Posts Tagged ‘genetic engineering’

Fast new, 1-step genetic engineering technology

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 05-22-2013

A new, streamlined approach to genetic engineering drastically reduces the time and effort needed to insert new genes into bacteria, the workhorses of biotechnology, scientists are reporting. Published in the journal ACS Synthetic Biology, the method paves the way for more rapid development of designer microbes for drug development, environmental cleanup and other activities.

Keith Shearwin and colleagues explain that placing, or integrating, a piece of the genetic material DNA into a bacterium’s genome is critical for making designer bacteria. That DNA can give microbes the ability to churn out ingredients for medication, for instance, or substances that break down oil after a big spill. But current genetic engineering methods are time-consuming and involve many steps. The approaches have other limitations as well. To address those drawbacks, the researchers sought to develop a new, one-step genetic engineering technology, which they named “clonetegration,” a reference to clones or copies of genes or DNA fragments.

They describe development and successful laboratory tests of clonetegration in E. coli and Salmonella typhimurium bacteria, which are used in biotechnology. The method is quick, efficient and easy to do and can integrate multiple genes at the same time. They predict that clonetegration “will become a valuable technique facilitating genetic engineering with difficult-to-clone sequences and rapid construction of synthetic biological systems.”

Thanks to the American Chemical Society for contributing this story.

Artistic Bacteria Draw Picture of Albert Einstein

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 01-19-2011

Researchers at University of California, San Francisco are creating programmable microbes. Christopher Voigt, an associate professor at the University of California, treats the design of a microbe for a particular task much like writing a new computer program. By making changes in the microbial genetic circuitry Voigt and others have been able to program bacteria to do unique things such as draw the image of Albert Einstein on a petri dish! Checkout minute 1:21 of this video. Voigt used his circuit design method to make light sensitive E. coli that can record a shadow image of Albert Einstein.