Synthetic Biology: Bringing Engineering Back Into Genetic Engineering


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Genetic Engineering lacks a few elements of Engineering. Here is what those are and how Synthetic Biology (or Genetic Engineering v2.0) would account for those.

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Synthetic Biology: Bringing Engineering Back Into Genetic Engineering

  1. 1. synthetic biologyBRINGING ENGINEERING BACKINTO GENETIC ENGINEERINGSachin Singh RawatSchool of Biotech, GGS IP University
  2. 2. Elements of Engineering wemust bring to BiologyStandardizationof partsEase ofcompilationOpensourcing ofinformationUserInterfaceDemocratizationof technologyCitizeninvolvement
  3. 3. An Optimistic ComparisonNetworksComputersOperating systemsModulesLogic gatesTransistors, diodesDigital codeError protectionData compressionTissue, culturesCellsRibosomesPathwaysBiochemical reactionsProteins, genesNucleotidesDNA repairOverlapping ORFs
  4. 4. Extending the comparison, weare trying toEdit the source codeCopy source code intoanother programWrite entirely new codeRebootDevelop new computersrunning on similar or newoperating systemsChange the proteinexpressedStandardize and copy genesinto other organismsEngineer completely newproteinsReprogram cellsCreate new life similar towhat we know, and possiblyalien-like too
  5. 5. Do-it-yourself BiologyMicrosoft, Apple and HP were started in garagesGarage Biology: How ready are we?DNA synthesis at $ 0.32 /bpA computer virus is much less devastating than the one webiologists are familiar withSmart-phones, Internet and digital learningDevelop “Glow-curd” by transfecting yeast DNA isolated fromcurd by GFP plasmid ordered over eBay
  6. 6. BioBricksDNA sequences of defined structure and function sharing acommon interface, flanked by universal downstream and upstreamsequencesInitiated by Tom Knight, Drew Endy, Chris Voigt at MITParts, devices and systemsParts encode basic functions like promoter, proteins etcDevices are collections of parts that implement some user-definedfunction, for instance a riboregulator that produces a fluorescentprotein on encountering a certain environmental signalSystems perform high-level tasks which involve integration ofmultiple devices
  7. 7. Some from the iGEMBactoblood: A substitute fornatural blood with properties ofRBCs, without any blood groupspecificityE. chromi: A microbe thatgives out colour if a particularpathogen is present in watersampleCell-to-cell communicationsystem that allows propagationof a set of instructions codedonto a plasmidCancer specific RNAi mediatedcell destructionA biological system that sensesglucose concentration andreleases insulin in responseArsenic bio-detectorHarvesting cellulose and light topower butanol biosynthesis
  8. 8. Genome Compiler
  9. 9. Junkomics: Making proteins fromnon-coding DNADevelop non-coding region into a BioBrickAdd a promoter and other transcription machineryCouple with a module to secret this protein on the cellsurfaceInsert as a plasmid in a minimal organismObtain the protein produced and check for anytherapeutic or industrial use
  10. 10. Wildest SynBio ScenariosA microbe which ingested with water comes out infaeces, coloured according to your gut bacteriaMicrobes which live only to produce power/proteinsof interestA virus that corrects network perturbations indiseasesA seed that grows into a houseMicrobe(s) which help us colonize Mars
  11. 11. Thank You