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Archive for the ‘bioengineering’ category

Oct 10, 2019

Biology Really May Be Our Future

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing, singularity

Many of us are fascinated by our various computing devices — our smartphones, our smart watches, and an ever-growing array of smart devices. What we sometimes forget is that we are biological creatures (at least, until The Singularity), and that even though biology as a discipline has been around much longer than computing, biology may yet supersede it.

If the 20th century was the era of computers, the 21st century may be the era of biology. And the two may even merge. Hello, synthetic biology and biological computing!

Last week SynBioBeta hosted The Global Synthetic Biology Summit, “where tech meets bio and bio meets tech.” People were urged to attend “to see how synthetic biology is disrupting consumer products, food, agriculture, medicine, chemicals, materials, and more.”

Oct 9, 2019

How Close Are We to Harnessing Synthetic Life?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, health

Scientists are exploring how to edit genomes and even create brand new ones that never existed before, but how close are we to harnessing synthetic life?
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Scientists have made major strides when it comes to understanding the base code that underlies all living things—but what if we could program living cells like software?

Continue reading “How Close Are We to Harnessing Synthetic Life?” »

Oct 9, 2019

Bio-Mimetic Real-Time Cortex Project — Whole Brain Emulation — Dr. Alice Parker — University of Southern California — ideaXme — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: big data, bioengineering, complex systems, driverless cars, drones, electronics, engineering, information science, neuroscience, robotics/AI

Oct 9, 2019

Cervical cancer ‘cure’ closer with gene-editing breakthrough, scientists say

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics

Queensland researchers say they can cure cervical cancer in mice using gene editing technology and are now working towards human trials.

Oct 7, 2019

‘Next industrial revolution’: How synthetic biology will transform manufacturing and improve sustainability

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, sustainability

To create sustainable cities, we need to use synthetic biology.

Oct 6, 2019

China Grows Cotton Plant on the Far Side of the Moon in Biological First

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biological, space

China has broken new lunar ground, successfully growing cotton on the moon for the first time. The experiment was part of the Chang’e 4 project, in which China is exploring the far side of the moon with a lander. This is the same lander that recently discovered a mysterious gel-like substance on the moon’s surface.

The cotton plant was one of several organisms encased in a mini biosphere weighing just 2.6 kilograms (5.7 lbs) with a pressure of 1 atmosphere which was aboard the lander. The organisms experienced an environment largely similar to that on Earth, however, they did have to contend with both space radiation and microgravity.

In an interview with engineering magazine IEEE Spectrum, project leader for the experiment Xie Gengxin explained more about the challenges of growing plants in the restricted environment. “The weight of the Chang’e-4 probe demanded that the weight [of the experiment] can’t exceed three kilograms,” he said. That’s why it was important to select the biological samples in the experiment carefully.

Oct 5, 2019

Dr. Kelly Drew — Institute of Arctic Biology — University of Alaska — Human Hibernation Biotech — ideaXme — Ira Pastor

Posted by in categories: aging, bioengineering, biotech/medical, cryonics, genetics, health, life extension, neuroscience, science, space travel

Oct 3, 2019

Is the World Ready for Synthetic People?

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, computing, food, genetics

Drew Endy almost can’t talk fast enough to convey everything he has to say. It’s a wonderfully complex message filled with nuance, a kind of intricate puzzle box being built by a pioneer of synthetic biology who wants to fundamentally rejigger the living world.

Endy heads a research team at Stanford that is, as he puts it, building genetically encoded computers and redesigning genomes. What that means: he’s trying to engineer life forms to do useful things. Just about anything could come out of this toolkit: new foods, new materials, new medicines. So you are unlikely to find anyone who is more optimistic than he is about the potential for synthetic biology to solve big problems.

That’s what makes Endy so compelling when he worries about how the technology is being developed. Perhaps more than anyone else working in synthetic biology, Endy has tried to hold the community to account.

Oct 2, 2019

Scientists recreate in flies the mutations that let monarch butterfly eat toxic milkweed with impunity

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, food, genetics, health

The fruit flies in Noah Whiteman’s lab may be hazardous to your health.

Whiteman and his University of California, Berkeley, colleagues have turned perfectly palatable —palatable, at least, to frogs and birds—into potentially poisonous prey that may cause anything that eats them to puke. In large enough quantities, the flies likely would make a human puke, too, much like the emetic effect of ipecac syrup.

That’s because the team genetically engineered the flies, using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, to be able to eat milkweed without dying and to sequester its toxins, just as America’s most beloved butterfly, the , does to deter predators.

Oct 2, 2019

Checkerspot raises $13M Series A to produce biotech-enabled performance materials

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, chemistry

Checkerspot, a biotech startup using microalgae to produce performance materials, announced today that it has closed its Series A financing for $13 million. The round was led by Builders VC, and included Breakout Ventures, Viking Global Investors, KdT Ventures, Plug and Play Ventures, Sahsen Ventures, and Godfrey Capital, among others.

Checkerspot combines bioengineering, chemistry, and materials science to go from microalgae to next-generation performance materials.

“This is a pretty significant milestone for us,” said Checkerspot CEO Charles Dimmler. He said the funding would support the company’s continued infrastructure development, as well as ongoing commercial activities with Beyond Surface Technologies and DIC that focus on novel triglycerides and polyols. He also said it would help complete the development of a direct-to-consumer product later this year.

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