an important keyword has qualitatively and quantitatively extended over time. In conclusion, a bottom-up trend in MOT research was detected and the effects of the social situation on the trend were discussed.Keywords: Management of Technology; Text Mining; Research Trend; Bottom-up Trend; Patent

  10. Top-down or bottom-up modelling. An application to CO2 abatement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laroui, F.; Van Leeuwen, M.J.

    1995-06-01

    In four articles a comparison is made of bottom-up, or engineers'' models, and top-down models, which comprise macro-econometric models, computable general equilibrium models and also models in the system dynamics tradition. In the first article the history of economic modelling is outlined. In the second article the multi-sector macro-economic Computable General Equilibrium model for the Netherlands is described. It can be used to study the long-term effects of fiscal policy measures on economic and environmental indicators, in particular the effects on the level of CO2-emissions. The aim of article 3 is to describe the structure of the electricity supply industry in the UK and how it can be represented in a bottom-up sub-model within a more general E3 sectoral model of the UK economy. The objective of the last paper (4) is mainly a methodological discussion about integrating top-down and bottom-up models which can be used to assess CO2 abatement policies impacts on economic activity

  11. Bottom-Up Tri-gate Transistors and Submicrosecond Photodetectors from Guided CdS Nanowalls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Jinyou; Oksenberg, Eitan; Popovitz-Biro, Ronit; Rechav, Katya; Joselevich, Ernesto

    2017-11-08

    Tri-gate transistors offer better performance than planar transistors by exerting additional gate control over a channel from two lateral sides of semiconductor nanowalls (or "fins"). Here we report the bottom-up assembly of aligned CdS nanowalls by a simultaneous combination of horizontal catalytic vapor-liquid-solid growth and vertical facet-selective noncatalytic vapor-solid growth and their parallel integration into tri-gate transistors and photodetectors at wafer scale (cm 2 ) without postgrowth transfer or alignment steps. These tri-gate transistors act as enhancement-mode transistors with an on/off current ratio on the order of 10 8 , 4 orders of magnitude higher than the best results ever reported for planar enhancement-mode CdS transistors. The response time of the photodetector is reduced to the submicrosecond level, 1 order of magnitude shorter than the best results ever reported for photodetectors made of bottom-up semiconductor nanostructures. Guided semiconductor nanowalls open new opportunities for high-performance 3D nanodevices assembled from the bottom up.

  12. Top-down and bottom-up definitions of human failure events in human reliability analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boring, Ronald Laurids

    2014-01-01

    In the probabilistic risk assessments (PRAs) used in the nuclear industry, human failure events (HFEs) are determined as a subset of hardware failures, namely those hardware failures that could be triggered by human action or inaction. This approach is top-down, starting with hardware faults and deducing human contributions to those faults. Elsewhere, more traditionally human factors driven approaches would tend to look at opportunities for human errors first in a task analysis and then identify which of those errors is risk significant. The intersection of top-down and bottom-up approaches to defining HFEs has not been carefully studied. Ideally, both approaches should arrive at the same set of HFEs. This question is crucial, however, as human reliability analysis (HRA) methods are generalized to new domains like oil and gas. The HFEs used in nuclear PRAs tend to be top-down - defined as a subset of the PRA - whereas the HFEs used in petroleum quantitative risk assessments (QRAs) often tend to be bottom-up - derived from a task analysis conducted by human factors experts. The marriage of these approaches is necessary in order to ensure that HRA methods developed for top-down HFEs are also sufficient for bottom-up applications.

  13. Interactive learning and action: realizing the promise of synthetic biology for global health

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Betten, A.W.; Roelofsen, A.; Broerse, J.E.W.

    2013-01-01

    The emerging field of synthetic biology has the potential to improve global health. For example, synthetic biology could contribute to efforts at vaccine development in a context in which vaccines and immunization have been identified by the international community as being crucial to international

  14. Synthetic biology approaches to engineering the nitrogen symbiosis in cereals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Christian; Oldroyd, Giles E D

    2014-05-01

    Nitrogen is abundant in the earth's atmosphere but, unlike carbon, cannot be directly assimilated by plants. The limitation this places on plant productivity has been circumvented in contemporary agriculture through the production and application of chemical fertilizers. The chemical reduction of nitrogen for this purpose consumes large amounts of energy and the reactive nitrogen released into the environment as a result of fertilizer application leads to greenhouse gas emissions, as well as widespread eutrophication of aquatic ecosystems. The environmental impacts are intensified by injudicious use of fertilizers in many parts of the world. Simultaneously, limitations in the production and supply of chemical fertilizers in other regions are leading to low agricultural productivity and malnutrition. Nitrogen can be directly fixed from the atmosphere by some bacteria and Archaea, which possess the enzyme nitrogenase. Some plant species, most notably legumes, have evolved close symbiotic associations with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Engineering cereal crops with the capability to fix their own nitrogen could one day address the problems created by the over- and under-use of nitrogen fertilizers in agriculture. This could be achieved either by expression of a functional nitrogenase enzyme in the cells of the cereal crop or through transferring the capability to form a symbiotic association with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. While potentially transformative, these biotechnological approaches are challenging; however, with recent advances in synthetic biology they are viable long-term goals. This review discusses the possibility of these biotechnological solutions to the nitrogen problem, focusing on engineering the nitrogen symbiosis in cereals.

  15. Yeast synthetic biology for the production of recombinant therapeutic proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyunah; Yoo, Su Jin; Kang, Hyun Ah

    2015-02-01

    The production of recombinant therapeutic proteins is one of the fast-growing areas of molecular medicine and currently plays an important role in treatment of several diseases. Yeasts are unicellular eukaryotic microbial host cells that offer unique advantages in producing biopharmaceutical proteins. Yeasts are capable of robust growth on simple media, readily accommodate genetic modifications, and incorporate typical eukaryotic post-translational modifications. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a traditional baker's yeast that has been used as a major host for the production of biopharmaceuticals; however, several nonconventional yeast species including Hansenula polymorpha, Pichia pastoris, and Yarrowia lipolytica have gained increasing attention as alternative hosts for the industrial production of recombinant proteins. In this review, we address the established and emerging genetic tools and host strains suitable for recombinant protein production in various yeast expression systems, particularly focusing on current efforts toward synthetic biology approaches in developing yeast cell factories for the production of therapeutic recombinant proteins. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permission@oup.com.

  16. Top-down model estimates, bottom-up inventories, and future projections of global natural and anthropogenic emissions of nitrous oxide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, E. A.; Kanter, D.

    2013-12-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) is the third most abundantly emitted greenhouse gas and the largest remaining emitted ozone depleting substance. It is a product of nitrifying and denitrifying bacteria in soils, sediments and water bodies. Humans began to disrupt the N cycle in the preindustrial era as they expanded agricultural land, used fire for land clearing and management, and cultivated leguminous crops that carry out biological N fixation. This disruption accelerated after the industrial revolution, especially as the use of synthetic N fertilizers became common after 1950. Here we present findings from a new United Nations Environment Programme report, in which we constrain estimates of the anthropogenic and natural emissions of N2O and consider scenarios for future emissions. Inventory-based estimates of natural emissions from terrestrial, marine and atmospheric sources range from 10 to 12 Tg N2O-N/yr. Similar values can be derived for global N2O emissions that were predominantly natural before the industrial revolution. While there was inter-decadal variability, there was little or no consistent trend in atmospheric N2O concentrations between 1730 and 1850, allowing us to assume near steady state. Assuming an atmospheric lifetime of 120 years, the 'top-down' estimate of pre-industrial emissions of 11 Tg N2O-N/yr is consistent with the bottom-up inventories for natural emissions, although the former includes some modest pre-industrial anthropogenic effects (probably business-as-usual scenarios over the period 2013-2050 is ~102 Tg N2O-N; equivalent to ~48 Gt CO2e or ~2730 kt ozone depleting potential. The impact of growing demand for biofuels is highly uncertain, ranging from trivial to the most significant N2O source to date, depending on the types of plants, their nutrient management, the amount of land used for their cultivation, and the fates of their waste products.

  17. [New materia medica project: synthetic biology based bioactive metabolites research in medicinal plant].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yong

    2017-03-25

    In the last decade, synthetic biology research has been gradually transited from monocellular parts or devices toward more complex multicellular systems. The emerging plant synthetic biology is regarded as the "next chapter" of synthetic biology. The complex and diverse plant metabolism as the entry point, plant synthetic biology research not only helps us understand how real life is working, but also facilitates us to learn how to design and construct more complex artificial life. Bioactive compounds innovation and large-scale production are expected to be breakthrough with the redesigned plant metabolism as well. In this review, we discuss the research progress in plant synthetic biology and propose the new materia medica project to lift the level of traditional Chinese herbal medicine research.

  18. Beyond patchwork precaution in the dual-use governance of synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelle, Alexander

    2013-09-01

    The emergence of synthetic biology holds the potential of a major breakthrough in the life sciences by transforming biology into a predictive science. The dual-use characteristics of similar breakthroughs during the twentieth century have led to the application of benignly intended research in e.g. virology, bacteriology and aerobiology in offensive biological weapons programmes. Against this background the article raises the question whether the precautionary governance of synthetic biology can aid in preventing this techno-science witnessing the same fate? In order to address this question, this paper proceeds in four steps: it firstly introduces the emerging techno-science of synthetic biology and presents some of its potential beneficial applications. It secondly analyses contributions to the bioethical discourse on synthetic biology as well as precautionary reasoning and its application to life science research in general and synthetic biology more specifically. The paper then identifies manifestations of a moderate precautionary principle in the emerging synthetic biology dual-use governance discourse. Using a dual-use governance matrix as heuristic device to analyse some of the proposed measures, it concludes that the identified measures can best be described as "patchwork precaution" and that a more systematic approach to construct a web of dual-use precaution for synthetic biology is needed in order to guard more effectively against the field's future misuse for harmful applications.

  19. Uncertainty quantification for radiation measurements: Bottom-up error variance estimation using calibration information

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burr, T.; Croft, S.; Krieger, T.; Martin, K.; Norman, C.; Walsh, S.

    2016-01-01

    One example of top-down uncertainty quantification (UQ) involves comparing two or more measurements on each of multiple items. One example of bottom-up UQ expresses a measurement result as a function of one or more input variables that have associated errors, such as a measured count rate, which individually (or collectively) can be evaluated for impact on the uncertainty in the resulting measured value. In practice, it is often found that top-down UQ exhibits larger error variances than bottom-up UQ, because some error sources are present in the fielded assay methods used in top-down UQ that are not present (or not recognized) in the assay studies used in bottom-up UQ. One would like better consistency between the two approaches in order to claim understanding of the measurement process. The purpose of this paper is to refine bottom-up uncertainty estimation by using calibration information so that if there are no unknown error sources, the refined bottom-up uncertainty estimate will agree with the top-down uncertainty estimate to within a specified tolerance. Then, in practice, if the top-down uncertainty estimate is larger than the refined bottom-up uncertainty estimate by more than the specified tolerance, there must be omitted sources of error beyond those predicted from calibration uncertainty. The paper develops a refined bottom-up uncertainty approach for four cases of simple linear calibration: (1) inverse regression with negligible error in predictors, (2) inverse regression with non-negligible error in predictors, (3) classical regression followed by inversion with negligible error in predictors, and (4) classical regression followed by inversion with non-negligible errors in predictors. Our illustrations are of general interest, but are drawn from our experience with nuclear material assay by non-destructive assay. The main example we use is gamma spectroscopy that applies the enrichment meter principle. Previous papers that ignore error in predictors

  20. Relative importance of plant-mediated bottom-up and top-down forces on herbivore abundance on Brassica oleracea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kos, M.; Broekgaarden, C.; Kabouw, P.; Oude Lenferink, K.; Poelman, E.H.; Vet, L.E.M.; Dicke, M.; Loon, van J.J.A.

    2011-01-01

    1. Arthropod communities are structured by complex interactions between bottom-up (resource-based) and top-down (natural enemy-based) forces. Their relative importance in shaping arthropod communities, however, continues to be under debate. Bottom-up and top-down forces can be affected by

  1. New, national bottom-up estimate for tree-based biological nitrogen fixation in the US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nitrogen is a limiting nutrient in many ecosystems, but is also a chief pollutant from human activity. Quantifying human impacts on the nitrogen cycle and investigating natural ecosystem nitrogen cycling both require an understanding of the magnitude of nitrogen inputs from biolo...

  2. pClone: Synthetic Biology Tool Makes Promoter Research Accessible to Beginning Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckdahl, Todd; Cronk, Brian; Andresen, Corinne; Frederick, Paul; Huckuntod, Samantha; Shinneman, Claire; Wacker, Annie; Yuan, Jason

    2014-01-01

    The Vision and Change report recommended genuine research experiences for undergraduate biology students. Authentic research improves science education, increases the number of scientifically literate citizens, and encourages students to pursue research. Synthetic biology is well suited for undergraduate research and is a growing area of science. We developed a laboratory module called pClone that empowers students to use advances in molecular cloning methods to discover new promoters for use by synthetic biologists. Our educational goals are consistent with Vision and Change and emphasize core concepts and competencies. pClone is a family of three plasmids that students use to clone a new transcriptional promoter or mutate a canonical promoter and measure promoter activity in Escherichia coli. We also developed the Registry of Functional Promoters, an open-access database of student promoter research results. Using pre- and posttests, we measured significant learning gains among students using pClone in introductory biology and genetics classes. Student posttest scores were significantly better than scores of students who did not use pClone. pClone is an easy and affordable mechanism for large-enrollment labs to meet the high standards of Vision and Change. PMID:26086659

  3. Synthetic Self-Assembled Materials in Biological Environments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Versluis, F.; van Esch, J.H.; Eelkema, R.

    2016-01-01

    Synthetic self-assembly has long been recognized as an excellent approach for the formation of ordered structures on the nanoscale. Although the development of synthetic self-assembling materials has often been inspired by principles observed in nature (e.g., the assembly of lipids, DNA,

  4. Life by design: Philosophical perspectives on synthetic biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bensaude Vincent Bernadette

    2015-01-01

    This paper outlines a number of distinctive features of this emerging field in the constellation of bionanotechnologies. It then insists on the variety of research agendas and strategies gathered under the umbrella “synthetic biology”. While redesigning life is the central goal, synthetic biologists do not develop a uniform view of living organisms.

  5. Bacterial genome engineering and synthetic biology: combating pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnamurthy, Malathy; Moore, Richard T; Rajamani, Sathish; Panchal, Rekha G

    2016-11-04

    The emergence and prevalence of multidrug resistant (MDR) pathogenic bacteria poses a serious threat to human and animal health globally. Nosocomial infections and common ailments such as pneumonia, wound, urinary tract, and bloodstream infections are becoming more challenging to treat due to the rapid spread of MDR pathogenic bacteria. According to recent reports by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is an unprecedented increase in the occurrence of MDR infections worldwide. The rise in these infections has generated an economic strain worldwide, prompting the WHO to endorse a global action plan to improve awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance. This health crisis necessitates an immediate action to target the underlying mechanisms of drug resistance in bacteria. The advent of new bacterial genome engineering and synthetic biology (SB) tools is providing promising diagnostic and treatment plans to monitor and treat widespread recalcitrant bacterial infections. Key advances in genetic engineering approaches can successfully aid in targeting and editing pathogenic bacterial genomes for understanding and mitigating drug resistance mechanisms. In this review, we discuss the application of specific genome engineering and SB methods such as recombineering, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), and bacterial cell-cell signaling mechanisms for pathogen targeting. The utility of these tools in developing antibacterial strategies such as novel antibiotic production, phage therapy, diagnostics and vaccine production to name a few, are also highlighted. The prevalent use of antibiotics and the spread of MDR bacteria raise the prospect of a post-antibiotic era, which underscores the need for developing novel therapeutics to target MDR pathogens. The development of enabling SB technologies offers promising solutions to deliver safe and effective antibacterial therapies.

  6. Biotechnology by Design: An Introductory Level, Project-Based, Synthetic Biology Laboratory Program for Undergraduate Students†

    OpenAIRE

    Beach, Dale L.; Alvarez, Consuelo J.

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology offers an ideal opportunity to promote undergraduate laboratory courses with research-style projects, immersing students in an inquiry-based program that enhances the experience of the scientific process. We designed a semester-long, project-based laboratory curriculum using synthetic biology principles to develop a novel sensory device. Students develop subject matter knowledge of molecular genetics and practical skills relevant to molecular biology, recombinant DNA techniq...

  7. Stress testing hydrologic models using bottom-up climate change assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, C.; Johnson, F.; Marshall, L. A.

    2017-12-01

    Bottom-up climate change assessment is a promising approach for understanding the vulnerability of a system to potential future changes. The technique has been utilised successfully in risk-based assessments of future flood severity and infrastructure vulnerability. We find that it is also an ideal tool for assessing hydrologic model performance in a changing climate. In this study, we applied bottom-up climate change to compare the performance of two different hydrologic models (an event-based and a continuous model) under increasingly severe climate change scenarios. This allowed us to diagnose likely sources of future prediction error in the two models. The climate change scenarios were based on projections for southern Australia, which indicate drier average conditions with increased extreme rainfall intensities. We found that the key weakness in using the event-based model to simulate drier future scenarios was the model's inability to dynamically account for changing antecedent conditions. This led to increased variability in model performance relative to the continuous model, which automatically accounts for the wetness of a catchment through dynamic simulation of water storages. When considering more intense future rainfall events, representation of antecedent conditions became less important than assumptions around (non)linearity in catchment response. The linear continuous model we applied may underestimate flood risk in a future climate with greater extreme rainfall intensity. In contrast with the recommendations of previous studies, this indicates that continuous simulation is not necessarily the key to robust flood modelling under climate change. By applying bottom-up climate change assessment, we were able to understand systematic changes in relative model performance under changing conditions and deduce likely sources of prediction error in the two models.

  8. Visual anticipation biases conscious perception but not bottom-up visual processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul F.M.J. Verschure

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Theories of consciousness can be grouped with respect to their stance on embodiment, sensori-motor contingencies, prediction and integration. In this list prediction plays a key role and it is not clear which aspects of prediction are most prominent in the conscious scene. An evolving view on the brain is that it can be seen as a prediction machine that optimizes its ability to predict states of the world and the self through the top-down propagation of predictions and the bottom-up presentation of prediction errors. There are competing views though on whether prediction or prediction errors dominate the conscious scene. Yet, due to the lack of efficient indirect measures, the dynamic effects of prediction on perception, decision making and consciousness have been difficult to assess and to model. We propose a novel mathematical framework and psychophysical paradigm that allows us to assess both the hierarchical structuring of perceptual consciousness, its content and the impact of predictions and / or errors on the conscious scene. Using a displacement detection task combined with reverse correlation we reveal signatures of the usage of prediction at three different levels of perception: bottom-up early saccades, top-down driven late saccades and conscious decisions. Our results suggest that the brain employs multiple parallel mechanisms at different levels of information processing to restrict the sensory field using predictions. We observe that cognitive load has a quantifiable effect on this dissociation of the bottom-up sensory and top-down predictive processes. We propose a probabilistic data association model from dynamical systems theory to model this predictive bias in different information processing levels.

  9. Visual anticipation biases conscious decision making but not bottom-up visual processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathews, Zenon; Cetnarski, Ryszard; Verschure, Paul F M J

    2014-01-01

    Prediction plays a key role in control of attention but it is not clear which aspects of prediction are most prominent in conscious experience. An evolving view on the brain is that it can be seen as a prediction machine that optimizes its ability to predict states of the world and the self through the top-down propagation of predictions and the bottom-up presentation of prediction errors. There are competing views though on whether prediction or prediction errors dominate the formation of conscious experience. Yet, the dynamic effects of prediction on perception, decision making and consciousness have been difficult to assess and to model. We propose a novel mathematical framework and a psychophysical paradigm that allows us to assess both the hierarchical structuring of perceptual consciousness, its content and the impact of predictions and/or errors on conscious experience, attention and decision-making. Using a displacement detection task combined with reverse correlation, we reveal signatures of the usage of prediction at three different levels of perceptual processing: bottom-up fast saccades, top-down driven slow saccades and consciousnes decisions. Our results suggest that the brain employs multiple parallel mechanism at different levels of perceptual processing in order to shape effective sensory consciousness within a predicted perceptual scene. We further observe that bottom-up sensory and top-down predictive processes can be dissociated through cognitive load. We propose a probabilistic data association model from dynamical systems theory to model the predictive multi-scale bias in perceptual processing that we observe and its role in the formation of conscious experience. We propose that these results support the hypothesis that consciousness provides a time-delayed description of a task that is used to prospectively optimize real time control structures, rather than being engaged in the real-time control of behavior itself.

  10. 2nd Congress on applied synthetic biology in Europe (Málaga, Spain, November 2013).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, Beatrice V; Pantidos, Nikolaos; Edmundson, Matthew

    2014-05-25

    The second meeting organised by the EFB on the advances of applied synthetic biology in Europe was held in Málaga, Spain in November 2013. The potential for the broad application of synthetic biology was reflected in the five sessions of this meeting: synthetic biology for healthcare applications, tools and technologies for synthetic biology, production of recombinant proteins, synthetic plant biology, and biofuels and other small molecules. Outcomes from the meeting were that synthetic biology offers methods for rapid development of new strains that will result in decreased production costs, sustainable chemical production and new medical applications. Additionally, it also introduced novel ways to produce sustainable energy and biofuels, to find new alternatives for bioremediation and resource recovery, and environmentally friendly foodstuff production. All the above-mentioned advances could enable biotechnology to solve some of the major problems of Society. However, while there are still limitations in terms of lacking tools, standardisation and suitable host organisms, this meeting has laid a foundation providing cutting-edge concepts and techniques to ultimately convert the potential of synthetic biology into practice. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Synthetic biology in the UK - An outline of plans and progress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, L J; Kitney, R I

    2016-12-01

    Synthetic biology is capable of delivering new solutions to key challenges spanning the bioeconomy, both nationally and internationally. Recognising this significant potential and the associated need to facilitate its translation and commercialisation the UK government commissioned the production of a national Synthetic Biology Roadmap in 2011, and subsequently provided crucial support to assist its implementation. Critical infrastructural investments have been made, and important strides made towards the development of an effectively connected community of practitioners and interest groups. A number of Synthetic Biology Research Centres, DNA Synthesis Foundries, a Centre for Doctoral Training, and an Innovation Knowledge Centre have been established, creating a nationally distributed and integrated network of complementary facilities and expertise. The UK Synthetic Biology Leadership Council published a UK Synthetic Biology Strategic Plan in 2016, increasing focus on the processes of translation and commercialisation. Over 50 start-ups, SMEs and larger companies are actively engaged in synthetic biology in the UK, and inward investments are starting to flow. Together these initiatives provide an important foundation for stimulating innovation, actively contributing to international research and development partnerships, and helping deliver useful benefits from synthetic biology in response to local and global needs and challenges.

  12. Sensitivity quantification of airport concrete pavement stress responses associated with top-down and bottom-up cracking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adel Rezaei-Tarahomi

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s rigid pavement design standard employs the NIKE3D-FAA software to compute critical pavement responses of concrete airport pavement structures. NIKE3D-FAA is a modification of the original NIKE3D three-dimensional finite element analysis program developed by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL of the U.S. Department of Energy, and is currently used in the FAA’s FAARFIELD program. This study evaluated the sensitivity of NIKE3D-FAA rigid pavement responses with respect to top-down and bottom-up cracking. The analysis was conducted by positioning a Boeing 777-300ER (B777-300ERaircraft at different locations (interior, corner, and edge of slab as baseline while varying other NIKE3D-FAA inputs, including rigid pavement geometric features, mechanical properties of paving and foundation materials, equivalent temperature gradient and thermal coefficient of Portland Cement Concrete (PCC layers. Several sensitivity charts were developed by examining the sensitivity of critical pavement responses to each input variation. Sensitivity evaluations were performed using a normalized sensitivity index (NSI as the quantitative metric. Using such sensitivity evaluation, the most significant NIKE3D-FAA input parameters for generating an effective synthetic database that will lower computational cost for future modeling developments were identified. Keywords: Sensitivity analysis, Airfield concrete pavement, Finite element analysis, Top down cracking

  13. The potential of LCM to mainstream bottom-up eco-innovation and alternative thinking

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    De Rosa, Michele; Ghose, Agneta

    2015-01-01

    . For this reason, under the LCM framework, a number of bottom-up eco innovations and non-traditional approaches can be categorized, arising often in difficult economic context. However, it is not because of LCM that alternative solutions were found in these cases, but due to necessity. The potential of LCM and its...... level. The first example is Can Decreix in Cerbere, a social experiment that intend to demonstrate how the entire society can be managed in an alternative way, cleaner and more equitable, consuming less and sharing more. Activities involve frugal technologies, agroecology, educational workshops...

  14. Integrating Top-down and Bottom-up Cybersecurity Guidance using XML.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubell, Joshua

    2016-08-01

    This paper describes a markup-based approach for synthesizing disparate information sources and discusses a software implementation of the approach. The implementation makes it easier for people to use two complementary, but differently structured, guidance specifications together: the (top-down) Cybersecurity Framework and the (bottom-up) National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-53 security control catalog. An example scenario demonstrates how the software implementation can help a security professional select the appropriate safeguards for restricting unauthorized access to an Industrial Control System. The implementation and example show the benefits of this approach and suggest its potential application to disciplines other than cybersecurity.

  15. Integrating Top-down and Bottom-up Cybersecurity Guidance using XML

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubell, Joshua

    2016-01-01

    This paper describes a markup-based approach for synthesizing disparate information sources and discusses a software implementation of the approach. The implementation makes it easier for people to use two complementary, but differently structured, guidance specifications together: the (top-down) Cybersecurity Framework and the (bottom-up) National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-53 security control catalog. An example scenario demonstrates how the software implementation can help a security professional select the appropriate safeguards for restricting unauthorized access to an Industrial Control System. The implementation and example show the benefits of this approach and suggest its potential application to disciplines other than cybersecurity. PMID:27795810

  16. Unsupervised tattoo segmentation combining bottom-up and top-down cues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Josef D.; Zhao, Nan; Yuan, Jiangbo; Liu, Xiuwen

    2011-06-01

    Tattoo segmentation is challenging due to the complexity and large variance in tattoo structures. We have developed a segmentation algorithm for finding tattoos in an image. Our basic idea is split-merge: split each tattoo image into clusters through a bottom-up process, learn to merge the clusters containing skin and then distinguish tattoo from the other skin via top-down prior in the image itself. Tattoo segmentation with unknown number of clusters is transferred to a figureground segmentation. We have applied our segmentation algorithm on a tattoo dataset and the results have shown that our tattoo segmentation system is efficient and suitable for further tattoo classification and retrieval purpose.

  17. Coupled multi-physics simulation frameworks for reactor simulation: A bottom-up approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tautges, Timothy J.; Caceres, Alvaro; Jain, Rajeev; Kim, Hong-Jun; Kraftcheck, Jason A.; Smith, Brandon M.

    2011-01-01

    A 'bottom-up' approach to multi-physics frameworks is described, where first common interfaces to simulation data are developed, then existing physics modules are adapted to communicate through those interfaces. Physics modules read and write data through those common interfaces, which also provide access to common simulation services like parallel IO, mesh partitioning, etc.. Multi-physics codes are assembled as a combination of physics modules, services, interface implementations, and driver code which coordinates calling these various pieces. Examples of various physics modules and services connected to this framework are given. (author)

  18. Public engagement as a field of tension between bottom-up and top-down strategies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Horsbøl, Anders; Lassen, Inger

    2012-01-01

    In the ongoing debate about climate change, public engagement is given increasing prominence as a possible solution to a general lack of citizen participation in climate change mitigation efforts. Recent years have seen a surge in public engagement initiatives in many countries in the Western world....... These initiatives often have to deal with dilemmas between participatory aspects and other considerations such as planning efficiency, dilemmas that potentially bring about tension between bottom-up and top-down strategies. Literature on climate change issues has addressed the failure of public response, which has...... knowledge and information about climate change has not significantly changed people’s behaviour towards higher involvement....

  19. Towards a field-theory interpretation of bottom-up holography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jacobs, V.P.J.; Grubinskas, S.; Stoof, H.T.C. [Institute for Theoretical Physics and Center for Extreme Matter and Emergent Phenomena,Utrecht University,Leuvenlaan 4, 3584 CE Utrecht (Netherlands)

    2015-04-08

    We investigate recent results for the electrical conductivity and the fermionic self-energy, obtained in a holographic bottom-up model for a relativistic charge-neutral conformal field theory. We present two possible field-theoretic derivations of these results, using either a semiholographic or a holographic point of view. In the semiholographic interpretation, we also show how, in general, the conductivity should be calculated in agreement with Ward identities. The resulting field-theory interpretation may lead to a better understanding of the holographic dictionary in applied AdS/CMT.

  20. NEMO. Netherlands Energy demand MOdel. A top-down model based on bottom-up information

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koopmans, C.C.; Te Velde, D.W.; Groot, W.; Hendriks, J.H.A.

    1999-06-01

    The title model links energy use to other production factors, (physical) production, energy prices, technological trends and government policies. It uses a 'putty-semiputty' vintage production structure, in which new investments, adaptations to existing capital goods (retrofit) and 'good-housekeeping' are discerned. Price elasticities are relatively large in the long term and small in the short term. Most predictions of energy use are based on either econometric models or on 'bottom-up information', i.e. disaggregated lists of technical possibilities for and costs of saving energy. Typically, one predicts more energy-efficiency improvements using bottom-up information than using econometric ('top-down') models. We bridged this so-called 'energy-efficiency gap' by designing our macro/meso model NEMO in such a way that we can use bottom-up (micro) information to estimate most model parameters. In our view, reflected in NEMO, the energy-efficiency gap arises for two reasons. The first is that firms and households use a fairly high discount rate of 15% when evaluating the profitability of energy-efficiency improvements. The second is that our bottom-up information ('ICARUS') for most economic sectors does not (as NEMO does) take account of the fact that implementation of new, energy-efficient technology in capital stock takes place only gradually. Parameter estimates for 19 sectors point at a long-term technological energy efficiency improvement trend in Netherlands final energy use of 0.8% per year. The long-term price elasticity is estimated to be 0.29. These values are comparable to other studies based on time series data. Simulations of the effects of the oil price shocks in the seventies and the subsequent fall of oil prices show that the NEMO's price elasticities are consistent with historical data. However, the present pace at which new technologies become available (reflected in NEMO) appears to be lower than in the seventies and eighties. This suggests that it

  1. Co-financing of bottom-up approaches towards Broadband Infrastructure Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Williams, Idongesit

    2016-01-01

    with financial injection and the other did not due to low revenue. This paper, based on these cases, proposes the utilization and the reintroduction of Universal Service funds in developing countries to aid these small networks. This is a qualitative study, the Grounded Theory approach was used adopted gather...... networks –leading to the demise of some of these initiatives. This paper proposes co-financing of these networks as a means of sustaining the bottom-up Broadband network. The argument of this paper is anchored on two of developing country cases. One in India and the other in Ghana. One survived...

  2. Communicating Synthetic Biology: from the lab via the media to the broader public.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kronberger, Nicole; Holtz, Peter; Kerbe, Wolfgang; Strasser, Ewald; Wagner, Wolfgang

    2009-12-01

    We present insights from a study on communicating Synthetic Biology conducted in 2008. Scientists were invited to write press releases on their work; the resulting texts were passed on to four journalists from major Austrian newspapers and magazines. The journalists in turn wrote articles that were used as stimulus material for eight group discussions with select members of the Austrian public. The results show that, from the lab via the media to the general public, communication is characterized by two important tendencies: first, communication becomes increasingly focused on concrete applications of Synthetic Biology; and second, biotechnology represents an important benchmark against which Synthetic Biology is being evaluated.

  3. A Powerful Toolkit for Synthetic Biology: Over 3.8 Billion Years of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2010-01-01

    The combination of evolutionary with engineering principles will enhance synthetic biology. Conversely, synthetic biology has the potential to enrich evolutionary biology by explaining why some adaptive space is empty, on Earth or elsewhere. Synthetic biology, the design and construction of artificial biological systems, substitutes bio-engineering for evolution, which is seen as an obstacle. But because evolution has produced the complexity and diversity of life, it provides a proven toolkit of genetic materials and principles available to synthetic biology. Evolution operates on the population level, with the populations composed of unique individuals that are historical entities. The source of genetic novelty includes mutation, gene regulation, sex, symbiosis, and interspecies gene transfer. At a phenotypic level, variation derives from regulatory control, replication and diversification of components, compartmentalization, sexual selection and speciation, among others. Variation is limited by physical constraints such as diffusion, and chemical constraints such as reaction rates and membrane fluidity. While some of these tools of evolution are currently in use in synthetic biology, all ought to be examined for utility. A hybrid approach of synthetic biology coupled with fine-tuning through evolution is suggested

  4. Engineering a palette of eukaryotic chromoproteins for bacterial synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liljeruhm, Josefine; Funk, Saskia K; Tietscher, Sandra; Edlund, Anders D; Jamal, Sabri; Wistrand-Yuen, Pikkei; Dyrhage, Karl; Gynnå, Arvid; Ivermark, Katarina; Lövgren, Jessica; Törnblom, Viktor; Virtanen, Anders; Lundin, Erik R; Wistrand-Yuen, Erik; Forster, Anthony C

    2018-01-01

    Coral reefs are colored by eukaryotic chromoproteins (CPs) that are homologous to green fluorescent protein. CPs differ from fluorescent proteins (FPs) by intensely absorbing visible light to give strong colors in ambient light. This endows CPs with certain advantages over FPs, such as instrument-free detection uncomplicated by ultra-violet light damage or background fluorescence, efficient Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) quenching, and photoacoustic imaging. Thus, CPs have found utility as genetic markers and in teaching, and are attractive for potential cell biosensor applications in the field. Most near-term applications of CPs require expression in a different domain of life: bacteria. However, it is unclear which of the eukaryotic CP genes might be suitable and how best to assay them. Here, taking advantage of codon optimization programs in 12 cases, we engineered 14 CP sequences (meffRed, eforRed, asPink, spisPink, scOrange, fwYellow, amilGFP, amajLime, cjBlue, meffBlue, aeBlue, amilCP, tsPurple and gfasPurple) into a palette of Escherichia coli BioBrick plasmids. BioBricks comply with synthetic biology's most widely used, simplified, cloning standard. Differences in color intensities, maturation times and fitness costs of expression were compared under the same conditions, and visible readout of gene expression was quantitated. A surprisingly large variation in cellular fitness costs was found, resulting in loss of color in some overnight liquid cultures of certain high-copy-plasmid-borne CPs, and cautioning the use of multiple CPs as markers in competition assays. We solved these two problems by integrating pairs of these genes into the chromosome and by engineering versions of the same CP with very different colors. Availability of 14 engineered CP genes compared in E. coli , together with chromosomal mutants suitable for competition assays, should simplify and expand CP study and applications. There was no single plasmid-borne CP that combined

  5. On Beyond Star Trek, the Role of Synthetic Biology in Nasa's Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2016-01-01

    The time has come to for NASA to exploit the nascent field of synthetic biology in pursuit of its mission, including aeronautics, earth science, astrobiology and notably, human exploration. Conversely, NASA advances the fundamental technology of synthetic biology as no one else can because of its unique expertise in the origin of life and life in extreme environments, including the potential for alternate life forms. This enables unique, creative "game changing" advances. NASA's requirement for minimizing upmass in flight will also drive the field toward miniaturization and automation. These drivers will greatly increase the utility of synthetic biology solutions for military, health in remote areas and commercial purposes. To this end, we have begun a program at NASA to explore the use of synthetic biology in NASA's missions, particularly space exploration. As part of this program, we began hosting an iGEM team of undergraduates drawn from Brown and Stanford Universities to conduct synthetic biology research at NASA Ames Research Center. The 2011 team (http://2011.igem.org/Team:Brown-Stanford) produced an award-winning project on using synthetic biology as a basis for a human Mars settlement and the 2012 team has expanded the use of synthetic biology to estimate the potential for life in the clouds of other planets (http://2012.igem.org/Team:Stanford-Brown; http://www.calacademy.org/sciencetoday/igem-competition/). More recent projects from the Stanford-Brown team have expanded our ideas of how synthetic biology can aid NASA's missions from "Synthetic BioCommunication" (http://2013.igem.org/Team:Stanford-Brown) to a "Biodegradable UAS (drone)" in collaboration with Spelman College (http://2014.igem.org/Team:StanfordBrownSpelman#SBS%20iGEM) and most recently, "Self-Folding Origami" (http://2015.igem.org/Team:Stanford-Brown), the winner of the 2015 award for Manufacturing.

  6. A bottom-up approach for the synthesis of highly ordered fullerene-intercalated graphene hybrids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitrios eGournis

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Much of the research effort on graphene focuses on its use as a building block for the development of new hybrid nanostructures with well-defined dimensions and properties suitable for applications such as gas storage, heterogeneous catalysis, gas/liquid separations, nanosensing and biomedicine. Towards this aim, here we describe a new bottom-up approach, which combines self-assembly with the Langmuir Schaefer deposition technique to synthesize graphene-based layered hybrid materials hosting fullerene molecules within the interlayer space. Our film preparation consists in a bottom-up layer-by-layer process that proceeds via the formation of a hybrid organo-graphene oxide Langmuir film. The structure and composition of these hybrid fullerene-containing thin multilayers deposited on hydrophobic substrates were characterized by a combination of X-ray diffraction, Raman and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopies, atomic force microscopy and conductivity measurements. The latter revealed that the presence of C60 within the interlayer spacing leads to an increase in electrical conductivity of the hybrid material as compared to the organo-graphene matrix alone.

  7. Top down and bottom up selection drives variations in frequency and form of a visual signal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeh, Chien-Wei; Blamires, Sean J; Liao, Chen-Pan; Tso, I-Min

    2015-03-30

    The frequency and form of visual signals can be shaped by selection from predators, prey or both. When a signal simultaneously attracts predators and prey selection may favour a strategy that minimizes risks while attracting prey. Accordingly, varying the frequency and form of the silken decorations added to their web may be a way that Argiope spiders minimize predation while attracting prey. Nonetheless, the role of extraneous factors renders the influences of top down and bottom up selection on decoration frequency and form variation difficult to discern. Here we used dummy spiders and decorations to simulate four possible strategies that the spider Argiope aemula may choose and measured the prey and predator attraction consequences for each in the field. The strategy of decorating at a high frequency with a variable form attracted the most prey, while that of decorating at a high frequency with a fixed form attracted the most predators. These results suggest that mitigating the cost of attracting predators while maintaining prey attraction drives the use of variation in decoration form by many Argiope spp. when decorating frequently. Our study highlights the importance of considering top-down and bottom up selection pressure when devising evolutionary ecology experiments.

  8. Selective spatial attention modulates bottom-up informational masking of speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlile, Simon; Corkhill, Caitlin

    2015-03-02

    To hear out a conversation against other talkers listeners overcome energetic and informational masking. Largely attributed to top-down processes, information masking has also been demonstrated using unintelligible speech and amplitude-modulated maskers suggesting bottom-up processes. We examined the role of speech-like amplitude modulations in information masking using a spatial masking release paradigm. Separating a target talker from two masker talkers produced a 20 dB improvement in speech reception threshold; 40% of which was attributed to a release from informational masking. When across frequency temporal modulations in the masker talkers are decorrelated the speech is unintelligible, although the within frequency modulation characteristics remains identical. Used as a masker as above, the information masking accounted for 37% of the spatial unmasking seen with this masker. This unintelligible and highly differentiable masker is unlikely to involve top-down processes. These data provides strong evidence of bottom-up masking involving speech-like, within-frequency modulations and that this, presumably low level process, can be modulated by selective spatial attention.

  9. The bottom-up approach to integrative validity: a new perspective for program evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Huey T

    2010-08-01

    The Campbellian validity model and the traditional top-down approach to validity have had a profound influence on research and evaluation. That model includes the concepts of internal and external validity and within that model, the preeminence of internal validity as demonstrated in the top-down approach. Evaluators and researchers have, however, increasingly recognized that in an evaluation, the over-emphasis on internal validity reduces that evaluation's usefulness and contributes to the gulf between academic and practical communities regarding interventions. This article examines the limitations of the Campbellian validity model and the top-down approach and provides a comprehensive, alternative model, known as the integrative validity model for program evaluation. The integrative validity model includes the concept of viable validity, which is predicated on a bottom-up approach to validity. This approach better reflects stakeholders' evaluation views and concerns, makes external validity workable, and becomes therefore a preferable alternative for evaluation of health promotion/social betterment programs. The integrative validity model and the bottom-up approach enable evaluators to meet scientific and practical requirements, facilitate in advancing external validity, and gain a new perspective on methods. The new perspective also furnishes a balanced view of credible evidence, and offers an alternative perspective for funding. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. A bottom-up model to describe consumers’ preferences towards late season peaches

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Groot, E.; Albisu, L.M.

    2015-07-01

    Peaches are consumed in Mediterranean countries since ancient times. Nowadays there are few areas in Europe that produce peaches with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), and the Calanda area is one of them. The aim of this work is to describe consumers’ preferences towards late season PDO Calanda peaches in the city of Zaragoza, Spain, by a bottom-up model. The bottom-up model proves greater amount of information than top-down models. In this approach it is estimated one utility function per consumer. Thus, it is not necessary to make assumptions about preference distributions and correlations across respondents. It was observed that preference distributions were neither normal nor independently distributed. If those preferences were estimated by top-down models, conclusions would be biased. This paper also explores a new way to describe preferences through individual utility functions. Results show that the largest behavioural group gathered origin sensitive consumers. Their utility increased if the peaches were produced in the Calanda area and, especially, when peaches had the PDO Calanda brand. In sequence, the second most valuable attribute for consumers was the price. Peach size and packaging were not so important on purchase choice decision. Nevertheless, it is advisable to avoid trading smallest size peaches (weighting around 160 g/fruit). Traders also have to be careful by using active packaging. It was found that a group of consumers disliked this kind of product, probably, because they perceived it as less natural. (Author)

  11. Automated Urban Travel Interpretation: A Bottom-up Approach for Trajectory Segmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahul Deb Das

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Understanding travel behavior is critical for an effective urban planning as well as for enabling various context-aware service provisions to support mobility as a service (MaaS. Both applications rely on the sensor traces generated by travellers’ smartphones. These traces can be used to interpret travel modes, both for generating automated travel diaries as well as for real-time travel mode detection. Current approaches segment a trajectory by certain criteria, e.g., drop in speed. However, these criteria are heuristic, and, thus, existing approaches are subjective and involve significant vagueness and uncertainty in activity transitions in space and time. Also, segmentation approaches are not suited for real time interpretation of open-ended segments, and cannot cope with the frequent gaps in the location traces. In order to address all these challenges a novel, state based bottom-up approach is proposed. This approach assumes a fixed atomic segment of a homogeneous state, instead of an event-based segment, and a progressive iteration until a new state is found. The research investigates how an atomic state-based approach can be developed in such a way that can work in real time, near-real time and offline mode and in different environmental conditions with their varying quality of sensor traces. The results show the proposed bottom-up model outperforms the existing event-based segmentation models in terms of adaptivity, flexibility, accuracy and richness in information delivery pertinent to automated travel behavior interpretation.

  12. Automated Urban Travel Interpretation: A Bottom-up Approach for Trajectory Segmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Rahul Deb; Winter, Stephan

    2016-11-23

    Understanding travel behavior is critical for an effective urban planning as well as for enabling various context-aware service provisions to support mobility as a service (MaaS). Both applications rely on the sensor traces generated by travellers' smartphones. These traces can be used to interpret travel modes, both for generating automated travel diaries as well as for real-time travel mode detection. Current approaches segment a trajectory by certain criteria, e.g., drop in speed. However, these criteria are heuristic, and, thus, existing approaches are subjective and involve significant vagueness and uncertainty in activity transitions in space and time. Also, segmentation approaches are not suited for real time interpretation of open-ended segments, and cannot cope with the frequent gaps in the location traces. In order to address all these challenges a novel, state based bottom-up approach is proposed. This approach assumes a fixed atomic segment of a homogeneous state, instead of an event-based segment, and a progressive iteration until a new state is found. The research investigates how an atomic state-based approach can be developed in such a way that can work in real time, near-real time and offline mode and in different environmental conditions with their varying quality of sensor traces. The results show the proposed bottom-up model outperforms the existing event-based segmentation models in terms of adaptivity, flexibility, accuracy and richness in information delivery pertinent to automated travel behavior interpretation.

  13. Bottom-up approach for decentralised energy planning. Case study of Tumkur district in India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hiremath, Rahul B. [Walchand Institute of Technology, Solapur 413006 (India); Kumar, Bimlesh [Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati 781039 (India); Balachandra, P. [Energy Technology Innovation Policy, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Ravindranath, N.H. [CST, IISc, Bangalore 560012 (India)

    2010-02-15

    Decentralized Energy Planning (DEP) is one of the options to meet the rural and small-scale energy needs in a reliable, affordable and environmentally sustainable way. The main aspect of the energy planning at decentralized level would be to prepare an area-based DEP to meet energy needs and development of alternate energy sources at least-cost to the economy and environment. Present work uses goal-programming method in order to analyze the DEP through bottom-up approach. This approach includes planning from the lowest scale of Tumkur district in India. The scale of analysis included village level - Ungra, panchayat level (local council) - Yedavani, block level - Kunigal and district level - Tumkur. The approach adopted was bottom-up (village to district) to allow a detailed description of energy services and the resulting demand for energy forms and supply technologies. Different scenarios are considered at four decentralized scales for the year 2005 and are developed and analyzed for the year 2020. Decentralized bioenergy system for producing biogas and electricity, using local biomass resources, are shown to promote development compared to other renewables. This is because, apart from meeting energy needs, multiple goals could be achieved such as self-reliance, local employment, and land reclamation apart from CO{sub 2} emissions reduction. (author)

  14. Bottom-up approach for decentralised energy planning: Case study of Tumkur district in India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hiremath, Rahul B., E-mail: rahulhiremath@gmail.co [Walchand Institute of Technology Solapur 413006 (India); Kumar, Bimlesh, E-mail: bimk@iitg.ernet.i [Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati 781039 (India); Balachandra, P., E-mail: balachandra_patil@hks.harvard.ed [Energy Technology Innovation Policy, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States); Ravindranath, N.H., E-mail: ravi@ces.iisc.ernet.i [CST, IISc, Bangalore 560012 (India)

    2010-02-15

    Decentralized Energy Planning (DEP) is one of the options to meet the rural and small-scale energy needs in a reliable, affordable and environmentally sustainable way. The main aspect of the energy planning at decentralized level would be to prepare an area-based DEP to meet energy needs and development of alternate energy sources at least-cost to the economy and environment. Present work uses goal-programming method in order to analyze the DEP through bottom-up approach. This approach includes planning from the lowest scale of Tumkur district in India. The scale of analysis included village level-Ungra, panchayat level (local council)-Yedavani, block level-Kunigal and district level-Tumkur. The approach adopted was bottom-up (village to district) to allow a detailed description of energy services and the resulting demand for energy forms and supply technologies. Different scenarios are considered at four decentralized scales for the year 2005 and are developed and analyzed for the year 2020. Decentralized bioenergy system for producing biogas and electricity, using local biomass resources, are shown to promote development compared to other renewables. This is because, apart from meeting energy needs, multiple goals could be achieved such as self-reliance, local employment, and land reclamation apart from CO{sub 2} emissions reduction.

  15. Top-down (Prior Knowledge) and Bottom-up (Perceptual Modality) Influences on Spontaneous Interpersonal Synchronization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gipson, Christina L; Gorman, Jamie C; Hessler, Eric E

    2016-04-01

    Coordination with others is such a fundamental part of human activity that it can happen unintentionally. This unintentional coordination can manifest as synchronization and is observed in physical and human systems alike. We investigated the role of top-down influences (prior knowledge of the perceptual modality their partner is using) and bottom-up factors (perceptual modality combination) on spontaneous interpersonal synchronization. We examine this phenomena with respect to two different theoretical perspectives that differently emphasize top-down and bottom-up factors in interpersonal synchronization: joint-action/shared cognition theories and ecological-interactive theories. In an empirical study twelve dyads performed a finger oscillation task while attending to each other's movements through either visual, auditory, or visual and auditory perceptual modalities. Half of the participants were given prior knowledge of their partner's perceptual capabilities for coordinating across these different perceptual modality combinations. We found that the effect of top-down influence depends on the perceptual modality combination between two individuals. When people used the same perceptual modalities, top-down influence resulted in less synchronization and when people used different perceptual modalities, top-down influence resulted in more synchronization. Furthermore, persistence in the change in behavior as a result of having perceptual information about each other ('social memory') was stronger when this top-down influence was present.

  16. Comparing effectiveness of top-down and bottom-up strategies in containing influenza.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Achla Marathe

    Full Text Available This research compares the performance of bottom-up, self-motivated behavioral interventions with top-down interventions targeted at controlling an "Influenza-like-illness". Both types of interventions use a variant of the ring strategy. In the first case, when the fraction of a person's direct contacts who are diagnosed exceeds a threshold, that person decides to seek prophylaxis, e.g. vaccine or antivirals; in the second case, we consider two intervention protocols, denoted Block and School: when a fraction of people who are diagnosed in a Census Block (resp., School exceeds the threshold, prophylax the entire Block (resp., School. Results show that the bottom-up strategy outperforms the top-down strategies under our parameter settings. Even in situations where the Block strategy reduces the overall attack rate well, it incurs a much higher cost. These findings lend credence to the notion that if people used antivirals effectively, making them available quickly on demand to private citizens could be a very effective way to control an outbreak.

  17. Resolving the chemical nature of nanodesigned silica surface obtained via a bottom-up approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahma, Hakim; Buffeteau, Thierry; Belin, Colette; Le Bourdon, Gwenaëlle; Degueil, Marie; Bennetau, Bernard; Vellutini, Luc; Heuzé, Karine

    2013-08-14

    The covalent grafting on silica surfaces of a functional dendritic organosilane coupling agent inserted, in a long alkyl chain monolayer, is described. In this paper, we show that depending on experimental parameters, particularly the solvent, it is possible to obtain a nanodesigned surface via a bottom-up approach. Thus, we succeed in the formation of both homogeneous dense monolayer and a heterogeneous dense monolayer, the latter being characterized by a nanosized volcano-type pattern (4-6 nm of height, 100 nm of width, and around 3 volcanos/μm(2)) randomly distributed over the surface. The dendritic attribute of the grafted silylated coupling agent affords enough anchoring sites to immobilize covalently functional gold nanoparticles (GNPs), coated with amino PEG polymer to resolve the chemical nature of the surfaces and especially the volcano type nanopattern structures of the heterogeneous monolayer. Thus, the versatile surface chemistry developed herein is particularly challenging as the nanodesign is straightforward achieved in a bottom-up approach without any specific lithography device.

  18. Top-down versus bottom-up processing of influence diagrams in probabilistic analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Timmerman, R.D.; Burns, T.J.; Dodds, H.L. Jr.

    1986-01-01

    Recent work by Phillips et al and Selby et al has shown that influence diagram methodology can be a useful analytical tool in reactor safety studies. In some instances, an influence diagram can be used as a graphical representation of probabilistic dependence within a system or event sequence. Under these circumstances, Bayesian statistics is employed to transform the relationships depicted in the influence diagram into the correct expression for a desired marginal probability (e.g., the top node). In the references cited above, the authors demonstrated the usefulness of influence diagrams for assessing the reliability of operator performance during pressurized thermal shock transients. In addition, the use of influence diagrams identified the critical variables that had the greatest impact on operator reliability for a particular scenario (e.g., control room design, procedures, etc.). Top-down and bottom-up algorithms have emerged as the dominant methods for quantifying influence diagrams. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate a potential error in employing the bottom-up algorithm when dealing with interdependencies

  19. Automatic Polyp Detection via A Novel Unified Bottom-up and Top-down Saliency Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Yixuan; Li, Dengwang; Meng, Max Q-H

    2017-07-31

    In this paper, we propose a novel automatic computer-aided method to detect polyps for colonoscopy videos. To find the perceptually and semantically meaningful salient polyp regions, we first segment images into multilevel superpixels. Each level corresponds to different sizes of superpixels. Rather than adopting hand-designed features to describe these superpixels in images, we employ sparse autoencoder (SAE) to learn discriminative features in an unsupervised way. Then a novel unified bottom-up and top-down saliency method is proposed to detect polyps. In the first stage, we propose a weak bottom-up (WBU) saliency map by fusing the contrast based saliency and object-center based saliency together. The contrast based saliency map highlights image parts that show different appearances compared with surrounding areas while the object-center based saliency map emphasizes the center of the salient object. In the second stage, a strong classifier with Multiple Kernel Boosting (MKB) is learned to calculate the strong top-down (STD) saliency map based on samples directly from the obtained multi-level WBU saliency maps. We finally integrate these two stage saliency maps from all levels together to highlight polyps. Experiment results achieve 0.818 recall for saliency calculation, validating the effectiveness of our method. Extensive experiments on public polyp datasets demonstrate that the proposed saliency algorithm performs favorably against state-of-the-art saliency methods to detect polyps.

  20. A combined bottom-up/top-down approach to prepare a sterile injectable nanosuspension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xi; Chen, Xi; Zhang, Ling; Lin, Xia; Zhang, Yu; Tang, Xing; Wang, Yanjiao

    2014-09-10

    To prepare a uniform nanosuspension of strongly hydrophobic riboflavin laurate (RFL) allowing sterile filtration, physical modification (bottom-up) was combined with high-pressure homogenization (top-down) method. Unlike other bottom-up approaches, physical modification with surfactants (TPGS and PL-100) by lyophilization controlled crystallization and compensated for the poor wettability of RFL. On one hand, crystal growth and aggregation during freezing was restricted by a stabilizer-layer adsorbed on the drug surface by hydrophobic interaction. On the other hand, subsequent crystallization of drug in the sublimation process was limited to the interstitial spaces between solvent crystals. After lyophilization, modified drug with a smaller particle size and better wettability was obtained. When adding surfactant solution, water molecules passed between the hydrophilic groups of surface active molecules and activated the polymer chains allowing them to stretch into water. The coarse suspension was crushed into a nanosuspension (MP=162 nm) by high-pressure homogenization. For long term stability, lyophilization was applied again to solidify the nanosuspension (sorbitol as cryoprotectant). A slight crystal growth to about 600 nm was obtained to allow slow release for a sustained effect after muscular administration. Moreover, no paw-licking responses and very slight muscular inflammation demonstrated the excellent biocompatibility of this long-acting RFL injection. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Dynamic formulation of a top-down and bottom-up merging energy policy model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frei, Christoph W.; Haldi, P.-A.; Sarlos, G.Gerard

    2003-01-01

    The impact of energy policy measures is not restricted to the energy system and should therefore be analysed within an economy-wide framework, while keeping the essential details of the energy sector. The aim of this paper is to present new developments in the field of the consistent evaluation of indicators for the sustainability assessment of energy policy measures. Starting from the static concept of Boehringer (Energy Econ. 20 (1998) 233), this paper shows how the complementarity format can be used in computable general equilibrium (CGE) modelling for a dynamic formulation of bottom-up and top-down approach merging models. While a hybrid approach increases the credibility of CGE models in energy policy analysis by replacing the energy sector generic functional forms with a bottom-up activity analysis based on specific technologies, the endogenous formulation of investment decisions makes an explicit description of evolving specific capital stocks and technology mixes possible. Both features are essential when assessing effects of policy measures that may be affected by structural change--which is typically the case in the long-term assessment of energy policy measures

  2. Painful faces-induced attentional blink modulated by top-down and bottom-up mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun eZheng

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Pain-related stimuli can capture attention in an automatic (bottom-up or intentional (top-down fashion. Previous studies have examined attentional capture by pain-related information using spatial attention paradigms that involve mainly a bottom-up mechanism. In the current study, we investigated the pain information–induced attentional blink (AB using a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP task, and compared the effects of task-irrelevant and task-relevant pain distractors. Relationships between accuracy of target identification and individual traits (i.e., empathy and catastrophizing thinking about pain were also examined. The results demonstrated that task-relevant painful faces had a significant pain information–induced AB effect, whereas task-irrelevant faces a near-significant trend of this effect, supporting the notion that pain-related stimuli can influence the temporal dynamics of attention. Furthermore, we found a significant negative correlation between response accuracy and pain catastrophizing score in task-relevant trials. These findings suggest that active scanning of environmental information related to pain produces greater deficits in cognition than does unintentional attention toward pain, which may represent the different ways in which healthy individuals and patients with chronic pain process pain-relevant information. These results may provide insight into the understanding of maladaptive attentional processing in patients with chronic pain.

  3. Feature-based attention: it is all bottom-up priming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theeuwes, Jan

    2013-10-19

    Feature-based attention (FBA) enhances the representation of image characteristics throughout the visual field, a mechanism that is particularly useful when searching for a specific stimulus feature. Even though most theories of visual search implicitly or explicitly assume that FBA is under top-down control, we argue that the role of top-down processing in FBA may be limited. Our review of the literature indicates that all behavioural and neuro-imaging studies investigating FBA suffer from the shortcoming that they cannot rule out an effect of priming. The mere attending to a feature enhances the mandatory processing of that feature across the visual field, an effect that is likely to occur in an automatic, bottom-up way. Studies that have investigated the feasibility of FBA by means of cueing paradigms suggest that the role of top-down processing in FBA is limited (e.g. prepare for red). Instead, the actual processing of the stimulus is needed to cause the mandatory tuning of responses throughout the visual field. We conclude that it is likely that all FBA effects reported previously are the result of bottom-up priming.

  4. Bottom-up realization and electrical characterization of a graphene-based device

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maffucci, A; Micciulla, F; Cataldo, A; Bellucci, S; Miano, G

    2016-01-01

    We propose a bottom-up procedure to fabricate an easy-to-engineer graphene-based device, consisting of a microstrip-like circuit where few-layer graphene nanoplatelets are used to contact two copper electrodes. The graphene nanoplatelets are obtained by the microwave irradiation of intercalated graphite, i.e., an environmentally friendly, fast and low-cost procedure. The contact is created by a bottom-up process, driven by the application of a DC electrical field in the gap between the electrodes, yielding the formation of a graphene carpet. The electrical resistance of the device has been measured as a function of the gap length and device temperature. The possible use of this device as a gas sensor is demonstrated by measuring the sensitivity of its electrical resistance to the presence of gas. The measured results demonstrate a good degree of reproducibility in the fabrication process, and the competitive performance of devices, thus making the proposed technique potentially attractive for industrial applications. (paper)

  5. Integrating the bottom-up and top-down approach to energy economy modelling. The case of Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Klinge Jacobsen, Henrik

    1998-01-01

    This paper presents results from an integration project covering Danish models based on bottom-up and top-down approaches to energy]economy modelling. The purpose of the project was to identify theoretical and methodological problems for integrating existing models for Denmark and to implement...... an integration of the models. The integration was established through a number of links between energy bottom-up modules and a macroeconomic model. In this integrated model it is possible to analyse both top-down instruments, such as taxes along with bottom-up instruments, such as regulation of technology...

  6. A methodology to annotate systems biology markup language models with the synthetic biology open language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roehner, Nicholas; Myers, Chris J

    2014-02-21

    Recently, we have begun to witness the potential of synthetic biology, noted here in the form of bacteria and yeast that have been genetically engineered to produce biofuels, manufacture drug precursors, and even invade tumor cells. The success of these projects, however, has often failed in translation and application to new projects, a problem exacerbated by a lack of engineering standards that combine descriptions of the structure and function of DNA. To address this need, this paper describes a methodology to connect the systems biology markup language (SBML) to the synthetic biology open language (SBOL), existing standards that describe biochemical models and DNA components, respectively. Our methodology involves first annotating SBML model elements such as species and reactions with SBOL DNA components. A graph is then constructed from the model, with vertices corresponding to elements within the model and edges corresponding to the cause-and-effect relationships between these elements. Lastly, the graph is traversed to assemble the annotating DNA components into a composite DNA component, which is used to annotate the model itself and can be referenced by other composite models and DNA components. In this way, our methodology can be used to build up a hierarchical library of models annotated with DNA components. Such a library is a useful input to any future genetic technology mapping algorithm that would automate the process of composing DNA components to satisfy a behavioral specification. Our methodology for SBML-to-SBOL annotation is implemented in the latest version of our genetic design automation (GDA) software tool, iBioSim.

  7. A collective review of biological versus synthetic mesh-reinforced cruroplasty during laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P S S Castelijns

    2018-01-01

    Conclusion: Mesh reinforcement of hiatal hernia repair seems safe in the short-term follow-up. The available literature suggests no clear advantage of biological over synthetic meshes. Regarding cost-efficiency and short-term results, the use of synthetic nonabsorbable meshes might be advocated.

  8. Synthetic biology and conservation of nature: wicked problems and wicked solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redford, Kent H; Adams, William; Mace, Georgina M

    2013-01-01

    So far, conservation scientists have paid little attention to synthetic biology; this is unfortunate as the technology is likely to transform the operating space within which conservation functions, and therefore the prospects for maintaining biodiversity into the future.

  9. A Synthetic Biology Tool Kit for Manned Missions Outside Low Earth Orbit

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Our goal is to make human missions outside low earth orbit safer and better able to handle the unexpected through the use of synthetic biology as an enabling...

  10. Synthetic biology in the UK – An outline of plans and progress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L.J. Clarke

    2016-12-01

    Together these initiatives provide an important foundation for stimulating innovation, actively contributing to international research and development partnerships, and helping deliver useful benefits from synthetic biology in response to local and global needs and challenges.

  11. Computational protein design-the next generation tool to expand synthetic biology applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gainza-Cirauqui, Pablo; Correia, Bruno Emanuel

    2018-05-02

    One powerful approach to engineer synthetic biology pathways is the assembly of proteins sourced from one or more natural organisms. However, synthetic pathways often require custom functions or biophysical properties not displayed by natural proteins, limitations that could be overcome through modern protein engineering techniques. Structure-based computational protein design is a powerful tool to engineer new functional capabilities in proteins, and it is beginning to have a profound impact in synthetic biology. Here, we review efforts to increase the capabilities of synthetic biology using computational protein design. We focus primarily on computationally designed proteins not only validated in vitro, but also shown to modulate different activities in living cells. Efforts made to validate computational designs in cells can illustrate both the challenges and opportunities in the intersection of protein design and synthetic biology. We also highlight protein design approaches, which although not validated as conveyors of new cellular function in situ, may have rapid and innovative applications in synthetic biology. We foresee that in the near-future, computational protein design will vastly expand the functional capabilities of synthetic cells. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  12. A systematic design method for robust synthetic biology to satisfy design specifications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Bor-Sen; Wu, Chih-Hung

    2009-06-30

    Synthetic biology is foreseen to have important applications in biotechnology and medicine, and is expected to contribute significantly to a better understanding of the functioning of complex biological systems. However, the development of synthetic gene networks is still difficult and most newly created gene networks are non-functioning due to intrinsic parameter uncertainties, external disturbances and functional variations of intra- and extra-cellular environments. The design method for a robust synthetic gene network that works properly in a host cell under these intrinsic parameter uncertainties and external disturbances is the most important topic in synthetic biology. In this study, we propose a stochastic model that includes parameter fluctuations and external disturbances to mimic the dynamic behaviors of a synthetic gene network in the host cell. Then, based on this stochastic model, four design specifications are introduced to guarantee that a synthetic gene network can achieve its desired steady state behavior in spite of parameter fluctuations, external disturbances and functional variations in the host cell. We propose a systematic method to select a set of appropriate design parameters for a synthetic gene network that will satisfy these design specifications so that the intrinsic parameter fluctuations can be tolerated, the external disturbances can be efficiently filtered, and most importantly, the desired steady states can be achieved. Thus the synthetic gene network can work properly in a host cell under intrinsic parameter uncertainties, external disturbances and functional variations. Finally, a design procedure for the robust synthetic gene network is developed and a design example is given in silico to confirm the performance of the proposed method. Based on four design specifications, a systematic design procedure is developed for designers to engineer a robust synthetic biology network that can achieve its desired steady state behavior

  13. Biological activity and toxicitiy of imported and synthetic metal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... of green alga Scendesmus obliquus. The toxicity of surfactants to Scendesmus obliquus are arranged in the order: imported fluid > Synthetic fluid > S+ D > I+A> S+B> I+ C> I+B > I+D > I+D >S+A > I+4. These results prove that, the toxicity of fluids depends on its chemical structure. Egyptian Journal of Biotechnology Vol.

  14. Promoting microbiology education through the iGEM synthetic biology competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelwick, Richard; Bowater, Laura; Yeoman, Kay H; Bowater, Richard P

    2015-08-01

    Synthetic biology has developed rapidly in the 21st century. It covers a range of scientific disciplines that incorporate principles from engineering to take advantage of and improve biological systems, often applied to specific problems. Methods important in this subject area include the systematic design and testing of biological systems and, here, we describe how synthetic biology projects frequently develop microbiology skills and education. Synthetic biology research has huge potential in biotechnology and medicine, which brings important ethical and moral issues to address, offering learning opportunities about the wider impact of microbiological research. Synthetic biology projects have developed into wide-ranging training and educational experiences through iGEM, the International Genetically Engineered Machines competition. Elements of the competition are judged against specific criteria and teams can win medals and prizes across several categories. Collaboration is an important element of iGEM, and all DNA constructs synthesized by iGEM teams are made available to all researchers through the Registry for Standard Biological Parts. An overview of microbiological developments in the iGEM competition is provided. This review is targeted at educators that focus on microbiology and synthetic biology, but will also be of value to undergraduate and postgraduate students with an interest in this exciting subject area. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Evaluations of carbon fluxes estimated by top-down and bottom-up approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murakami, K.; Sasai, T.; Kato, S.; Hiraki, K.; Maksyutov, S. S.; Yokota, T.; Nasahara, K.; Matsunaga, T.

    2013-12-01

    There are two types of estimating carbon fluxes using satellite observation data, and these are referred to as top-down and bottom-up approaches. Many uncertainties are however still remain in these carbon flux estimations, because the true values of carbon flux are still unclear and estimations vary according to the type of the model (e.g. a transport model, a process based model) and input data. The CO2 fluxes in these approaches are estimated by using different satellite data such as the distribution of CO2 concentration in the top-down approach and the land cover information (e.g. leaf area, surface temperature) in the bottom-up approach. The satellite-based CO2 flux estimations with reduced uncertainty can be used efficiently for identifications of large emission area and carbon stocks of forest area. In this study, we evaluated the carbon flux estimates from two approaches by comparing with each other. The Greenhouse gases Observing SATellite (GOSAT) has been observing atmospheric CO2 concentrations since 2009. GOSAT L4A data product is the monthly CO2 flux estimations for 64 sub-continental regions and is estimated by using GOSAT FTS SWIR L2 XCO2 data and atmospheric tracer transport model. We used GOSAT L4A CO2 flux as top-down approach estimations and net ecosystem productions (NEP) estimated by the diagnostic type biosphere model BEAMS as bottom-up approach estimations. BEAMS NEP is only natural land CO2 flux, so we used GOSAT L4A CO2 flux after subtraction of anthropogenic CO2 emissions and oceanic CO2 flux. We compared with two approach in temperate north-east Asia region. This region is covered by grassland and crop land (about 60 %), forest (about 20 %) and bare ground (about 20 %). The temporal variation for one year period was indicated similar trends between two approaches. Furthermore we show the comparison of CO2 flux estimations in other sub-continental regions.

  16. Bottom-up communication. Identifying opportunities and limitations through an exploratory field-based evaluation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilson, C.; Irvine, K.N. [Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development, De Montfort University, Leicester, LE1 9BH (United Kingdom)

    2013-02-15

    Communication to promote behaviours like energy saving can use significant resources. What is less clear is the comparative value of different approaches available to communicators. While it is generally agreed that 'bottom-up' approaches, where individuals are actively involved rather than passive, are preferable to 'top-down' authority-led projects, there is a dearth of evidence that verifies why this should be. Additionally, while the literature has examined the mechanics of the different approaches, there has been less attention paid to the associated psychological implications. This paper reports on an exploratory comparative study that examined the effects of six distinct communication activities. The activities used different communication approaches, some participative and others more top-down informational. Two theories, from behavioural studies and communication, were used to identify key variables for consideration in this field-based evaluation. The evaluation aimed to assess not just which activity might be most successful, as this has limited generalisability, but to also gain insight into what psychological impacts might contribute to success. Analysis found support for the general hypothesis that bottom-up approaches have more impact on behaviour change than top-down. The study also identified that, in this instance, the difference in reported behaviour across the activities related partly to the extent to which intentions to change behaviour were implemented. One possible explanation for the difference in reported behaviour change across the activities is that a bottom-up approach may offer a supportive environment where participants can discuss progress with like-minded individuals. A further possible explanation is that despite controlling for intention at an individual level, the pre-existence of strong intentions may have an effect on group success. These suggestive findings point toward the critical need for additional and larger-scale studies

  17. Word-of-mouth marketing and enterprise strategies: a bottom-up diffusion model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco REMONDINO

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available A comprehensive simulation model is presented, aimed to show the dynamics of social diffusion based on the word of mouth (e.g.: viral marketing over a social network of interconnected individuals. The model is build following a bottom-up approach and the agent based paradigm; this means that the dynamics of the diffusion is simulated in real time and generated at the micro level, not calculated by using mathematical formulas. This allows both to follow – step by step – the emergent process and to be able – if needed – to add complex behavior for the agents and analyze how this impacts the phenomenon at the macro level.

  18. Manufacturing at Nanoscale: Top-Down, Bottom-up and System Engineering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Xiang; Sun Cheng; Fang, Nicholas

    2004-01-01

    The current nano-technology revolution is facing several major challenges: to manufacture nanodevices below 20 nm, to fabricate three-dimensional complex nano-structures, and to heterogeneously integrate multiple functionalities. To tackle these grand challenges, the Center for Scalable and Integrated NAno-Manufacturing (SINAM), a NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, set its goal to establish a new manufacturing paradigm that integrates an array of new nano-manufacturing technologies, including the plasmonic imaging lithography and ultramolding imprint lithography aiming toward critical resolution of 1-10 nm and the hybrid top-down and bottom-up technologies to achieve massively parallel integration of heterogeneous nanoscale components into higher-order structures and devices. Furthermore, SINAM will develop system engineering strategies to scale-up the nano-manufacturing technologies. SINAMs integrated research and education platform will shed light to a broad range of potential applications in computing, telecommunication, photonics, biotechnology, health care, and national security

  19. Bottom-up control of geomagnetic secular variation by the Earth's inner core

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aubert, Julien; Finlay, Chris; Fournier, Alexandre

    2013-01-01

    of geomagnetic secular variation. Here we show that it can be reproduced provided that two mechanisms relying on the inner core are jointly considered. First, gravitational coupling5 aligns the inner core with the mantle, forcing the flow of liquid metal in the outer core into a giant, westward drifting, sheet...... release in the outer core which in turn distorts the gyre, forcing it to become eccentric, in agreement with recent core flow inversions6, 10, 11. This bottom-up heterogeneous driving of core convection dominates top-down driving from mantle thermal heterogeneities, and localizes magnetic variations......Temporal changes in the Earth’s magnetic field, known as geomagnetic secular variation, occur most prominently at low latitudes in the Atlantic hemisphere1, 2 (that is, from −90 degrees east to 90 degrees east), whereas in the Pacific hemisphere there is comparatively little activity...

  20. Bottom-Up Cost Analysis of a High Concentration PV Module; NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horowitz, K.; Woodhouse, M.; Lee, H.; Smestad, G.

    2015-04-13

    We present a bottom-up model of III-V multi-junction cells, as well as a high concentration PV (HCPV) module. We calculate $0.65/Wp(DC) manufacturing costs for our model HCPV module design with today’s capabilities, and find that reducing cell costs and increasing module efficiency offer the promising pathways for future cost reductions. Cell costs could be significantly reduced via an increase in manufacturing scale, substrate reuse, and improved manufacturing yields. We also identify several other significant drivers of HCPV module costs, including the Fresnel lens primary optic, module housing, thermal management, and the receiver board. These costs could potentially be lowered by employing innovative module designs.

  1. A bottom-up perspective on leadership of collaborative innovation in the public sector

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Jesper Rohr

    The thesis investigates how new forms of public leadership can contribute to solving complex problems in today’s welfare societies through innovation. A bottom-up type of leadership for collaborative innovation addressing wicked problems is theorised, displaying a social constructive process...... approach to leadership; a theoretical model emphasises that leadership emerges through social processes of recognition. Leadership is recognised by utilising the uncertainty of a wicked problem and innovation to influence collaborators’ sensemaking processes. The empirical setting is the City of Copenhagen....... A crucial condition for success is iterative leadership adaptation. In conclusion, the thesis finds that specialized professionals are indeed able to develop politically viable, innovative and collaborative solutions to wicked problems; and that such professionals are able to transform themselves...

  2. Bottom-Up Nanofabrication of Supported Noble Metal Alloy Nanoparticle Arrays for Plasmonics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nugroho, Ferry A. A.; Iandolo, Beniamino; Wagner, Jakob Birkedal

    2016-01-01

    Mixing different elements at the nanoscale to obtain alloy nanostructures with fine-tuned physical and chemical properties offers appealing opportunities for nanotechnology and nanoscience. However, despite widespread successful application of alloy nanoparticles made by colloidal synthesis...... in heterogeneous catalysis, nanoalloy systems have been used very rarely in solid-state devices and nanoplasmonics-related applications. One reason is that such applications require integration in arrays on a surface with compelling demands on nanoparticle arrangement, uniformity in surface coverage......, and optimization of the surface density. These cannot be fulfilled even using state-of-the-art self -assembly strategies of colloids. As a solution, we present here a generic bottom-up nanolithography-compatible fabrication approach for large-area arrays of alloy nanoparticles on surfaces. To illustrate...

  3. Mesoporous ZSM-5 Zeolites in Acid Catalysis: Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pit Losch

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available A top-down desilication of Al-rich ZSM-5 zeolites and a bottom-up mesopores creating method were evaluated in this study. Three liquid–solid and one gas–solid heterogeneously-catalysed reactions were chosen to establish relationships between zeolites textural properties and their catalytic behavior in acid-catalysed model reactions that are influenced by shape selectivity: Diels-Alder cyclization between isoprene and methylacrylate, Methanol-to-Olefins (MTO reaction, chlorination of iodobenzene with trichloroisocyanuric acid (TCCA, and Friedel-Crafts acylation of anisole by carboxylic acids with differing sizes. It is found amongst others that no optimal mesoporosity for all the different reactions can be easily obtained, but depending on the chosen application, a specific treatment has to be set to achieve high activity/selectivity and stability.

  4. Bottom-up effects of climate on fish populations: data from the Continuous Plankton Recorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pitois, S.G.; Lynam, C.P.; Jansen, Teunis

    2012-01-01

    The Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) dataset on fish larvae has an extensive spatio-temporal coverage that allows the responses of fish populations to past changes in climate variability, including abrupt changes such as regime shifts, to be investigated. The newly available dataset offers...... in the plankton ecosystem, while the larvae of migratory species such as Atlantic mackerel responded more to hydrographic changes. Climate variability seems more likely to influence fish populations through bottom-up control via a cascading effect from changes in the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) impacting...... with fishing effects interacting with climate effects and this study supports furthering our under - standing of such interactions before attempting to predict how fish populations respond to climate variability...

  5. Collective Inclusioning: A Grounded Theory of a Bottom-Up Approach to Innovation and Leading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Lysek

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper is a grounded theory study of how leaders (e.g., entrepreneurs, managers, etc. engage people in challenging undertakings (e.g., innovation that require everyone’s commitment to such a degree that they would have to go beyond what could be reasonably expected in order to succeed. Company leaders sometimes wonder why their employees no longer show the same responsibility towards their work, and why they are more concerned with internal politics than solving customer problems. It is because company leaders no longer apply collective inclusioning to the same extent as they did in the past. Collective inclusioning can be applied in four ways by convincing, afinitizing, goal congruencing, and engaging. It can lead to fostering strong units of people for taking on challenging undertakings. Collective inclusioning is a complementing theory to other strategic management and leading theories. It offers a new perspective on how to implement a bottom-up approach to innovation.

  6. Electrodeposition in capillaries: bottom-up micro- and nanopatterning of functional materials on conductive substrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Antony; Maijenburg, A Wouter; Maas, Michiel G; Blank, Dave H A; Ten Elshof, Johan E

    2011-09-01

    A cost-effective and versatile methodology for bottom-up patterned growth of inorganic and metallic materials on the micro- and nanoscale is presented. Pulsed electrodeposition was employed to deposit arbitrary patterns of Ni, ZnO, and FeO(OH) of high quality, with lateral feature sizes down to 200-290 nm. The pattern was defined by an oxygen plasma-treated patterned PDMS mold in conformal contact with a conducting substrate and immersed in an electrolyte solution, so that the solid phases were deposited from the solution in the channels of the patterned mold. It is important that the distance between the entrance of the channels, and the location where deposition is needed, is kept limited. The as-formed patterns were characterized by high resolution scanning electron microscope, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, atomic force microscopy, and X-ray diffraction.

  7. Bottom-up effects of a no-take zone on endangered penguin demographics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherley, Richard B; Winker, Henning; Altwegg, Res; van der Lingen, Carl D; Votier, Stephen C; Crawford, Robert J M

    2015-07-01

    Marine no-take zones can have positive impacts for target species and are increasingly important management tools. However, whether they indirectly benefit higher order predators remains unclear. The endangered African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) depends on commercially exploited forage fish. We examined how chick survival responded to an experimental 3-year fishery closure around Robben Island, South Africa, controlling for variation in prey biomass and fishery catches. Chick survival increased by 18% when the closure was initiated, which alone led to a predicted 27% higher population compared with continued fishing. However, the modelled population continued to decline, probably because of high adult mortality linked to poor prey availability over larger spatial scales. Our results illustrate that small no-take zones can have bottom-up benefits for highly mobile marine predators, but are only one component of holistic, ecosystem-based management regimes. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  8. The Ideological Divide Concerning Climate Change Opinion: Integrating Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer eJacquet

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The United States wields disproportionate global influence in terms of carbon dioxide emissions and international climate policy. This renders it an especially important context in which to examine the interplay among social, psychological, and political factors in shaping attitudes and behaviors about climate change. In this article, we review the emerging literature addressing the liberal-conservative divide in the U.S. with respect to thought, communication, and action concerning climate change. Because of its theoretical and practical significance, we focus on the motivational basis for skepticism and inaction on the part of some, including top-down institutional forces, such as corporate strategy, and bottom-up psychological factors, such as ego, group, and system justification. Although more research is needed to elucidate fully the social, cognitive, and motivational bases of environmental attitudes and behavior, a great deal has been learned in just a few years by focusing on specific ideological factors in addition to general psychological principles.

  9. Differential recolonization of Atlantic intertidal habitats after disturbance reveals potential bottom-up community regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petzold, Willy; Scrosati, Ricardo A

    2014-01-01

    In the spring of 2014, abundant sea ice that drifted out of the Gulf of St. Lawrence caused extensive disturbance in rocky intertidal habitats on the northern Atlantic coast of mainland Nova Scotia, Canada. To monitor recovery of intertidal communities, we surveyed two wave-exposed locations in the early summer of 2014. Barnacle recruitment and the abundance of predatory dogwhelks were low at one location (Tor Bay Provincial Park) but more than 20 times higher at the other location (Whitehead). Satellite data indicated that the abundance of coastal phytoplankton (the main food source for barnacle larvae) was consistently higher at Whitehead just before the barnacle recruitment season, when barnacle larvae were in the water column. These observations suggest bottom-up forcing of intertidal communities. The underlying mechanisms and their intensity along the NW Atlantic coast could be investigated through studies done at local and regional scales.

  10. A bottom-up route to enhance thermoelectric figures of merit in graphene nanoribbons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sevincli, Haldun; Sevik, Cem; Cagin, Tahir

    2013-01-01

    We propose a hybrid nano-structuring scheme for tailoring thermal and thermoelectric transport properties of graphene nanoribbons. Geometrical structuring and isotope cluster engineering are the elements that constitute the proposed scheme. Using first-principles based force constants and Hamilto......We propose a hybrid nano-structuring scheme for tailoring thermal and thermoelectric transport properties of graphene nanoribbons. Geometrical structuring and isotope cluster engineering are the elements that constitute the proposed scheme. Using first-principles based force constants...... and Hamiltonians, we show that the thermal conductance of graphene nanoribbons can be reduced by 98.8% at room temperature and the thermoelectric figure of merit, ZT, can be as high as 3.25 at T = 800 K. The proposed scheme relies on a recently developed bottom-up fabrication method, which is proven to be feasible...

  11. Bottom-Up Engineering of Well-Defined 3D Microtissues Using Microplatforms and Biomedical Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Geon Hui; Lee, Jae Seo; Wang, Xiaohong; Lee, Sang Hoon

    2016-01-07

    During the last decades, the engineering of well-defined 3D tissues has attracted great attention because it provides in vivo mimicking environment and can be a building block for the engineering of bioartificial organs. In this Review, diverse engineering methods of 3D tissues using microscale devices are introduced. Recent progress of microtechnologies has enabled the development of microplatforms for bottom-up assembly of diverse shaped 3D tissues consisting of various cells. Micro hanging-drop plates, microfluidic chips, and arrayed microwells are the typical examples. The encapsulation of cells in hydrogel microspheres and microfibers allows the engineering of 3D microtissues with diverse shapes. Applications of 3D microtissues in biomedical fields are described, and the future direction of microplatform-based engineering of 3D micro-tissues is discussed. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  12. Unsupervised Tattoo Segmentation Combining Bottom-Up and Top-Down Cues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Allen, Josef D [ORNL

    2011-01-01

    Tattoo segmentation is challenging due to the complexity and large variance in tattoo structures. We have developed a segmentation algorithm for nding tattoos in an image. Our basic idea is split-merge: split each tattoo image into clusters through a bottom-up process, learn to merge the clusters containing skin and then distinguish tattoo from the other skin via top-down prior in the image itself. Tattoo segmentation with unknown number of clusters is transferred to a gure-ground segmentation. We have applied our segmentation algorithm on a tattoo dataset and the results have shown that our tattoo segmentation system is e cient and suitable for further tattoo classi cation and retrieval purpose.

  13. Bottom-up production of meta-atoms for optical magnetism in visible and NIR light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barois, Philippe; Ponsinet, Virginie; Baron, Alexandre; Richetti, Philippe

    2018-02-01

    Many unusual optical properties of metamaterials arise from the magnetic response of engineered structures of sub-wavelength size (meta-atoms) exposed to light. The top-down approach whereby engineered nanostructure of well-defined morphology are engraved on a surface proved to be successful for the generation of strong optical magnetism. It faces however the limitations of high cost and small active area in visible light where nanometre resolution is needed. The bottom-up approach whereby the fabrication metamaterials of large volume or large area results from the combination of nanochemitry and self-assembly techniques may constitute a cost-effective alternative. This approach nevertheless requires the large-scale production of functional building-blocks (meta-atoms) bearing a strong magnetic optical response. We propose in this paper a few tracks that lead to the large scale synthesis of magnetic metamaterials operating in visible or near IR light.

  14. Implementing collaborative improvement - top-down, bottom-up or both?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kaltoft, Rasmus; Boer, Harry; Caniato, Federico

    2007-01-01

    , the study identifies three different implementation approaches. The bottom-up learning-by-doing approach starts at a practical level, with simple improvement activities, and aims at gradually developing a wide range of CoI knowledge, skills and initiatives. The top-down directive approach starts...... with aligning the partners' CoI objectives and an assessment of their collaboration and CoI maturity in order to provide a common platform before actually starting improvement activities. The laissez-faire approach builds on shared goals/vision, meetings on equal terms and joint work, in a non-directive and non......-facilitated way, though. The article demonstrates how and why the different approaches have different effects on the development of collaborative improvement....

  15. Bottom-up construction of a superstructure in a porous uranium-organic crystal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Peng; Vermeulen, Nicolaas A.; Malliakas, Christos D.; G?mez-Gualdr?n, Diego A.; Howarth, Ashlee J.; Mehdi, B. Layla; Dohnalkova, Alice; Browning, Nigel D.; O?Keeffe, Michael; Farha, Omar K.

    2017-04-20

    Bottom-up construction of highly intricate structures from simple building blocks remains one of the most difficult challenges in chemistry. We report a structurally complex, mesoporous uranium-based metal-organic framework (MOF) made from simple starting components. The structure comprises 10 uranium nodes and seven tricarboxylate ligands (both crystallographically nonequivalent), resulting in a 173.3-angstrom cubic unit cell enclosing 816 uranium nodes and 816 organic linkers—the largest unit cell found to date for any nonbiological material. The cuboctahedra organize into pentagonal and hexagonal prismatic secondary structures, which then form tetrahedral and diamond quaternary topologies with unprecedented complexity. This packing results in the formation of colossal icosidodecahedral and rectified hexakaidecahedral cavities with internal diameters of 5.0 nanometers and 6.2 nanometers, respectively—ultimately giving rise to the lowest-density MOF reported to date.

  16. Bottom-up and Top-down Input Augment the Variability of Cortical Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nassi, Jonathan J.; Kreiman, Gabriel; Born, Richard T.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Neurons in the cerebral cortex respond inconsistently to a repeated sensory stimulus, yet they underlie our stable sensory experiences. Although the nature of this variability is unknown, its ubiquity has encouraged the general view that each cell produces random spike patterns that noisily represent its response rate. In contrast, here we show that reversibly inactivating distant sources of either bottom-up or top-down input to cortical visual areas in the alert primate reduces both the spike train irregularity and the trial-to-trial variability of single neurons. A simple model in which a fraction of the pre-synaptic input is silenced can reproduce this reduction in variability, provided that there exist temporal correlations primarily within, but not between, excitatory and inhibitory input pools. A large component of the variability of cortical neurons may therefore arise from synchronous input produced by signals arriving from multiple sources. PMID:27427459

  17. Synthetic biology approaches in cancer immunotherapy, genetic network engineering, and genome editing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakravarti, Deboki; Cho, Jang Hwan; Weinberg, Benjamin H; Wong, Nicole M; Wong, Wilson W

    2016-04-18

    Investigations into cells and their contents have provided evolving insight into the emergence of complex biological behaviors. Capitalizing on this knowledge, synthetic biology seeks to manipulate the cellular machinery towards novel purposes, extending discoveries from basic science to new applications. While these developments have demonstrated the potential of building with biological parts, the complexity of cells can pose numerous challenges. In this review, we will highlight the broad and vital role that the synthetic biology approach has played in applying fundamental biological discoveries in receptors, genetic circuits, and genome-editing systems towards translation in the fields of immunotherapy, biosensors, disease models and gene therapy. These examples are evidence of the strength of synthetic approaches, while also illustrating considerations that must be addressed when developing systems around living cells.

  18. Achieving social-ecological fit through bottom-up collaborative governance: an empirical investigation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela M. Guerrero

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Significant benefits can arise from collaborative forms of governance that foster self-organization and flexibility. Likewise, governance systems that fit with the extent and complexity of the system under management are considered essential to our ability to solve environmental problems. However, from an empirical perspective the fundamental question of whether self-organized (bottom-up collaborative forms of governance are able to accomplish adequate fit is unresolved. We used new theory and methodological approaches underpinned by interdisciplinary network analysis to address this gap by investigating three governance challenges that relate to the problem of fit: shared management of ecological resources, management of interconnected ecological resources, and cross-scale management. We first identified a set of social-ecological network configurations that represent the hypothesized ways in which collaborative arrangements can contribute to addressing these challenges. Using social and ecological data from a large-scale biodiversity conservation initiative in Australia, we empirically determined how well the observed patterns of stakeholder interactions reflect these network configurations. We found that stakeholders collaborate to manage individual parcels of native vegetation, but not for the management of interconnected parcels. In addition, our data show that the collaborative arrangements enable management across different scales (local, regional, supraregional. Our study provides empirical support for the ability of collaborative forms of governance to address the problem of fit, but also suggests that in some cases the establishment of bottom-up collaborative arrangements would likely benefit from specific guidance to facilitate the establishment of collaborations that better align with the ways ecological resources are interconnected across the landscape. In our case study region, this would improve the capacity of stakeholders to

  19. Top-down instead of bottom-up estimates of uncertainty in INAA results?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bode, P.; De Nadai Fernandes, E.A.

    2005-01-01

    The initial publication of the ISO Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement (GUM) and many related documents has resulted in a worldwide awareness of the importance of a realistic estimate of the value reported after the +/- sign. The evaluation of uncertainty in measurement, as introduced by the GUM, is derived from the principles applied in physical measurements. Many testing laboratories have already experienced large problems in applying these principles in e.g. (bio)chemical measurements, resulting in time-consuming evaluations and costly additional experiments. Other, more pragmatic and less costly approaches have been proposed to obtain a realistic estimate of the range in which the true value of the measurement may be found with a certain degree of probability. One of these approaches, the 'top-down method', is based on the standard deviation in the results of intercomparison data. This approach is much easier for tests for which it is either difficult to establish a full measurement equation, or if e.g. matrix-matching reference materials are absent. It has been demonstrated that the GUM 'bottom-up' approach of evaluating uncertainty in measurement can easily be applied in instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) as all significant sources of uncertainty can be evaluated. INAA is therefore a valuable technique to test the validity of the top-down approach. In this contribution, examples of the top-down evaluation of uncertainty in INAA derived from participation in intercomparison rounds and proficiency testing schemes will be presented. The results will be compared with the bottom-up evaluation of uncertainty, and ease of applicability, validity and usefullness of both approaches will be discussed.

  20. Top-down and bottom-up approaches for cost estimating new reactor designs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berbey, P.; Gautier, G.M.; Duflo, D.; Rouyer, J.L.

    2007-01-01

    For several years, Generation-4 designs will be 'pre-conceptual' for the less mature concepts and 'preliminary' for the more mature concepts. In this situation, appropriate data for some of the plant systems may be lacking to develop a bottom-up cost estimate. Therefore, a more global approach, the Top-Down Approach (TDA), is needed to help the designers and decision makers in comparing design options. It utilizes more or less simple models for cost estimating the different parts of a design. TDA cost estimating effort applies to a whole functional element whose cost is approached by similar estimations coming from existing data, ratios and models, for a given range of variation of parameters. Modeling is used when direct analogy is not possible. There are two types of models, global and specific ones. Global models are applied to cost modules related to Code Of Account. Exponential formulae such as Ci = Ai + (Bi x Pi n ) are used when there are cost data for comparable modules in nuclear or other industries. Specific cost models are developed for major specific components of the plant: - process equipment such as reactor vessel, steam generators or large heat exchangers. - buildings, with formulae estimating the construction cost from base cost of m3 of building volume. - systems, when unit costs, cost ratios and models are used, depending on the level of detail of the design. Bottom Up Approach (BUA), which is based on unit prices coming from similar equipment or from manufacturer consulting, is very valuable and gives better cost estimations than TDA when it can be applied, that is at a rather late stage of the design. Both approaches are complementary when some parts of the design are detailed enough to be estimated by BUA, and when BUA results are used to check TDA results and to improve TDA models. This methodology is applied to the HTR (High Temperature Reactor) concept and to an advanced PWR design

  1. The changing Chinese SEA indicator guidelines: Top-down or bottom-up?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao, Jingjing; Christensen, Per; Kørnøv, Lone

    2014-01-01

    In the last decades, China has introduced a set of indicators to guide the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) practice. The most recent indicator system proposed in 2009 is based on sector-specific guidelines and it found its justification in past negative experiences with more general guidelines (from 2003), which were mostly inspired by, or copied from, international experiences. Based on interviews with practitioners, researchers and administrators, we map and analyse the change in the national guidelines. This analysis is based on a description of the indicators that makes it possible to discern different aggregation levels of indicators and then trace the changes occurring under two sets of guidelines. The analysis also reveals the reasons and rationales behind the changes found in the guidelines. This analysis is inspired by implementation theory and a description of some of the more general trends in the development of SEA and other environmental policies in a recent Chinese context. Beside a more top-down, intentional approach specifying indicators for different sectors based on Chinese experiences from the preceding years, another significant change, following the new guidelines, is a more bottom-up approach which gives more discretion to practitioners. This entails a call for practitioners to make decisions on indicators, which involves an interpretation of the ones present in sector guidance. Highlights: • Focusing on the new Chinese national SEA guidelines proposed in 2009 • Mapping and analysing the most recent change in the indicator system • Revealing the reasons and rationales behind the changes found in the new guidelines • A top-down intention specifying indicators for different sectors • A bottom-up effect in giving discretion and interpretation of using indicators

  2. Preferential effect of isoflurane on top-down vs. bottom-up pathways in sensory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raz, Aeyal; Grady, Sean M; Krause, Bryan M; Uhlrich, Daniel J; Manning, Karen A; Banks, Matthew I

    2014-01-01

    The mechanism of loss of consciousness (LOC) under anesthesia is unknown. Because consciousness depends on activity in the cortico-thalamic network, anesthetic actions on this network are likely critical for LOC. Competing theories stress the importance of anesthetic actions on bottom-up "core" thalamo-cortical (TC) vs. top-down cortico-cortical (CC) and matrix TC connections. We tested these models using laminar recordings in rat auditory cortex in vivo and murine brain slices. We selectively activated bottom-up vs. top-down afferent pathways using sensory stimuli in vivo and electrical stimulation in brain slices, and compared effects of isoflurane on responses evoked via the two pathways. Auditory stimuli in vivo and core TC afferent stimulation in brain slices evoked short latency current sinks in middle layers, consistent with activation of core TC afferents. By contrast, visual stimuli in vivo and stimulation of CC and matrix TC afferents in brain slices evoked responses mainly in superficial and deep layers, consistent with projection patterns of top-down afferents that carry visual information to auditory cortex. Responses to auditory stimuli in vivo and core TC afferents in brain slices were significantly less affected by isoflurane compared to responses triggered by visual stimuli in vivo and CC/matrix TC afferents in slices. At a just-hypnotic dose in vivo, auditory responses were enhanced by isoflurane, whereas visual responses were dramatically reduced. At a comparable concentration in slices, isoflurane suppressed both core TC and CC/matrix TC responses, but the effect on the latter responses was far greater than on core TC responses, indicating that at least part of the differential effects observed in vivo were due to local actions of isoflurane in auditory cortex. These data support a model in which disruption of top-down connectivity contributes to anesthesia-induced LOC, and have implications for understanding the neural basis of consciousness.

  3. Diversity has stronger top-down than bottom-up effects on decomposition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Diane S; Cardinale, Bradley J; Downing, Amy L; Duffy, J Emmett; Jouseau, Claire; Sankaran, Mahesh; Wright, Justin P

    2009-04-01

    The flow of energy and nutrients between trophic levels is affected by both the trophic structure of food webs and the diversity of species within trophic levels. However, the combined effects of trophic structure and diversity on trophic transfer remain largely unknown. Here we ask whether changes in consumer diversity have the same effect as changes in resource diversity on rates of resource consumption. We address this question by focusing on consumer-resource dynamics for the ecologically important process of decomposition. This study compares the top-down effect of consumer (detritivore) diversity on the consumption of dead organic matter (decomposition) with the bottom-up effect of resource (detrital) diversity, based on a compilation of 90 observations reported in 28 studies. We did not detect effects of either detrital or consumer diversity on measures of detrital standing stock, and effects on consumer standing stock were equivocal. However, our meta-analysis indicates that reductions in detritivore diversity result in significant reductions in the rate of decomposition. Detrital diversity has both positive and negative effects on decomposition, with no overall trend. This difference between top-down and bottom-up effects of diversity is robust to different effect size metrics and could not be explained by differences in experimental systems or designs between detritivore and detrital manipulations. Our finding that resource diversity has no net effect on consumption in "brown" (detritus-consumer) food webs contrasts with previous findings from "green" (plant-herbivore) food webs and suggests that effects of plant diversity on consumption may fundamentally change after plant death.

  4. The changing Chinese SEA indicator guidelines: Top-down or bottom-up?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gao, Jingjing, E-mail: Jingjing@plan.aau.dk; Christensen, Per; Kørnøv, Lone

    2014-01-15

    In the last decades, China has introduced a set of indicators to guide the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) practice. The most recent indicator system proposed in 2009 is based on sector-specific guidelines and it found its justification in past negative experiences with more general guidelines (from 2003), which were mostly inspired by, or copied from, international experiences. Based on interviews with practitioners, researchers and administrators, we map and analyse the change in the national guidelines. This analysis is based on a description of the indicators that makes it possible to discern different aggregation levels of indicators and then trace the changes occurring under two sets of guidelines. The analysis also reveals the reasons and rationales behind the changes found in the guidelines. This analysis is inspired by implementation theory and a description of some of the more general trends in the development of SEA and other environmental policies in a recent Chinese context. Beside a more top-down, intentional approach specifying indicators for different sectors based on Chinese experiences from the preceding years, another significant change, following the new guidelines, is a more bottom-up approach which gives more discretion to practitioners. This entails a call for practitioners to make decisions on indicators, which involves an interpretation of the ones present in sector guidance. Highlights: • Focusing on the new Chinese national SEA guidelines proposed in 2009 • Mapping and analysing the most recent change in the indicator system • Revealing the reasons and rationales behind the changes found in the new guidelines • A top-down intention specifying indicators for different sectors • A bottom-up effect in giving discretion and interpretation of using indicators.

  5. Platform dependencies in bottom-up hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Kyle M; Rey, Martial; Baker, Charles A H; Schriemer, David C

    2013-02-01

    Hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry is an important method for protein structure-function analysis. The bottom-up approach uses protein digestion to localize deuteration to higher resolution, and the essential measurement involves centroid mass determinations on a very large set of peptides. In the course of evaluating systems for various projects, we established two (HDX-MS) platforms that consisted of a FT-MS and a high-resolution QTOF mass spectrometer, each with matched front-end fluidic systems. Digests of proteins spanning a 20-110 kDa range were deuterated to equilibrium, and figures-of-merit for a typical bottom-up (HDX-MS) experiment were compared for each platform. The Orbitrap Velos identified 64% more peptides than the 5600 QTOF, with a 42% overlap between the two systems, independent of protein size. Precision in deuterium measurements using the Orbitrap marginally exceeded that of the QTOF, depending on the Orbitrap resolution setting. However, the unique nature of FT-MS data generates situations where deuteration measurements can be inaccurate, because of destructive interference arising from mismatches in elemental mass defects. This is shown through the analysis of the peptides common to both platforms, where deuteration values can be as low as 35% of the expected values, depending on FT-MS resolution, peptide length and charge state. These findings are supported by simulations of Orbitrap transients, and highlight that caution should be exercised in deriving centroid mass values from FT transients that do not support baseline separation of the full isotopic composition.

  6. Conventional-Flow Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry for Exploratory Bottom-Up Proteomic Analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenčo, Juraj; Vajrychová, Marie; Pimková, Kristýna; Prokšová, Magdaléna; Benková, Markéta; Klimentová, Jana; Tambor, Vojtěch; Soukup, Ondřej

    2018-04-17

    Due to its sensitivity and productivity, bottom-up proteomics based on liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) has become the core approach in the field. The de facto standard LC-MS platform for proteomics operates at sub-μL/min flow rates, and nanospray is required for efficiently introducing peptides into a mass spectrometer. Although this is almost a "dogma", this view is being reconsidered in light of developments in highly efficient chromatographic columns, and especially with the introduction of exceptionally sensitive MS instruments. Although conventional-flow LC-MS platforms have recently penetrated targeted proteomics successfully, their possibilities in discovery-oriented proteomics have not yet been thoroughly explored. Our objective was to determine what are the extra costs and what optimization and adjustments to a conventional-flow LC-MS system must be undertaken to identify a comparable number of proteins as can be identified on a nanoLC-MS system. We demonstrate that the amount of a complex tryptic digest needed for comparable proteome coverage can be roughly 5-fold greater, providing the column dimensions are properly chosen, extra-column peak dispersion is minimized, column temperature and flow rate are set to levels appropriate for peptide separation, and the composition of mobile phases is fine-tuned. Indeed, we identified 2 835 proteins from 2 μg of HeLa cells tryptic digest separated during a 60 min gradient at 68 μL/min on a 1.0 mm × 250 mm column held at 55 °C and using an aqua-acetonitrile mobile phases containing 0.1% formic acid, 0.4% acetic acid, and 3% dimethyl sulfoxide. Our results document that conventional-flow LC-MS is an attractive alternative for bottom-up exploratory proteomics.

  7. Synthetic biology and regulatory networks: where metabolic systems biology meets control engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Fei; Murabito, Ettore; Westerhoff, Hans V

    2016-04-01

    Metabolic pathways can be engineered to maximize the synthesis of various products of interest. With the advent of computational systems biology, this endeavour is usually carried out through in silico theoretical studies with the aim to guide and complement further in vitro and in vivo experimental efforts. Clearly, what counts is the result in vivo, not only in terms of maximal productivity but also robustness against environmental perturbations. Engineering an organism towards an increased production flux, however, often compromises that robustness. In this contribution, we review and investigate how various analytical approaches used in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology are related to concepts developed by systems and control engineering. While trade-offs between production optimality and cellular robustness have already been studied diagnostically and statically, the dynamics also matter. Integration of the dynamic design aspects of control engineering with the more diagnostic aspects of metabolic, hierarchical control and regulation analysis is leading to the new, conceptual and operational framework required for the design of robust and productive dynamic pathways. © 2016 The Author(s).

  8. Deciphering the language between biological and synthetic materials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paolo A. Netti

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Chemical signals propagating through aqueous environment are at the basis of the language utilized by living systems to exchange information. In the last years, molecular biology has partly disclosed the grammar and the syntax of this complex language revealing the fascinating world of molecular communication that is the foundation of biological development.

  9. Proceedings of Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution and Design (SEED) Conference 2015

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silver, Pamela [Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States); SEED 2015 Conference Chair; Flach, Evan [American Institute of Chemical Engineers; SEED 2015 Conference Organizer

    2016-10-27

    Synthetic Biology is an emerging discipline that seeks to accelerate the process of engineering biology. As such, the tools are broadly applicable to application areas, including chemicals and biofuels, materials, medicine and agriculture. A characteristic of the field is to look holistically at cellular design, from sensing and genetic circuitry to the manipulation of cellular processes and actuators, to controlling metabolism, to programming multicellular behaviors. Further, the types of cells that are manipulated are broad, from in vitro systems to microbes and fungi to mammalian and plant cells and living animals. Many of the projects in synthetic biology seek to move biochemical functions across organisms. The field is highly interdisciplinary with faculty and students spread across departments that focus on engineering (biological, chemical, electrical, mechanical, civil, computer science) and basic science (biology and systems biology, chemistry, physics). While there have been many one-off workshops and meeting on synthetic biology, the 2014 Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution and Design (SEED) was the first of an annual conference series that serves as a reliable place to pull together the involved disciplines in order to organize and exchange advances in the science and technology in the field. Further, the SEED conferences have a strong focus on industry, with many companies represented and actively participating. A number of these companies have started major efforts in synthetic biology including large companies (e.g., Pfizer, Novartis, Dow, Dupont, BP, Total), smaller companies have recently gone public (e.g., Amyris, Gevo, Intrexon), and many start-ups (e.g., Teslagen, Refactored Materials, Pivot, Genomatica). There are a number of loosely affiliated Synthetic Biology Centers, including ones at MIT, Boston University, UCSD, UCSF, UC-Berkeley, Imperial College, Oxford, and ETH. SEED 2015 will serve as the primary meeting at which international

  10. Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approaches in Engineering 1 T Phase Molybdenum Disulfide (MoS2 ): Towards Highly Catalytically Active Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chua, Chun Kiang; Loo, Adeline Huiling; Pumera, Martin

    2016-09-26

    The metallic 1 T phase of MoS2 has been widely identified to be responsible for the improved performances of MoS2 in applications including hydrogen evolution reactions and electrochemical supercapacitors. To this aim, various synthetic methods have been reported to obtain 1 T phase-rich MoS2 . Here, the aim is to evaluate the efficiencies of the bottom-up (hydrothermal reaction) and top-down (chemical exfoliation) approaches in producing 1 T phase MoS2 . It is established in this study that the 1 T phase MoS2 produced through the bottom-up approach contains a high proportion of 1 T phase and demonstrates excellent electrochemical and electrical properties. Its performance in the hydrogen evolution reaction and electrochemical supercapacitors also surpassed that of 1 T phase MoS2 produced through a top-down approach. © 2016 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  11. Experiential Engineering through iGEM--An Undergraduate Summer Competition in Synthetic Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Rudolph; Dori, Yehudit Judy; Kuldell, Natalie H.

    2011-01-01

    Unlike students in other engineering disciplines, undergraduates in biological engineering typically have limited opportunity to develop design competencies, and even fewer chances to implement their designed projects. The international Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition is a student Synthetic Biology competition that, in 2009,…

  12. Advanced Drug Delivery Systems - a Synthetic and Biological Applied Evaluation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjerg, Lise Nørkjær

    function as the targeting moiety on the surface of the liposomes. Several examples of synthetic procedures known from the literature are presented. The chapter is completed with a study covering the conjugation efficiencies of a variety of chemical functionalities. Large differences are revealed between...... to guide the uptake, in addition to an enzymatically cleavable peptide sequence, whose cleavage would result in removal of the polymer layer as well as uncovering cationic charges on the liposomal surface. These systems were shown to have superior drug efficacy in vitro....

  13. Synthetic biology in mammalian cells: Next generation research tools and therapeutics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lienert, Florian; Lohmueller, Jason J; Garg, Abhishek; Silver, Pamela A

    2014-01-01

    Recent progress in DNA manipulation and gene circuit engineering has greatly improved our ability to programme and probe mammalian cell behaviour. These advances have led to a new generation of synthetic biology research tools and potential therapeutic applications. Programmable DNA-binding domains and RNA regulators are leading to unprecedented control of gene expression and elucidation of gene function. Rebuilding complex biological circuits such as T cell receptor signalling in isolation from their natural context has deepened our understanding of network motifs and signalling pathways. Synthetic biology is also leading to innovative therapeutic interventions based on cell-based therapies, protein drugs, vaccines and gene therapies. PMID:24434884

  14. The path to next generation biofuels: successes and challenges in the era of synthetic biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Volatility of oil prices along with major concerns about climate change, oil supply security and depleting reserves have sparked renewed interest in the production of fuels from renewable resources. Recent advances in synthetic biology provide new tools for metabolic engineers to direct their strategies and construct optimal biocatalysts for the sustainable production of biofuels. Metabolic engineering and synthetic biology efforts entailing the engineering of native and de novo pathways for conversion of biomass constituents to short-chain alcohols and advanced biofuels are herewith reviewed. In the foreseeable future, formal integration of functional genomics and systems biology with synthetic biology and metabolic engineering will undoubtedly support the discovery, characterization, and engineering of new metabolic routes and more efficient microbial systems for the production of biofuels. PMID:20089184

  15. Application of synthetic biology for production of chemicals in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borodina, Irina; Li, Mingji

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering enable generation of novel cell factories that efficiently convert renewable feedstocks into biofuels, bulk, and fine chemicals, thus creating the basis for biosustainable economy independent on fossil resources. While over a hundred proof...... biology has the potential to bring down this cost by improving our ability to predictably engineer biological systems. This review highlights synthetic biology applications for design, assembly, and optimization of non-native biochemical pathways in baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We describe......-of-concept chemicals have been made in yeast, only a very small fraction of those has reached commercial-scale production so far. The limiting factor is the high research cost associated with the development of a robust cell factory that can produce the desired chemical at high titer, rate, and yield. Synthetic...

  16. Ambivalences of creating life societal and philosophical dimensions of synthetic biology

    CERN Document Server

    Engelhard, Margret; Toepfer, Georg

    2016-01-01

    "Synthetic biology" is the label of a new technoscientific field with many different facets and agendas. One common aim is to "create life", primarily by using engineering principles to design and modify biological systems for human use. In a wider context, the topic has become one of the big cases in the legitimization processes associated with the political agenda to solve global problems with the aid of (bio-)technological innovation. Conceptual-level and meta-level analyses are needed: we should sort out conceptual ambiguities to agree on what we talk about, and we need to spell out agendas to see the disagreements clearly. The book is based on the interdisciplinary summer school "Analyzing the societal dimensions of synthetic biology", which took place in Berlin in September 2014. The contributions address controversial discussions around the philosophical examination, public perception, moral evaluation and governance of synthetic biology.

  17. Crucible: A System for Space Synthetic Biology Experiments

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The goal of this project is to expand the capability and methodologies in experimental extreme biology as a step towards Martian ecopoiesis. The objectives in...

  18. Synthetic Approaches and Biological Activities of 4-Hydroxycoumarin Derivatives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oee-Sook Park

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available The main purpose of this review is to summarize recent chemical syntheses and structural modifications of 4-hydroxycoumarin and its derivatives, of interest due to their characteristic conjugated molecular architecture and biological activities.

  19. Synthetic biology and molecular genetics in non-conventional yeasts: Current tools and future advances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, James M; Alper, Hal S

    2016-04-01

    Coupling the tools of synthetic biology with traditional molecular genetic techniques can enable the rapid prototyping and optimization of yeast strains. While the era of yeast synthetic biology began in the well-characterized model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, it is swiftly expanding to include non-conventional yeast production systems such as Hansenula polymorpha, Kluyveromyces lactis, Pichia pastoris, and Yarrowia lipolytica. These yeasts already have roles in the manufacture of vaccines, therapeutic proteins, food additives, and biorenewable chemicals, but recent synthetic biology advances have the potential to greatly expand and diversify their impact on biotechnology. In this review, we summarize the development of synthetic biological tools (including promoters and terminators) and enabling molecular genetics approaches that have been applied in these four promising alternative biomanufacturing platforms. An emphasis is placed on synthetic parts and genome editing tools. Finally, we discuss examples of synthetic tools developed in other organisms that can be adapted or optimized for these hosts in the near future. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Thiosemicarbazones: preparation methods, synthetic applications and biological importance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tenorio, Romulo P.; Goes, Alexandre J.S.; Lima, Jose G. de; Faria, Antonio R. de; Alves, Antonio J.; Aquino, Thiago M. de

    2005-01-01

    Thiosemicarbazones are a class of compounds known by their chemical and biological properties, such as antitumor, antibacterial, antiviral and antiprotozoal activity. Their ability to form chelates with metals has great importance in their biological activities. Their synthesis is very simple, versatile and clean, usually giving high yields. They are largely employed as intermediates, in the synthesis of others compounds. This article is a survey of some of these characteristics showing their great importance to organic and medicinal chemistry. (author)

  1. Automated radiofrequency-based US measurement of common carotid intima-media thickness in RA patients treated with synthetic vs synthetic and biologic DMARDs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naredo, Esperanza; Möller, Ingrid; Corrales, Alfonso; Bong, David A; Cobo-Ibáñez, Tatiana; Corominas, Hector; Garcia-Vivar, Ma Luz; Macarrón, Pilar; Navio, Teresa; Richi, Patricia; Iagnocco, Annamaria; Garrido, Jesús; Martínez-Hernández, David

    2013-02-01

    To compare the carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) assessed with automated radiofrequency-based US in RA patients treated with synthetic vs synthetic and biologic DMARDs and controls. Ninety-four RA patients and 94 sex- and age-matched controls were prospectively recruited at seven centres. Cardiovascular (CV) risk factors and co-morbidities, RA characteristics and therapy were recorded. Common carotid artery (CCA)-IMT was assessed in RA patients and controls with automated radiofrequency-based US by the same investigator at each centre. Forty-five (47.9%) RA patients had been treated with synthetic DMARDs and 49 (52.1%) with synthetic and biologic DMARDs. There were no significant differences between the RA patients and controls in demographics, CV co-morbidities and CV disease. There were significantly more smokers among RA patients treated with synthetic and biologic DMARDs (P = 0.036). Disease duration and duration of CS and synthetic DMARD therapy was significantly longer in RA patients treated with synthetic and biologic DMARDs (P radiofrequency-based measurement of CCA-IMT can discriminate between RA patients treated with synthetic DMARDs vs RA patients treated with synthetic and biologic DMARDs.

  2. Evidence for replacement of an infected synthetic by a biological mesh in abdominal wall hernia repair

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agneta eMontgomery

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The incidence of deep infection using a synthetic mesh in inguinal hernia repair is low and reported to be well below 1%. This is in contrast to incisional hernia surgery where the reported incidence is 3% respective 13% comparing laparoscopic to open mesh repair reported in a Cochrane review. Main risk factors were long operation time, surgical site contamination and early wound complications. An infected mesh can be preserved using conservative treatment were negative pressure wound therapy (VAC® could play an important role. If strategy fails, the mesh needs to be removed. This review aims to look at evidence for situations were a biological mesh would work as a replacement of a removed infected synthetic mesh. Material and MethodsA literature search of the Medline database was performed using the PubMed search engine. Twenty publications were found relevant for this review.ResultsFor studies reviewed three options are presented: removal of the infected synthetic mesh alone, replacement with either a new synthetic or a new biological mesh. Operations were all performed at specialist centers. Removal of the mesh alone was an option limited to inguinal hernias. In ventral/incisional hernias the use of a biological mesh for replacement resulted in a very high recurrence rate, if bridging was required. Either a synthetic or a biological mesh seems to work as a replacement when fascial closure can be achieved. Evidence is though very low. ConclusionWhen required, either a synthetic or a biological meshes seems to work as a replacement for an infected synthetic mesh if the defect can be closed. It is however not recommended to use a biological mesh for bridging. Mesh replacement surgery is demanding and is recommended to be performed in a specialist center.

  3. Regime shift from phytoplankton to macrophyte dominance in a large river: Top-down versus bottom-up effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ibanez, Carles, E-mail: carles.ibanez@irta.cat [IRTA Aquatic Ecosystems, Carretera Poble Nou, Km 5.5, 43540 St. Carles de la Rapita, Catalonia (Spain); Alcaraz, Carles; Caiola, Nuno; Rovira, Albert; Trobajo, Rosa [IRTA Aquatic Ecosystems, Carretera Poble Nou, Km 5.5, 43540 St. Carles de la Rapita, Catalonia (Spain); Alonso, Miguel [United Research Services S.L., Urgell 143, 08036 Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain); Duran, Concha [Confederacion Hidrografica del Ebro, Sagasta 24-26, 50071 Zaragoza, Aragon (Spain); Jimenez, Pere J. [Grup Natura Freixe, Major 56, 43750 Flix, Catalonia (Spain); Munne, Antoni [Agencia Catalana de l' Aigua, Provenca 204-208, 08036 Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain); Prat, Narcis [Departament d' Ecologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona Catalonia (Spain)

    2012-02-01

    The lower Ebro River (Catalonia, Spain) has recently undergone a regime shift from a phytoplankton-dominated to a macrophyte-dominated system. This shift is well known in shallow lakes but apparently it has never been documented in rivers. Two initial hypotheses to explain the collapse of the phytoplankton were considered: a) the diminution of nutrients (bottom-up); b) the filtering effect due to the colonization of the zebra mussel (top-down). Data on water quality, hydrology and biological communities (phytoplankton, macrophytes and zebra mussel) was obtained both from existing data sets and new surveys. Results clearly indicate that the decrease in phosphorus is the main cause of a dramatic decrease in chlorophyll and large increase in water transparency, triggering the subsequent colonization of macrophytes in the river bed. A Generalized Linear Model analysis showed that the decrease in dissolved phosphorus had a relative importance 14 times higher than the increase in zebra mussel density to explain the variation of total chlorophyll. We suggest that the described changes in the lower Ebro River can be considered a novel ecosystem shift. This shift is triggering remarkable changes in the biological communities beyond the decrease of phytoplankton and the proliferation of macrophytes, such as massive colonization of Simulidae (black fly) and other changes in the benthic invertebrate communities that are currently investigated. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We show a regime shift in a large river from phytoplankton to macrophyte dominance. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Two main hypotheses are considered: nutrient decrease and zebra mussel grazing. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Phosphorus depletion is found to be the main cause of the phytoplankton decline. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We conclude that oligotrophication triggered the colonization of macrophytes. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer This new regime shift in a river is similar to that described

  4. Regime shift from phytoplankton to macrophyte dominance in a large river: Top-down versus bottom-up effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ibáñez, Carles; Alcaraz, Carles; Caiola, Nuno; Rovira, Albert; Trobajo, Rosa; Alonso, Miguel; Duran, Concha; Jiménez, Pere J.; Munné, Antoni; Prat, Narcís

    2012-01-01

    The lower Ebro River (Catalonia, Spain) has recently undergone a regime shift from a phytoplankton-dominated to a macrophyte-dominated system. This shift is well known in shallow lakes but apparently it has never been documented in rivers. Two initial hypotheses to explain the collapse of the phytoplankton were considered: a) the diminution of nutrients (bottom-up); b) the filtering effect due to the colonization of the zebra mussel (top-down). Data on water quality, hydrology and biological communities (phytoplankton, macrophytes and zebra mussel) was obtained both from existing data sets and new surveys. Results clearly indicate that the decrease in phosphorus is the main cause of a dramatic decrease in chlorophyll and large increase in water transparency, triggering the subsequent colonization of macrophytes in the river bed. A Generalized Linear Model analysis showed that the decrease in dissolved phosphorus had a relative importance 14 times higher than the increase in zebra mussel density to explain the variation of total chlorophyll. We suggest that the described changes in the lower Ebro River can be considered a novel ecosystem shift. This shift is triggering remarkable changes in the biological communities beyond the decrease of phytoplankton and the proliferation of macrophytes, such as massive colonization of Simulidae (black fly) and other changes in the benthic invertebrate communities that are currently investigated. - Highlights: ► We show a regime shift in a large river from phytoplankton to macrophyte dominance. ► Two main hypotheses are considered: nutrient decrease and zebra mussel grazing. ► Phosphorus depletion is found to be the main cause of the phytoplankton decline. ► We conclude that oligotrophication triggered the colonization of macrophytes. ► This new regime shift in a river is similar to that described in shallow lakes.

  5. Cosmo Cassette: A Microfluidic Microgravity Microbial System For Synthetic Biology Unit Tests and Satellite Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berliner, Aaron J.

    2013-01-01

    Although methods in the design-build-test life cycle of the synthetic biology field have grown rapidly, the expansion has been non-uniform. The design and build stages in development have seen innovations in the form of biological CAD and more efficient means for building DNA, RNA, and other biological constructs. The testing phase of the cycle remains in need of innovation. Presented will be both a theoretical abstraction of biological measurement and a practical demonstration of a microfluidics-based platform for characterizing synthetic biological phenomena. Such a platform demonstrates a design of additive manufacturing (3D printing) for construction of a microbial fuel cell (MFC) to be used in experiments carried out in space. First, the biocompatibility of the polypropylene chassis will be demonstrated. The novel MFCs will be cheaper, and faster to make and iterate through designs. The novel design will contain a manifold switchingdistribution system and an integrated in-chip set of reagent reservoirs fabricated via 3D printing. The automated nature of the 3D printing yields itself to higher resolution switching valves and leads to smaller sized payloads, lower cost, reduced power and a standardized platform for synthetic biology unit tests on Earth and in space. It will be demonstrated that the application of unit testing in synthetic biology will lead to the automatic construction and validation of desired constructs. Unit testing methodologies offer benefits of preemptive problem identification, change of facility, simplicity of integration, ease of documentation, and separation of interface from implementation, and automated design.

  6. The case for refining bottom-up methane emission inventories using top-down measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Bryce F. J.; Iverach, Charlotte P.; Ginty, Elisa; Bashir, Safdar; Lowry, Dave; Fisher, Rebecca E.; France, James L.; Nisbet, Euan G.

    2017-04-01

    Bottom-up global methane emission estimates are important for guiding policy development and mitigation strategies. Such inventories enable rapid and consistent proportioning of emissions by industrial sectors and land use at various scales from city to country to global. There has been limited use of top-down measurements to guide refining emission inventories. Here we compare the EDGAR gridmap data version 4.2 with over 5000 km of daytime ground level mobile atmospheric methane surveys in eastern Australia. The landscapes and industries surveyed include: urban environments, dryland farming, intensive livestock farming (both beef and lamb), irrigation agriculture, open cut and underground coal mining, and coal seam gas production. Daytime mobile methane surveys over a 2-year period show that at the landscape scale there is a high level of repeatability for the mole fraction of methane measured in the ground level atmosphere. Such consistency in the mole fraction of methane indicates that these data can be used as a proxy for flux. A scatter plot of the EDGAR emission gridmap Log[ton substance / 0.1 degree x 0.1 degree / year] versus the median mole fraction of methane / 0.1 degree x 0.1 degree in the ground level atmosphere highlights that the extent of elevated methane emissions associated with coal mining in the Hunter coalfields, which covers an area of 56 km by 24 km, has been under-represented in the EDGAR input data. Our results also show that methane emissions from country towns (population poor information on the extent of urban gas leaks. Given the uncertainties associated with the base land use and industry data for each country, we generalise the Australian observations to the global inventory with caution. The extensive comparison of top-down measurements versus the EDGAR version 4.2 methane gridmaps highlights the need for adjustments to the base resource data and/or the emission factors applied for coal mining, especially emissions from underground

  7. A bottom-up approach to estimating cost elements of REDD+ pilot projects in Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Merger Eduard

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Several previous global REDD+ cost studies have been conducted, demonstrating that payments for maintaining forest carbon stocks have significant potential to be a cost-effective mechanism for climate change mitigation. These studies have mostly followed highly aggregated top-down approaches without estimating the full range of REDD+ costs elements, thus underestimating the actual costs of REDD+. Based on three REDD+ pilot projects in Tanzania, representing an area of 327,825 ha, this study explicitly adopts a bottom-up approach to data assessment. By estimating opportunity, implementation, transaction and institutional costs of REDD+ we develop a practical and replicable methodological framework to consistently assess REDD+ cost elements. Results Based on historical land use change patterns, current region-specific economic conditions and carbon stocks, project-specific opportunity costs ranged between US$ -7.8 and 28.8 tCOxxxx for deforestation and forest degradation drivers such as agriculture, fuel wood production, unsustainable timber extraction and pasture expansion. The mean opportunity costs for the three projects ranged between US$ 10.1 – 12.5 tCO2. Implementation costs comprised between 89% and 95% of total project costs (excluding opportunity costs ranging between US$ 4.5 - 12.2 tCO2 for a period of 30 years. Transaction costs for measurement, reporting, verification (MRV, and other carbon market related compliance costs comprised a minor share, between US$ 0.21 - 1.46 tCO2. Similarly, the institutional costs comprised around 1% of total REDD+ costs in a range of US$ 0.06 – 0.11 tCO2. Conclusions The use of bottom-up approaches to estimate REDD+ economics by considering regional variations in economic conditions and carbon stocks has been shown to be an appropriate approach to provide policy and decision-makers robust economic information on REDD+. The assessment of opportunity costs is a crucial first step to

  8. A bottom-up approach to estimating cost elements of REDD+ pilot projects in Tanzania

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background Several previous global REDD+ cost studies have been conducted, demonstrating that payments for maintaining forest carbon stocks have significant potential to be a cost-effective mechanism for climate change mitigation. These studies have mostly followed highly aggregated top-down approaches without estimating the full range of REDD+ costs elements, thus underestimating the actual costs of REDD+. Based on three REDD+ pilot projects in Tanzania, representing an area of 327,825 ha, this study explicitly adopts a bottom-up approach to data assessment. By estimating opportunity, implementation, transaction and institutional costs of REDD+ we develop a practical and replicable methodological framework to consistently assess REDD+ cost elements. Results Based on historical land use change patterns, current region-specific economic conditions and carbon stocks, project-specific opportunity costs ranged between US$ -7.8 and 28.8 tCOxxxx for deforestation and forest degradation drivers such as agriculture, fuel wood production, unsustainable timber extraction and pasture expansion. The mean opportunity costs for the three projects ranged between US$ 10.1 – 12.5 tCO2. Implementation costs comprised between 89% and 95% of total project costs (excluding opportunity costs) ranging between US$ 4.5 - 12.2 tCO2 for a period of 30 years. Transaction costs for measurement, reporting, verification (MRV), and other carbon market related compliance costs comprised a minor share, between US$ 0.21 - 1.46 tCO2. Similarly, the institutional costs comprised around 1% of total REDD+ costs in a range of US$ 0.06 – 0.11 tCO2. Conclusions The use of bottom-up approaches to estimate REDD+ economics by considering regional variations in economic conditions and carbon stocks has been shown to be an appropriate approach to provide policy and decision-makers robust economic information on REDD+. The assessment of opportunity costs is a crucial first step to provide information on the

  9. Merging Bottom-Up with Top-Down: Continuous Lamellar Networks and Block Copolymer Lithography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Ian Patrick

    Block copolymer lithography is an emerging nanopatterning technology with capabilities that may complement and eventually replace those provided by existing optical lithography techniques. This bottom-up process relies on the parallel self-assembly of macromolecules composed of covalently linked, chemically distinct blocks to generate periodic nanostructures. Among the myriad potential morphologies, lamellar structures formed by diblock copolymers with symmetric volume fractions have attracted the most interest as a patterning tool. When confined to thin films and directed to assemble with interfaces perpendicular to the substrate, two-dimensional domains are formed between the free surface and the substrate, and selective removal of a single block creates a nanostructured polymeric template. The substrate exposed between the polymeric features can subsequently be modified through standard top-down microfabrication processes to generate novel nanostructured materials. Despite tremendous progress in our understanding of block copolymer self-assembly, continuous two-dimensional materials have not yet been fabricated via this robust technique, which may enable nanostructured material combinations that cannot be fabricated through bottom-up methods. This thesis aims to study the effects of block copolymer composition and processing on the lamellar network morphology of polystyrene-block-poly(methyl methacrylate) (PS-b-PMMA) and utilize this knowledge to fabricate continuous two-dimensional materials through top-down methods. First, block copolymer composition was varied through homopolymer blending to explore the physical phenomena surrounding lamellar network continuity. After establishing a framework for tuning the continuity, the effects of various processing parameters were explored to engineer the network connectivity via defect annihilation processes. Precisely controlling the connectivity and continuity of lamellar networks through defect engineering and

  10. Co-culture systems and technologies: taking synthetic biology to the next level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goers, Lisa; Freemont, Paul; Polizzi, Karen M

    2014-07-06

    Co-culture techniques find myriad applications in biology for studying natural or synthetic interactions between cell populations. Such techniques are of great importance in synthetic biology, as multi-species cell consortia and other natural or synthetic ecology systems are widely seen to hold enormous potential for foundational research as well as novel industrial, medical and environmental applications with many proof-of-principle studies in recent years. What is needed for co-cultures to fulfil their potential? Cell-cell interactions in co-cultures are strongly influenced by the extracellular environment, which is determined by the experimental set-up, which therefore needs to be given careful consideration. An overview of existing experimental and theoretical co-culture set-ups in synthetic biology and adjacent fields is given here, and challenges and opportunities involved in such experiments are discussed. Greater focus on foundational technology developments for co-cultures is needed for many synthetic biology systems to realize their potential in both applications and answering biological questions. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  11. From bricolage to BioBricks™: Synthetic biology and rational design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewens, Tim

    2013-12-01

    Synthetic biology is often described as a project that applies rational design methods to the organic world. Although humans have influenced organic lineages in many ways, it is nonetheless reasonable to place synthetic biology towards one end of a continuum between purely 'blind' processes of organic modification at one extreme, and wholly rational, design-led processes at the other. An example from evolutionary electronics illustrates some of the constraints imposed by the rational design methodology itself. These constraints reinforce the limitations of the synthetic biology ideal, limitations that are often freely acknowledged by synthetic biology's own practitioners. The synthetic biology methodology reflects a series of constraints imposed on finite human designers who wish, as far as is practicable, to communicate with each other and to intervene in nature in reasonably targeted and well-understood ways. This is better understood as indicative of an underlying awareness of human limitations, rather than as expressive of an objectionable impulse to mastery over nature. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. High molecular weight DNA assembly in vivo for synthetic biology applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juhas, Mario; Ajioka, James W

    2017-05-01

    DNA assembly is the key technology of the emerging interdisciplinary field of synthetic biology. While the assembly of smaller DNA fragments is usually performed in vitro, high molecular weight DNA molecules are assembled in vivo via homologous recombination in the host cell. Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis and Saccharomyces cerevisiae are the main hosts used for DNA assembly in vivo. Progress in DNA assembly over the last few years has paved the way for the construction of whole genomes. This review provides an update on recent synthetic biology advances with particular emphasis on high molecular weight DNA assembly in vivo in E. coli, B. subtilis and S. cerevisiae. Special attention is paid to the assembly of whole genomes, such as those of the first synthetic cell, synthetic yeast and minimal genomes.

  13. Synthetic biology devices and circuits for RNA-based 'smart vaccines': a propositional review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andries, Oliwia; Kitada, Tasuku; Bodner, Katie; Sanders, Niek N; Weiss, Ron

    2015-02-01

    Nucleic acid vaccines have been gaining attention as an alternative to the standard attenuated pathogen or protein based vaccine. However, an unrealized advantage of using such DNA or RNA based vaccination modalities is the ability to program within these nucleic acids regulatory devices that would provide an immunologist with the power to control the production of antigens and adjuvants in a desirable manner by administering small molecule drugs as chemical triggers. Advances in synthetic biology have resulted in the creation of highly predictable and modular genetic parts and devices that can be composed into synthetic gene circuits with complex behaviors. With the recent advent of modified RNA gene delivery methods and developments in the RNA replicon platform, we foresee a future in which mammalian synthetic biologists will create genetic circuits encoded exclusively on RNA. Here, we review the current repertoire of devices used in RNA synthetic biology and propose how programmable 'smart vaccines' will revolutionize the field of RNA vaccination.

  14. Synthetic Biology Platform for Sensing and Integrating Endogenous Transcriptional Inputs in Mammalian Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelici, Bartolomeo; Mailand, Erik; Haefliger, Benjamin; Benenson, Yaakov

    2016-08-30

    One of the goals of synthetic biology is to develop programmable artificial gene networks that can transduce multiple endogenous molecular cues to precisely control cell behavior. Realizing this vision requires interfacing natural molecular inputs with synthetic components that generate functional molecular outputs. Interfacing synthetic circuits with endogenous mammalian transcription factors has been particularly difficult. Here, we describe a systematic approach that enables integration and transduction of multiple mammalian transcription factor inputs by a synthetic network. The approach is facilitated by a proportional amplifier sensor based on synergistic positive autoregulation. The circuits efficiently transduce endogenous transcription factor levels into RNAi, transcriptional transactivation, and site-specific recombination. They also enable AND logic between pairs of arbitrary transcription factors. The results establish a framework for developing synthetic gene networks that interface with cellular processes through transcriptional regulators. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Effect of synthetic adjuvants of biological activity of spleen proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kartasheva, A.L.; Yuferova, N.V.; Drozhennikov, V.A.; Orlova, E.B.; Perevezentseva, O.S.; Filatov, P.P.

    1981-01-01

    Intraperitoneal administration to mice of synthetic adjuvants of a polyanion type increases the spleen mass by 500% and rises the content of proteins with activity of inhibitor of DNAase 1. A protein fraction isolated from the spleen of treated animals administered to exposed (7.7 Gy) mice alone or in a combination with exogenous DNA increases survival up to 61.1 and 80.5%, respectively, as opposed to 36.6% in the case of administration of proteins from intact animals, or 8.3% in the control (no treatment). The protein fraction from treated animals administered to mice exposed to 5.1-5.5 Gy accelerates the recovery of hemopoesis and immune response better than proteins of intact animals

  16. Emotional face expression modulates occipital-frontal effective connectivity during memory formation in a bottom-up fashion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daiming eXiu

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available This study investigated the role of bottom-up and top-down neural mechanisms in the processing of emotional face expression during memory formation. Functional brain imaging data was acquired during incidental learning of positive (‘happy’, neutral and negative (‘angry’ or ‘fearful’ faces. Dynamic Causal Modeling (DCM was applied on the fMRI data to characterize effective connectivity within a brain network involving face perception (inferior occipital gyrus and fusiform gyrus and successful memory formation related areas (hippocampus, superior parietal lobule, amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex. The bottom-up models assumed processing of emotional face expression along feed forward pathways to the orbitofrontal cortex. The top-down models assumed that the orbitofrontal cortex processed emotional valence and mediated connections to the hippocampus. A subsequent recognition memory test showed an effect of negative emotion on the response bias, but not on memory performance. Our DCM findings showed that the bottom-up model family of effective connectivity best explained the data across all subjects and specified that emotion affected most bottom-up connections to the orbitofrontal cortex, especially from the occipital visual cortex and superior parietal lobule. Of those pathways to the orbitofrontal cortex the connection from the inferior occipital gyrus correlated with memory performance independently of valence. We suggest that bottom-up neural mechanisms support effects of emotional face expression and memory formation in a parallel and partially overlapping fashion.

  17. The Early Anthropogenic Hypothesis: Top-Down and Bottom-up Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruddiman, W. F.

    2014-12-01

    Two complementary lines of evidence support the early anthropogenic hypothesis. Top-down evidence comes from comparing Holocene greenhouse-gas trends with those during equivalent intervals of previous interglaciations. The increases in CO2 and CH4 during the late Holocene are anomalous compared to the decreasing trends in a stacked average of previous interglaciations, thereby supporting an anthropogenic origin. During interglacial stage 19, the closest Holocene insolation analog, CO2 fell to 245 ppm by the time equivalent to the present, in contrast to the observed pre-industrial rise to 280-285 ppm. The 245-ppm level measured in stage 19 falls at the top of the natural range predicted by the original anthropogenic hypothesis of Ruddiman (2003). Bottom-up evidence comes from a growing list of archeological and other compilations showing major early anthropogenic transformations of Earth's surface. Key examples include: efforts by Dorian Fuller and colleagues mapping the spread of irrigated rice agriculture across southern Asia and its effects on CH4 emissions prior to the industrial era; an additional effort by Fuller showing the spread of methane-emitting domesticated livestock across Asia and Africa (coincident with the spread of fertile crescent livestock across Europe); historical compilations by Jed Kaplan and colleagues documenting very high early per-capita forest clearance in Europe, thus underpinning simulations of extensive pre-industrial clearance and large CO2 emissions; and wide-ranging studies by Erle Ellis and colleagues of early anthropogenic land transformations in China and elsewhere.

  18. People-centred health systems, a bottom-up approach: where theory meets empery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturmberg, Joachim P; Njoroge, Alice

    2017-04-01

    Health systems are complex and constantly adapt to changing demands. These complex-adaptive characteristics are rarely considered in the current bureaucratic top-down approaches to health system reforms aimed to constrain demand and expenditure growth. The economic focus fails to address the needs of patients, providers and communities, and ultimately results in declining effectiveness and efficiency of the health care system as well as the health of the wider community. A needs-focused complex-adaptive health system can be represented by the 'healthcare vortex' model; how to build a needs-focused complex-adaptive health system is illustrated by Eastern Deanery AIDS Relief Program approaches in the poor neighbourhoods of Nairobi, Kenya. A small group of nurses and community health workers focused on the care of terminally ill HIV/AIDS patients. This work identified additional problems: tuberculosis (TB) was underdiagnosed and undertreated, a local TB-technician was trained to run a local lab, a courier services helped to reach all at need, collaboration with the Ministry of Health established local TB and HIV treatment programmes and philanthropists helped to supplement treatment with nutrition support. Maternal-to-child HIV-prevention and adolescent counselling services addressed additional needs. The 'theory of the healthcare vortex' indeed matches the 'empery of the real world experiences'. Locally developed and delivered adaptive, people-centred health systems, a bottom-up community and provider initiated approach, deliver highly effective and sustainable health care despite significant resource constraints. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  19. Innovative Sol-Gel Routes for the Bottom-up Preparation of Heterogeneous Catalysts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debecker, Damien P

    2017-12-11

    Heterogeneous catalysts can be prepared by different methods offering various levels of control on the final properties of the solid. In this account, we exemplify bottom-up preparation routes that are based on the sol-gel chemistry and allow to tailor some decisive properties of solid catalysts. First, an emulsion templating strategy is shown to lead to macrocellular self-standing monoliths with a macroscopic 3D structure. The latter can be used as catalyst or catalyst supports in flow chemistry, without requiring any subsequent shaping step. Second, the aerosol-assisted sol-gel process allows for the one-step and continuous production of porous mixed oxides. Tailored textural properties can be obtained together with an excellent control on composition and homogeneity. Third, the application of non-hydrolytic sol-gel routes, in the absence of water, leads to mixed oxides with outstanding textural properties and with peculiar surface chemistry. In all cases, the resulting catalytic performance can be correlated with the specificities of the preparation routes presented. This is exemplified in catalytic reactions in the fields of biomass conversion, petro chemistry, enantioselective organic synthesis, and air pollution mitigation. © 2017 The Chemical Society of Japan & Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  20. Bottom-up synthesis of nitrogen-doped graphene sheets for ultrafast lithium storage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Lei-Lei; Wei, Xian-Yong; Zhuang, Quan-Chao; Jiang, Chen-Hui; Wu, Chao; Ma, Guang-Yao; Zhao, Xing; Zong, Zhi-Min; Sun, Shi-Gang

    2014-06-07

    A facile bottom-up strategy was developed to fabricate nitrogen-doped graphene sheets (NGSs) from glucose using a sacrificial template synthesis method. Three main types of nitrogen dopants (pyridinic, pyrrolic and graphitic nitrogens) were introduced into the graphene lattice, and an inimitable microporous structure of NGS with a high specific surface area of 504 m(2) g(-1) was obtained. Particularly, with hybrid features of lithium ion batteries and Faradic capacitors at a low rate and features of Faradic capacitors at a high rate, the NGS presents a superior lithium storage performance. During electrochemical cycling, the NGS electrode afforded an enhanced reversible capacity of 832.4 mA h g(-1) at 100 mA g(-1) and an excellent cycling stability of 750.7 mA h g(-1) after 108 discharge-charge cycles. Furthermore, an astonishing rate capability of 333 mA h g(-1) at 10,000 mA g(-1) and a high rate cycle performance of 280.6 mA h g(-1) even after 1200 cycles were also achieved, highlighting the significance of nitrogen doping on the maximum utilization of graphene-based materials for advanced lithium storage.

  1. Bottom-up synthesis of nitrogen-doped graphene sheets for ultrafast lithium storage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Lei-Lei; Wei, Xian-Yong; Zhuang, Quan-Chao; Jiang, Chen-Hui; Wu, Chao; Ma, Guang-Yao; Zhao, Xing; Zong, Zhi-Min; Sun, Shi-Gang

    2014-05-01

    A facile bottom-up strategy was developed to fabricate nitrogen-doped graphene sheets (NGSs) from glucose using a sacrificial template synthesis method. Three main types of nitrogen dopants (pyridinic, pyrrolic and graphitic nitrogens) were introduced into the graphene lattice, and an inimitable microporous structure of NGS with a high specific surface area of 504 m2 g-1 was obtained. Particularly, with hybrid features of lithium ion batteries and Faradic capacitors at a low rate and features of Faradic capacitors at a high rate, the NGS presents a superior lithium storage performance. During electrochemical cycling, the NGS electrode afforded an enhanced reversible capacity of 832.4 mA h g-1 at 100 mA g-1 and an excellent cycling stability of 750.7 mA h g-1 after 108 discharge-charge cycles. Furthermore, an astonishing rate capability of 333 mA h g-1 at 10 000 mA g-1 and a high rate cycle performance of 280.6 mA h g-1 even after 1200 cycles were also achieved, highlighting the significance of nitrogen doping on the maximum utilization of graphene-based materials for advanced lithium storage.

  2. Visionmaker NYC: A bottom-up approach to finding shared socioeconomic pathways in New York City

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanderson, E. W.; Fisher, K.; Giampieri, M.; Barr, J.; Meixler, M.; Allred, S. B.; Bunting-Howarth, K. E.; DuBois, B.; Parris, A. S.

    2015-12-01

    Visionmaker NYC is a free, public participatory, bottom-up web application to develop and share climate mitigation and adaptation strategies for New York City neighborhoods. The goal is to develop shared socioeconomic pathways by allowing a broad swath of community members - from schoolchildren to architects and developers to the general public - to input their concepts for a desired future. Visions are comprised of climate scenarios, lifestyle choices, and ecosystem arrangements, where ecosystems are broadly defined to include built ecosystems (e.g. apartment buildings, single family homes, etc.), transportation infrastructure (e.g. highways, connector roads, sidewalks), and natural land cover types (e.g. wetlands, forests, estuary.) Metrics of water flows, carbon cycling, biodiversity patterns, and population are estimated for the user's vision, for the same neighborhood today, and for that neighborhood as it existed in the pre-development state, based on the Welikia Project (welikia.org.) Users can keep visions private, share them with self-defined groups of other users, or distribute them publicly. Users can also propose "challenges" - specific desired states of metrics for specific parts of the city - and others can post visions in response. Visionmaker contributes by combining scenario planning, scientific modelling, and social media to create new, wide-open possibilities for discussion, collaboration, and imagination regarding future, shared socioeconomic pathways.

  3. Electrical transport of bottom-up grown single-crystal Si1-xGex nanowire

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, W F; Lee, S J; Liang, G C; Whang, S J; Kwong, D L

    2008-01-01

    In this work, we fabricated an Si 1-x Ge x nanowire (NW) metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) by using bottom-up grown single-crystal Si 1-x Ge x NWs integrated with HfO 2 gate dielectric, TaN/Ta gate electrode and Pd Schottky source/drain electrodes, and investigated the electrical transport properties of Si 1-x Ge x NWs. It is found that both undoped and phosphorus-doped Si 1-x Ge x NW MOSFETs exhibit p-MOS operation while enhanced performance of higher I on ∼100 nA and I on /I off ∼10 5 are achieved from phosphorus-doped Si 1-x Ge x NWs, which can be attributed to the reduction of the effective Schottky barrier height (SBH). Further improvement in gate control with a subthreshold slope of 142 mV dec -1 was obtained by reducing HfO 2 gate dielectric thickness. A comprehensive study on SBH between the Si 1-x Ge x NW channel and Pd source/drain shows that a doped Si 1-x Ge x NW has a lower effective SBH due to a thinner depletion width at the junction and the gate oxide thickness has negligible effect on effective SBH

  4. Fabricating ordered functional nanostructures onto polycrystalline substrates from the bottom-up

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres, María; Pardo, Lorena; Ricote, Jesús; Fuentes-Cobas, Luís E.; Rodriguez, Brian J.; Calzada, M. Lourdes

    2012-01-01

    Microemulsion-mediated synthesis has emerged as a powerful bottom-up procedure for the preparation of ferroelectric nanostructures onto substrates. However, periodical order has yet to be achieved onto polycrystalline Pt-coated Si substrates. Here, we report a new methodology that involves microemulsion-mediated synthesis and the controlled modification of the surface of the substrate by coating it with a template-layer of water-micelles. This layer modifies the surface tension of the substrate and yields a periodic arrangement of ferroelectric crystalline nanostructures. The size of the nanostructures is decreased to the sub-50 nm range and they show a hexagonal order up to the third neighbors, which corresponds to a density of 275 Gb in −2 . The structural analysis of the nanostructures by synchrotron X-ray diffraction confirms that the nanostructures have a PbTiO 3 perovskite structure, with lattice parameters of a = b = 3.890(0) Å and c = 4.056(7) Å. Piezoresponse force microscopy confirmed the ferro-piezoelectric character of the nanostructures. This simple methodology is valid for the self-assembly of other functional oxides onto polycrystalline substrates, enabling their reliable integration into micro/nano devices.

  5. Sustainability and Uncertainty: Bottom-Up and Top-Down Approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Klint Jensen

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The widely used concept of sustainability is seldom precisely defined, and its clarification involves making up one’s mind about a range of difficult questions. One line of research (bottom-up takes sustaining a system over time as its starting point and then infers prescriptions from this requirement. Another line (top-down takes an economical interpretation of the Brundtland Commission’s suggestion that the present generation’s needsatisfaction should not compromise the need-satisfaction of future generations as its starting point. It then measures sustainability at the level of society and infers prescriptions from this requirement. These two approaches may conflict, and in this conflict the top-down approach has the upper hand, ethically speaking. However, the implicit goal in the top-down approach of justice between generations needs to be refined in several dimensions. But even given a clarified ethical goal, disagreements can arise. At present we do not know what substitutions will be possible in the future. This uncertainty clearly affects the prescriptions that follow from the measure of sustainability. Consequently, decisions about how to make future agriculture sustainable are decisions under uncertainty. There might be different judgments on likelihoods; but even given some set of probabilities, there might be disagreement on the right level of precaution in face of the uncertainty.

  6. Bottom-Up, Wet Chemical Technique for the Continuous Synthesis of Inorganic Nanoparticles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annika Betke

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Continuous wet chemical approaches for the production of inorganic nanoparticles are important for large scale production of nanoparticles. Here we describe a bottom-up, wet chemical method applying a microjet reactor. This technique allows the separation between nucleation and growth in a continuous reactor environment. Zinc oxide (ZnO, magnetite (Fe3O4, as well as brushite (CaHPO4·2H2O, particles with a small particle size distribution can be obtained continuously by using the rapid mixing of two precursor solutions and the fast removal of the nuclei from the reaction environment. The final particles were characterized by FT-IR, TGA, DLS, XRD and SEM techniques. Systematic studies on the influence of the different process parameters, such as flow rate and process temperature, show that the particle size can be influenced. Zinc oxide was obtained with particle sizes between 44 nm and 102 nm. The obtained magnetite particles have particle sizes in the range of 46 nm to 132 nm. Brushite behaves differently; the obtained particles were shaped like small plates with edge lengths between 100 nm and 500 nm.

  7. a Bottom-Up Geosptial Data Update Mechanism for Spatial Data Infrastructure Updating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, W.; Zhu, X.; Liu, Y.

    2012-08-01

    Currently, the top-down spatial data update mechanism has made a big progress and it is wildly applied in many SDI (spatial data infrastructure). However, this mechanism still has some issues. For example, the update schedule is limited by the professional department's project, usually which is too long for the end-user; the data form collection to public cost too much time and energy for professional department; the details of geospatial information does not provide sufficient attribute, etc. Thus, how to deal with the problems has become the effective shortcut. Emerging Internet technology, 3S technique and geographic information knowledge which is popular in the public promote the booming development of geoscience in volunteered geospatial information. Volunteered geospatial information is the current "hotspot", which attracts many researchers to study its data quality and credibility, accuracy, sustainability, social benefit, application and so on. In addition to this, a few scholars also pay attention to the value of VGI to support the SDI updating. And on that basis, this paper presents a bottom-up update mechanism form VGI to SDI, which includes the processes of match homonymous elements between VGI and SDI vector data , change data detection, SDI spatial database update and new data product publication to end-users. Then, the proposed updating cycle is deeply discussed about the feasibility of which can detect the changed elements in time and shorten the update period, provide more accurate geometry and attribute data for spatial data infrastructure and support update propagation.

  8. Two Paths to Transforming Markets through Public Sector EnergyEfficiency: Bottom Up versus Top Down

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Wie McGrory, Laura; Coleman, Philip; Fridley, David; Harris,Jeffrey; Villasenor Franco, Edgar

    2006-05-10

    The evolution of government purchasing initiatives in Mexicoand China, part of the PEPS (Promoting an Energy-efficient Public Sector)program, demonstrates the need for flexibility in designingenergy-efficiency strategies in the public sector. Several years ofpursuing a top-down (federally led) strategy in Mexico produced fewresults, and it was not until the program was restructured in 2004 tofocus on municipal-level purchasing that the program gained momentum.Today, a new partnership with the Mexican federal government is leadingto an intergovernmental initiative with strong support at the federallevel. By contrast, the PEPS purchasing initiative in China wassuccessfully initiated and led at the central government level withstrategic support from international experts. The very different successtrajectories in these two countries provide valuable lessons fordesigning country-specific public sector energy-efficiency initiatives.Enabling conditions for any successful public sector purchasinginitiative include the existence of mandatory energy-efficiencyperformance standards, an effective energy-efficiency endorsementlabeling program, an immediate need for energy conservation, a simplepilot phase (focusing on a limited number of strategically chosenproducts), and specialized technical assistance. Top-down purchasingprograms are likely to be more successful where there is high-levelpolitical endorsement and a national procurement law in place, supportedby a network of trained purchasers. Bottom-up (municipally led)purchasing programs require that municipalities have the authority to settheir own purchasing policies, and also benefit from existing networks ofcities, supported by motivated municipal leaders and trained purchasingofficials.

  9. Bottom-up fabrication of zwitterionic polymer brushes on intraocular lens for improved biocompatibility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Han Y

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Yuemei Han,1,* Xu Xu,1,* Junmei Tang,1,* Chenghui Shen,2 Quankui Lin,1,2 Hao Chen1,2 1School of Ophthalmology & Optometry, Eye Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, 2Wenzhou Institute of Biomaterials and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wenzhou, People’s Republic of China *These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: Intraocular lens (IOL is an efficient implantable device commonly used for treating cataracts. However, bioadhesion of bacteria or residual lens epithelial cells on the IOL surface after surgery causes postoperative complications, such as endophthalmitis or posterior capsular opacification, and leads to loss of sight again. In the present study, zwitterionic polymer brushes were fabricated on the IOL surface via bottom-up grafting procedure. The attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared and contact angle measurements indicated successful surface modification, as well as excellent hydrophilicity. The coating of hydrophilic zwitterionic polymer effectively decreased the bioadhesion of lens epithelial cells or bacteria. In vivo intraocular implantation results showed good in vivo biocompatibility of zwitterionic IOL and its effectiveness against postoperative complications. Keywords: RAFT, surface modification, endophthalmitis, PCO, in vivo

  10. Enhanced Photon Extraction from a Nanowire Quantum Dot Using a Bottom-Up Photonic Shell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeannin, Mathieu; Cremel, Thibault; Häyrynen, Teppo; Gregersen, Niels; Bellet-Amalric, Edith; Nogues, Gilles; Kheng, Kuntheak

    2017-11-01

    Semiconductor nanowires offer the possibility to grow high-quality quantum-dot heterostructures, and, in particular, CdSe quantum dots inserted in ZnSe nanowires have demonstrated the ability to emit single photons up to room temperature. In this paper, we demonstrate a bottom-up approach to fabricate a photonic fiberlike structure around such nanowire quantum dots by depositing an oxide shell using atomic-layer deposition. Simulations suggest that the intensity collected in our NA =0.6 microscope objective can be increased by a factor 7 with respect to the bare nanowire case. Combining microphotoluminescence, decay time measurements, and numerical simulations, we obtain a fourfold increase in the collected photoluminescence from the quantum dot. We show that this improvement is due to an increase of the quantum-dot emission rate and a redirection of the emitted light. Our ex situ fabrication technique allows a precise and reproducible fabrication on a large scale. Its improved extraction efficiency is compared to state-of-the-art top-down devices.

  11. In situ biomolecule production by bacteria; a synthetic biology approach to medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flores Bueso, Yensi; Lehouritis, Panos; Tangney, Mark

    2018-04-10

    The ability to modify existing microbiota at different sites presents enormous potential for local or indirect management of various diseases. Because bacteria can be maintained for lengthy periods in various regions of the body, they represent a platform with enormous potential for targeted production of biomolecules, which offer tremendous promise for therapeutic and diagnostic approaches for various diseases. While biological medicines are currently limited in the clinic to patient administration of exogenously produced biomolecules from engineered cells, in situ production of biomolecules presents enormous scope in medicine and beyond. The slow pace and high expense of traditional research approaches has particularly hampered the development of biological medicines. It may be argued that bacterial-based medicine has been "waiting" for the advent of enabling technology. We propose that this technology is Synthetic Biology, and that the wait is over. Synthetic Biology facilitates a systematic approach to programming living entities and/or their products, using an approach to Research and Development (R&D) that facilitates rapid, cheap, accessible, yet sophisticated product development. Full engagement with the Synthetic Biology approach to R&D can unlock the potential for bacteria as medicines for cancer and other indications. In this review, we describe how by employing Synthetic Biology, designer bugs can be used as drugs, drug-production factories or diagnostic devices, using oncology as an exemplar for the concept of in situ biomolecule production in medicine. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. From Extremophiles to Star Trek, The Use of Synthetic Biology in Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.; Fujishima, Kosuke; Lima, Ivan Paulino; Gentry, Diana; Phan, Samson; Navarette, Jesica; Palmer, Jesse; Burnier, Andre

    2012-01-01

    Synthetic biology – the design and construction of new biological parts and systems and the redesign of existing ones for useful purposes – has the potential to transform fields from pharmaceuticals to fuels. Our lab has focused on the potential of synthetic biology to revolutionize all three major parts of astrobiology: Where do we come from? Where are we going? and Are we alone? For the first and third, synthetic biology is allowing us to answer whether the evolutionary narrative that has played out on planet earth is likely to have been unique or universal. For example, in our lab we are re-evolving biotic functions using only the most thermodynamically stable amino acids in order to understand potential capabilities of an early organism with a limited repertoire of amino acids. In the future synthetic biology will play an increasing role in human activities both on earth, in fields as diverse as bio-mining, human health and the industrial production of novel bio-composites. Beyond earth, we will rely increasingly on biologically-provided life support, as we have throughout our evolutionary history. In order to do this, the field will build on two of the great contributions of astrobiology: studies of the origin of life and life in extreme environments.

  13. Synthetic Biology Outside the Cell: Linking Computational Tools to Cell-Free Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lewis, Daniel D. [Integrative Genetics and Genomics, University of California Davis, Davis, CA (United States); Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California Davis, Davis, CA (United States); Villarreal, Fernando D.; Wu, Fan; Tan, Cheemeng, E-mail: cmtan@ucdavis.edu [Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California Davis, Davis, CA (United States)

    2014-12-09

    As mathematical models become more commonly integrated into the study of biology, a common language for describing biological processes is manifesting. Many tools have emerged for the simulation of in vivo synthetic biological systems, with only a few examples of prominent work done on predicting the dynamics of cell-free synthetic systems. At the same time, experimental biologists have begun to study dynamics of in vitro systems encapsulated by amphiphilic molecules, opening the door for the development of a new generation of biomimetic systems. In this review, we explore both in vivo and in vitro models of biochemical networks with a special focus on tools that could be applied to the construction of cell-free expression systems. We believe that quantitative studies of complex cellular mechanisms and pathways in synthetic systems can yield important insights into what makes cells different from conventional chemical systems.

  14. Review of Microfluidic Photobioreactor Technology for Metabolic Engineering and Synthetic Biology of Cyanobacteria and Microalgae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ya-Tang Yang

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available One goal of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology for cyanobacteria and microalgae is to engineer strains that can optimally produce biofuels and commodity chemicals. However, the current workflow is slow and labor intensive with respect to assembly of genetic parts and characterization of production yields because of the slow growth rates of these organisms. Here, we review recent progress in the microfluidic photobioreactors and identify opportunities and unmet needs in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. Because of the unprecedented experimental resolution down to the single cell level, long-term real-time monitoring capability, and high throughput with low cost, microfluidic photobioreactor technology will be an indispensible tool to speed up the development process, advance fundamental knowledge, and realize the full potential of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology for cyanobacteria and microalgae.

  15. Synthetic Biology and the Moral Significance of Artificial Life: A Reply to Douglas, Powell and Savulescu.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christiansen, Andreas

    2016-06-01

    I discuss the moral significance of artificial life within synthetic biology via a discussion of Douglas, Powell and Savulescu's paper 'Is the creation of artificial life morally significant'. I argue that the definitions of 'artificial life' and of 'moral significance' are too narrow. Douglas, Powell and Savulescu's definition of artificial life does not capture all core projects of synthetic biology or the ethical concerns that have been voiced, and their definition of moral significance fails to take into account the possibility that creating artificial life is conditionally acceptable. Finally, I show how several important objections to synthetic biology are plausibly understood as arguing that creating artificial life in a wide sense is only conditionally acceptable. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Synthetic Biology Outside the Cell: Linking Computational Tools to Cell-Free Systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lewis, Daniel D.; Villarreal, Fernando D.; Wu, Fan; Tan, Cheemeng

    2014-01-01

    As mathematical models become more commonly integrated into the study of biology, a common language for describing biological processes is manifesting. Many tools have emerged for the simulation of in vivo synthetic biological systems, with only a few examples of prominent work done on predicting the dynamics of cell-free synthetic systems. At the same time, experimental biologists have begun to study dynamics of in vitro systems encapsulated by amphiphilic molecules, opening the door for the development of a new generation of biomimetic systems. In this review, we explore both in vivo and in vitro models of biochemical networks with a special focus on tools that could be applied to the construction of cell-free expression systems. We believe that quantitative studies of complex cellular mechanisms and pathways in synthetic systems can yield important insights into what makes cells different from conventional chemical systems.

  17. Cell-free protein synthesis enabled rapid prototyping for metabolic engineering and synthetic biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lihong Jiang

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Advances in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology have facilitated the manufacturing of many valuable-added compounds and commodity chemicals using microbial cell factories in the past decade. However, due to complexity of cellular metabolism, the optimization of metabolic pathways for maximal production represents a grand challenge and an unavoidable barrier for metabolic engineering. Recently, cell-free protein synthesis system (CFPS has been emerging as an enabling alternative to address challenges in biomanufacturing. This review summarizes the recent progresses of CFPS in rapid prototyping of biosynthetic pathways and genetic circuits (biosensors to speed up design-build-test (DBT cycles of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. Keywords: Cell-free protein synthesis, Metabolic pathway optimization, Genetic circuits, Metabolic engineering, Synthetic biology

  18. Leaf LIMS: A Flexible Laboratory Information Management System with a Synthetic Biology Focus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craig, Thomas; Holland, Richard; D'Amore, Rosalinda; Johnson, James R; McCue, Hannah V; West, Anthony; Zulkower, Valentin; Tekotte, Hille; Cai, Yizhi; Swan, Daniel; Davey, Robert P; Hertz-Fowler, Christiane; Hall, Anthony; Caddick, Mark

    2017-12-15

    This paper presents Leaf LIMS, a flexible laboratory information management system (LIMS) designed to address the complexity of synthetic biology workflows. At the project's inception there was a lack of a LIMS designed specifically to address synthetic biology processes, with most systems focused on either next generation sequencing or biobanks and clinical sample handling. Leaf LIMS implements integrated project, item, and laboratory stock tracking, offering complete sample and construct genealogy, materials and lot tracking, and modular assay data capture. Hence, it enables highly configurable task-based workflows and supports data capture from project inception to completion. As such, in addition to it supporting synthetic biology it is ideal for many laboratory environments with multiple projects and users. The system is deployed as a web application through Docker and is provided under a permissive MIT license. It is freely available for download at https://leaflims.github.io .

  19. Recent progress in synthetic biology for microbial production of C3-C10 alcohols

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edna N. Lamsen

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The growing need to address current energy and environmental problems has sparked an interest in developing improved biological methods to produce liquid fuels from renewable sources. While microbial ethanol production is well established, higher chain alcohols possess chemical properties that are more similar to gasoline. Unfortunately, these alcohols (except 1-butanol are not produced efficiently in natural microorganisms, and thus economical production in industrial volumes remains a challenge. Synthetic biology, however, offers additional tools to engineer synthetic pathways in user-friendly hosts to help increase titers and productivity of these advanced biofuels. This review concentrates on recent developments in synthetic biology to produce higher-chain alcohols as viable renewable replacements for traditional fuel.

  20. Succumbing to Bottom-Up Biases on Task Choice Predicts Increased Switch Costs in the Voluntary Task Switching Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orr, Joseph M.; Weissman, Daniel H.

    2010-01-01

    Bottom-up biases are widely thought to influence task choice in the voluntary task switching paradigm. Definitive support for this hypothesis is lacking, however, because task choice and task performance are usually confounded. We therefore revisited this hypothesis using a paradigm in which task choice and task performance are temporally separated. As predicted, participants tended to choose the task that was primed by bottom-up biases. Moreover, such choices were linked to increased switch costs during subsequent task performance. These findings provide compelling evidence that bottom-up biases influence voluntary task choice. They also suggest that succumbing to such biases reflects a reduction of top-down control that persists to influence upcoming task performance. PMID:21713192

  1. Applications of membrane computing in systems and synthetic biology

    CERN Document Server

    Gheorghe, Marian; Pérez-Jiménez, Mario

    2014-01-01

    Membrane Computing was introduced as a computational paradigm in Natural Computing. The models introduced, called Membrane (or P) Systems, provide a coherent platform to describe and study living cells as computational systems. Membrane Systems have been investigated for their computational aspects and employed to model problems in other fields, like: Computer Science, Linguistics, Biology, Economy, Computer Graphics, Robotics, etc. Their inherent parallelism, heterogeneity and intrinsic versatility allow them to model a broad range of processes and phenomena, being also an efficient means to solve and analyze problems in a novel way. Membrane Computing has been used to model biological systems, becoming with time a thorough modeling paradigm comparable, in its modeling and predicting capabilities, to more established models in this area. This book is the result of the need to collect, in an organic way, different facets of this paradigm. The chapters of this book, together with the web pages accompanying th...

  2. Rational diversification of a promoter providing fine-tuned expression and orthogonal regulation for synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blount, Benjamin A; Weenink, Tim; Vasylechko, Serge; Ellis, Tom

    2012-01-01

    Yeast is an ideal organism for the development and application of synthetic biology, yet there remain relatively few well-characterised biological parts suitable for precise engineering of this chassis. In order to address this current need, we present here a strategy that takes a single biological part, a promoter, and re-engineers it to produce a fine-graded output range promoter library and new regulated promoters desirable for orthogonal synthetic biology applications. A highly constitutive Saccharomyces cerevisiae promoter, PFY1p, was identified by bioinformatic approaches, characterised in vivo and diversified at its core sequence to create a 36-member promoter library. TetR regulation was introduced into PFY1p to create a synthetic inducible promoter (iPFY1p) that functions in an inverter device. Orthogonal and scalable regulation of synthetic promoters was then demonstrated for the first time using customisable Transcription Activator-Like Effectors (TALEs) modified and designed to act as orthogonal repressors for specific PFY1-based promoters. The ability to diversify a promoter at its core sequences and then independently target Transcription Activator-Like Orthogonal Repressors (TALORs) to virtually any of these sequences shows great promise toward the design and construction of future synthetic gene networks that encode complex "multi-wire" logic functions.

  3. Rational Diversification of a Promoter Providing Fine-Tuned Expression and Orthogonal Regulation for Synthetic Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blount, Benjamin A.; Weenink, Tim; Vasylechko, Serge; Ellis, Tom

    2012-01-01

    Yeast is an ideal organism for the development and application of synthetic biology, yet there remain relatively few well-characterised biological parts suitable for precise engineering of this chassis. In order to address this current need, we present here a strategy that takes a single biological part, a promoter, and re-engineers it to produce a fine-graded output range promoter library and new regulated promoters desirable for orthogonal synthetic biology applications. A highly constitutive Saccharomyces cerevisiae promoter, PFY1p, was identified by bioinformatic approaches, characterised in vivo and diversified at its core sequence to create a 36-member promoter library. TetR regulation was introduced into PFY1p to create a synthetic inducible promoter (iPFY1p) that functions in an inverter device. Orthogonal and scalable regulation of synthetic promoters was then demonstrated for the first time using customisable Transcription Activator-Like Effectors (TALEs) modified and designed to act as orthogonal repressors for specific PFY1-based promoters. The ability to diversify a promoter at its core sequences and then independently target Transcription Activator-Like Orthogonal Repressors (TALORs) to virtually any of these sequences shows great promise toward the design and construction of future synthetic gene networks that encode complex “multi-wire” logic functions. PMID:22442681

  4. C-Nucleosides: Synthetic Strategies and Biological Applications

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Štambaský, J.; Hocek, Michal; Kočovský, P.

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 109, č. 12 (2009), s. 6729-6764 ISSN 0009-2665 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC512; GA AV ČR IAA400550902 Grant - others:NIH(US) 1R03TW007372-01 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : nucleosides * nucleobases * biological activity * extension of genetic alphabet Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 35.957, year: 2009

  5. Synthetic Biology: Engineering, Evolution and Design (SEED) Conference 2015

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-01

    yield stability. Transgenic approach plays an important role in crop improvement. Currently, transgenes are randomly inserted into maize genome...Improve Microbial Biofuel Production - Mary Dunlop, University of Vermont 2:30-3:00 PM Targeted Integration of Genes into the Maize Genome Facilitated...highlights gaps in the present understanding of M13 biology. Understanding the subtleties of regulation will be important for maximally ex- ploiting the

  6. Addressing the Misuse Potential of Life Science Research-Perspectives From a Bottom-Up Initiative in Switzerland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oeschger, Franziska M; Jenal, Ursula

    2018-01-01

    Codes of conduct have received wide attention as a bottom-up approach to foster responsibility for dual use aspects of life science research within the scientific community. In Switzerland, a series of discussion sessions led by the Swiss Academy of Sciences with over 40 representatives of most Swiss academic life science research institutions has revealed that while a formal code of conduct was considered too restrictive, a bottom-up approach toward awareness raising and education and demonstrating scientists' responsibility toward society was highly welcomed. Consequently, an informational brochure on "Misuse potential and biosecurity in life sciences research" was developed to provide material for further discussions and education.

  7. Glutarimides: Biological activity, general synthetic methods and physicochemical properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Popović-Đorđević Jelena B.

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Glutarimides, 2,6-dioxopiperidines are compounds that rarely occur in natural sources, but so far isolated ones exert widespread pharmacological activities, which makes them valuable as potential pharmacotherapeutics. Glutarimides act as androgen receptor antagonists, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytics, antibacterials, and tumor suppressing agents. Some synthetic glutarimide derivatives are already in use as immunosuppressive and sedative (e.g., thalidomide or anxiolytics (buspirone drugs. The wide applicability of this class of compounds, justify the interest of scientists to explore new pathways for its syntheses. General methods for synthesis of six-membered imide ring, are presented in this paper. These methods include: a reaction of dicarboxylic acids with ammonia or primary amine, b reactions of cyclization: amido-acids, diamides, dinitriles, nitrilo-acids, amido-nitriles, amido-esters, amidoacyl-chlorides or diacyl-chlorides, c adition of carbon-monoxide on a,b-unsaturated amides, d oxidation reactions, e Michael adition of active methylen compounds on methacrylamide or conjugated amides. Some of the described methods are used for closing glutarimide ring in syntheses of farmacological active compounds sesbanimide and aldose reductase inhibitors (ARI. Analyses of the geometry, as well as, the spectroscopic analyses (NMR and FT-IR of some glutarimides are presented because of their broad spectrum of pharmacological activity. To elucidate structures of glutarimides, geometrical parameters of newly synthesized tert-pentyl-1-benzyl-4-methyl-glutarimide-3-carboxylate (PBMG are analyzed and compared with the experimental data from X-ray analysis for glutarimide. Moreover, molecular electrostatic potential (MEP surface which is plotted over the optimized geometry to elucidate the reactivity of PBMG molecule is analyzed. The electronic properties of glutarimide derivatives are explained on the example of thalidomide. The Frontier Molecular Orbital

  8. Importance of bottom-up approach in water management - sustainable development of catchment areas in Croatia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavic, M.; Cosic-Flajsig, G.; Petricec, M.; Blazevic, Z.

    2012-04-01

    Association for preservation of Croatian waters and sea SLAP is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that gathers more than 150 scientist, hydrologist and civil engineers. SLAP has been established in 2006 and since then had organized many conferences and participated in projects dealing with water management. We have started our work developing plans to secure water supply to the 22 (21) villages in the rural parts of Dubrovnik (Pozega) area and trough the years we have accumulated knowledge and experience in dealing with stakeholders in hydrology and water management. Within this paper we will present importance of bottom-up approach to the stakeholders in water management in Croatia on two case studies: (1) Management of River Trebizat catchment area - irrigation of the Imotsko-Bekijsko rural parts; (2) Development of multipurpose water reservoirs at the River Orljava catchment area. Both projects were designed in the mid and late 1980's but due to the war were forgotten and on halt. River Trebizat meanders between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and acquires joint management by both countries. In 2010 and 2011 SLAP has organized conferences in both countries gathering all the relevant stakeholders from representatives of local and state governments, water management companies and development agencies to the scientist and interested NGO's. The conferences gave firm scientific background of the topic including presentation of all previous studies and measurements as well as model results but presented in manner appropriate to the stakeholders. The main result of the conference was contribution to the development of joint cross-border project sent to the EU Pre-Accession funds in December 2011 with the aim to strengthen capacities of both countries and prepare larger project dealing with management of the whole Trebizat catchment area to EU structural funds once Croatia enters EU in 2013. Similar approach was taken for the Orljava catchment in the northern

  9. Top-down or bottom-up: Contrasting perspectives on psychiatric diagnoses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Willem MA Verhoeven

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Willem MA Verhoeven1,2, Siegfried Tuinier1, Ineke van der Burgt31Vincent van Gogh Institute for Psychiatry, Venray, The Netherlands; 2Department of Psychiatry, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; 3Department of Human Genetics, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The NetherlandsAbstract: Clinical psychiatry is confronted with the expanding knowledge of medical genetics. Most of the research into the genetic underpinnings of major mental disorders as described in the categorical taxonomies, however, did reveal linkage with a variety of chromosomes. This heterogeneity of results is most probably due to the assumption that the nosological categories as used in these studies are disease entities with clear boundaries. If the reverse way of looking, the so-called bottom-up approach, is applied, it becomes clear that genetic abnormalities are in most cases not associated with a single psychiatric disorder but with a certain probability to develop a variety of aspecific psychiatric symptoms. The adequacy of the categorical taxonomy, the so-called top-down approach, seems to be inversely related to the amount of empirical etiological data. This is illustrated by four rather prevalent genetic syndromes, fragile X syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, 22q11 deletion syndrome, and Noonan syndrome, as well as by some cases with rare chromosomal abnormalities. From these examples, it becomes clear that psychotic symptoms as well as mood, anxiety, and autistic features can be found in a great variety of different genetic syndromes. A psychiatric phenotype exists, but comprises, apart from the chance to present several psychiatric symptoms, all elements from developmental, neurocognitive, and physical characteristics.Keywords: genetic disorders, psychiatric symptoms, phenotype, mental disorders

  10. A bottom-up model of spatial attention predicts human error patterns in rapid scene recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Einhäuser, Wolfgang; Mundhenk, T Nathan; Baldi, Pierre; Koch, Christof; Itti, Laurent

    2007-07-20

    Humans demonstrate a peculiar ability to detect complex targets in rapidly presented natural scenes. Recent studies suggest that (nearly) no focal attention is required for overall performance in such tasks. Little is known, however, of how detection performance varies from trial to trial and which stages in the processing hierarchy limit performance: bottom-up visual processing (attentional selection and/or recognition) or top-down factors (e.g., decision-making, memory, or alertness fluctuations)? To investigate the relative contribution of these factors, eight human observers performed an animal detection task in natural scenes presented at 20 Hz. Trial-by-trial performance was highly consistent across observers, far exceeding the prediction of independent errors. This consistency demonstrates that performance is not primarily limited by idiosyncratic factors but by visual processing. Two statistical stimulus properties, contrast variation in the target image and the information-theoretical measure of "surprise" in adjacent images, predict performance on a trial-by-trial basis. These measures are tightly related to spatial attention, demonstrating that spatial attention and rapid target detection share common mechanisms. To isolate the causal contribution of the surprise measure, eight additional observers performed the animal detection task in sequences that were reordered versions of those all subjects had correctly recognized in the first experiment. Reordering increased surprise before and/or after the target while keeping the target and distractors themselves unchanged. Surprise enhancement impaired target detection in all observers. Consequently, and contrary to several previously published findings, our results demonstrate that attentional limitations, rather than target recognition alone, affect the detection of targets in rapidly presented visual sequences.

  11. Representing Farmer Irrigation Decisions in Northern India: Model Development from the Bottom Up.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Keeffe, J.; Buytaert, W.; Brozovic, N.; Mijic, A.

    2017-12-01

    The plains of northern India are among the most intensely populated and irrigated regions of the world. Sustaining water demand has been made possible by exploiting the vast and hugely productive aquifers underlying the Indo-Gangetic basin. However, an increasing demand from a growing population and highly variable socio-economic and environmental variables mean present resources may not be sustainable, resulting in water security becoming one of India's biggest challenges. Unless solutions which take into consideration the regions evolving anthropogenic and environmental conditions are found, the sustainability of India's water resources looks bleak. Understanding water user decisions and their potential outcome is important for development of suitable water resource management options. Computational models are commonly used to assist water use decision making, typically representing natural processes well. The inclusion of human decision making however, one of the dominant drivers of change, has lagged behind. Improved representation of irrigation water user behaviour within models provides more accurate, relevant information for irrigation management. This research conceptualizes and proceduralizes observed farmer irrigation practices, highlighting feedbacks between the environment and livelihood. It is developed using a bottom up approach, informed through field experience and stakeholder interaction in Uttar Pradesh, northern India. Real world insights are incorporated through collected information creating a realistic representation of field conditions, providing a useful tool for policy analysis and water management. The modelling framework is applied to four districts. Results suggest predicted future climate will have little direct impact on water resources, crop yields or farmer income. In addition, increased abstraction may be sustainable in some areas under carefully managed conditions. By simulating dynamic decision making, feedbacks and interactions

  12. Bottom-up modeling approach for the quantitative estimation of parameters in pathogen-host interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehnert, Teresa; Timme, Sandra; Pollmächer, Johannes; Hünniger, Kerstin; Kurzai, Oliver; Figge, Marc Thilo

    2015-01-01

    Opportunistic fungal pathogens can cause bloodstream infection and severe sepsis upon entering the blood stream of the host. The early immune response in human blood comprises the elimination of pathogens by antimicrobial peptides and innate immune cells, such as neutrophils or monocytes. Mathematical modeling is a predictive method to examine these complex processes and to quantify the dynamics of pathogen-host interactions. Since model parameters are often not directly accessible from experiment, their estimation is required by calibrating model predictions with experimental data. Depending on the complexity of the mathematical model, parameter estimation can be associated with excessively high computational costs in terms of run time and memory. We apply a strategy for reliable parameter estimation where different modeling approaches with increasing complexity are used that build on one another. This bottom-up modeling approach is applied to an experimental human whole-blood infection assay for Candida albicans. Aiming for the quantification of the relative impact of different routes of the immune response against this human-pathogenic fungus, we start from a non-spatial state-based model (SBM), because this level of model complexity allows estimating a priori unknown transition rates between various system states by the global optimization method simulated annealing. Building on the non-spatial SBM, an agent-based model (ABM) is implemented that incorporates the migration of interacting cells in three-dimensional space. The ABM takes advantage of estimated parameters from the non-spatial SBM, leading to a decreased dimensionality of the parameter space. This space can be scanned using a local optimization approach, i.e., least-squares error estimation based on an adaptive regular grid search, to predict cell migration parameters that are not accessible in experiment. In the future, spatio-temporal simulations of whole-blood samples may enable timely

  13. Construction of mammographic examination process ontology using bottom-up hierarchical task analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yagahara, Ayako; Yokooka, Yuki; Jiang, Guoqian; Tsuji, Shintarou; Fukuda, Akihisa; Nishimoto, Naoki; Kurowarabi, Kunio; Ogasawara, Katsuhiko

    2018-03-01

    Describing complex mammography examination processes is important for improving the quality of mammograms. It is often difficult for experienced radiologic technologists to explain the process because their techniques depend on their experience and intuition. In our previous study, we analyzed the process using a new bottom-up hierarchical task analysis and identified key components of the process. Leveraging the results of the previous study, the purpose of this study was to construct a mammographic examination process ontology to formally describe the relationships between the process and image evaluation criteria to improve the quality of mammograms. First, we identified and created root classes: task, plan, and clinical image evaluation (CIE). Second, we described an "is-a" relation referring to the result of the previous study and the structure of the CIE. Third, the procedural steps in the ontology were described using the new properties: "isPerformedBefore," "isPerformedAfter," and "isPerformedAfterIfNecessary." Finally, the relationships between tasks and CIEs were described using the "isAffectedBy" property to represent the influence of the process on image quality. In total, there were 219 classes in the ontology. By introducing new properties related to the process flow, a sophisticated mammography examination process could be visualized. In relationships between tasks and CIEs, it became clear that the tasks affecting the evaluation criteria related to positioning were greater in number than those for image quality. We developed a mammographic examination process ontology that makes knowledge explicit for a comprehensive mammography process. Our research will support education and help promote knowledge sharing about mammography examination expertise.

  14. Pharmacy-based statewide naloxone distribution: A novel "top-down, bottom-up" approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, Kate J; Harrand, Brianna; Floyd, Carly Cloud; Schaefer, Craig; Acosta, Julie; Logan, Bridget Claire; Clark, Karen

    To highlight New Mexico's multifaceted approach to widespread pharmacy naloxone distribution and to share the interventions as a tool for improving pharmacy-based naloxone practices in other states. New Mexico had the second highest drug overdose death rate in 2014 of which 53% were related to prescription opioids. Opioid overdose death is preventable through the use of naloxone, a safe and effective medication that reverses the effects of prescription opioids and heroin. Pharmacists can play an important role in providing naloxone to individuals who use prescription opioids. Not applicable. Not applicable. A multifaceted approach was utilized in New Mexico from the top down with legislative passage of provisions for a statewide standing order and New Mexico Department of Health support for pharmacy-based naloxone delivery. A bottom up approach was also initiated with the development and implementation of a training program for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. Naloxone Medicaid claims were used to illustrate statewide distribution and utilization of the pharmacist statewide standing order for naloxone. Percent of pharmacies dispensing naloxone in each county were calculated. Trained pharmacy staff completed a program evaluation form. Questions about quality of instruction and ability of trainer to meet stated objectives were rated on a Likert scale. There were 808 naloxone Medicaid claims from 100 outpatient pharmacies during the first half of 2016, a 9-fold increase over 2014. The "A Dose of R x eality" training program evaluation indicated that participants felt the training was free from bias and met all stated objectives (4 out of 4 on Likert scale). A multi-pronged approach coupling state and community collaboration was successful in overcoming barriers and challenges associated with pharmacy naloxone distribution and ensured its success as an effective avenue for naloxone acquisition in urban and rural communities. Copyright © 2017 American Pharmacists

  15. Bottom-up assembly of salivary gland microtissues for assessing myoepithelial cell function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozdemir, Tugba; Srinivasan, Padma Pradeepa; Zakheim, Daniel R; Harrington, Daniel A; Witt, Robert L; Farach-Carson, Mary C; Jia, Xinqiao; Pradhan-Bhatt, Swati

    2017-10-01

    Myoepithelial cells are flat, stellate cells present in exocrine tissues including the salivary glands. While myoepithelial cells have been studied extensively in mammary and lacrimal gland tissues, less is known of the function of myoepithelial cells derived from human salivary glands. Several groups have isolated tumorigenic myoepithelial cells from cancer specimens, however, only one report has demonstrated isolation of normal human salivary myoepithelial cells needed for use in salivary gland tissue engineering applications. Establishing a functional organoid model consisting of myoepithelial and secretory acinar cells is therefore necessary for understanding the coordinated action of these two cell types in unidirectional fluid secretion. Here, we developed a bottom-up approach for generating salivary gland microtissues using primary human salivary myoepithelial cells (hSMECs) and stem/progenitor cells (hS/PCs) isolated from normal salivary gland tissues. Phenotypic characterization of isolated hSMECs confirmed that a myoepithelial cell phenotype consistent with that from other exocrine tissues was maintained over multiple passages of culture. Additionally, hSMECs secreted basement membrane proteins, expressed adrenergic and cholinergic neurotransmitter receptors, and released intracellular calcium [Ca 2+ i ] in response to parasympathetic agonists. In a collagen I contractility assay, activation of contractile machinery was observed in isolated hSMECs treated with parasympathetic agonists. Recombination of hSMECs with assembled hS/PC spheroids in a microwell system was used to create microtissues resembling secretory complexes of the salivary gland. We conclude that the engineered salivary gland microtissue complexes provide a physiologically relevant model for both mechanistic studies and as a building block for the successful engineering of the salivary gland for restoration of salivary function in patients suffering from hyposalivation. Copyright © 2017

  16. Structure and Biological Activity of Pathogen-like Synthetic Nanomedicines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lőrincz, Orsolya; Tőke, Enikő R.; Somogyi, Eszter; Horkay, Ferenc; Chandran, Preethi; Douglas, Jack F.; Szebeni, János; Lisziewicz, Julianna

    2011-01-01

    Here we characterize the structure, stability and intracellular mode-of-action of DermaVir nanomedicine that is under clinical development for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. This nanomedicine is comprised of pathogen-like pDNA/PEIm nanoparticles (NPs) having the structure and function resembling spherical viruses that naturally evolved to deliver nucleic acids to the cells. Atomic force microscopy demonstrated spherical 100–200nm NPs with a smooth polymer surface protecting the pDNA in the core. Optical-absorption determined both the NP structural stability and biological activity relevant to their ability to escape from the endosome and release the pDNA at the nucleus. Salt, pH and temperature influence the nanomedicine shelf-life and intracellular stability. This approach facilitates the development of diverse polyplex nanomedicines where the delivered pDNA-expressed antigens induce immune responses to kill infected cells. PMID:21839051

  17. Standardization, IPRs and open innovation in synthetic biology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Minssen, Timo; Wested, Jakob

    2015-01-01

    various technical areas, and also the basic processes of standard creation can be divided into various categories. The different technical areas and processes for standardization differ in their speed, handling of interests and ability to dodge possible IPR concerns. Out of this notion arise i.......a. the following questions: How comparable is engineering in SB to more traditional fields of engineering?; What type of standards have emerged and what bearing have IPRs on these?; and, How applicable are the approaches adopted by the standards-setting organizations in the information and communication technology...... (ICT) to biological standards? These and further legal issues related to IP, regulation, standardization, competition law & open innovation require a careful consideration of new user-generated models and solutions. Before this background this paper seeks to describe IP and standardization aspects...

  18. RNA and RNP as Building Blocks for Nanotechnology and Synthetic Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohno, Hirohisa; Saito, Hirohide

    2016-01-01

    Recent technologies that aimed to elucidate cellular function have revealed essential roles for RNA molecules in living systems. Our knowledge concerning functional and structural information of naturally occurring RNA and RNA-protein (RNP) complexes is increasing rapidly. RNA and RNP interaction motifs are structural units that function as building blocks to constitute variety of complex structures. RNA-central synthetic biology and nanotechnology are constructive approaches that employ the accumulated information and build synthetic RNA (RNP)-based circuits and nanostructures. Here, we describe how to design and construct synthetic RNA (RNP)-based devices and structures at the nanometer-scale for biological and future therapeutic applications. RNA/RNP nanostructures can also be utilized as the molecular scaffold to control the localization or interactions of target molecule(s). Moreover, RNA motifs recognized by RNA-binding proteins can be applied to make protein-responsive translational "switches" that can turn gene expression "on" or "off" depending on the intracellular environment. This "synthetic RNA and RNP world" will expand tools for nanotechnology and synthetic biology. In addition, these reconstructive approaches would lead to a greater understanding of building principle in naturally occurring RNA/RNP molecules and systems. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Synthetic biology and biomimetic chemistry as converging technologies fostering a new generation of smart biosensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scognamiglio, Viviana; Antonacci, Amina; Lambreva, Maya D; Litescu, Simona C; Rea, Giuseppina

    2015-12-15

    Biosensors are powerful tunable systems able to switch between an ON/OFF status in response to an external stimulus. This extraordinary property could be engineered by adopting synthetic biology or biomimetic chemistry to obtain tailor-made biosensors having the desired requirements of robustness, sensitivity and detection range. Recent advances in both disciplines, in fact, allow to re-design the configuration of the sensing elements - either by modifying toggle switches and gene networks, or by producing synthetic entities mimicking key properties of natural molecules. The present review considered the role of synthetic biology in sustaining biosensor technology, reporting examples from the literature and reflecting on the features that make it a useful tool for designing and constructing engineered biological systems for sensing application. Besides, a section dedicated to bioinspired synthetic molecules as powerful tools to enhance biosensor potential is reported, and treated as an extension of the concept of biomimetic chemistry, where organic synthesis is used to generate artificial molecules that mimic natural molecules. Thus, the design of synthetic molecules, such as aptamers, biomimetics, molecular imprinting polymers, peptide nucleic acids, and ribozymes were encompassed as "products" of biomimetic chemistry. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Integrative systems and synthetic biology of cell-matrix adhesion sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamir, Eli

    2016-09-02

    The complexity of cell-matrix adhesion convolves its roles in the development and functioning of multicellular organisms and their evolutionary tinkering. Cell-matrix adhesion is mediated by sites along the plasma membrane that anchor the actin cytoskeleton to the matrix via a large number of proteins, collectively called the integrin adhesome. Fundamental challenges for understanding how cell-matrix adhesion sites assemble and function arise from their multi-functionality, rapid dynamics, large number of components and molecular diversity. Systems biology faces these challenges in its strive to understand how the integrin adhesome gives rise to functional adhesion sites. Synthetic biology enables engineering intracellular modules and circuits with properties of interest. In this review I discuss some of the fundamental questions in systems biology of cell-matrix adhesion and how synthetic biology can help addressing them.