The Strand - Synthetic Biology Newsletter, Issue 6
In This Issue
Gene synthesis – what once was record time is now standard
New! GeneArt® Strings™ DNA Fragments—fast and affordable for every lab
Do you have a tight timeline and small budget for your cloning project but still want to achieve high expression yields?
Tips & Tricks - Top 5 Gateway® Cloning Tips & Tricksread more>>
Genome Engineering using TAL Effectors
Synthetic Biology Resources
Gene synthesis – what once was record time is now standard
GeneArt® gene synthesis services have helped make Life Technologies one of the foremost pioneers in the now widely recognized field of synthetic biology. Recent advances in our proprietary GeneAssembler® synthesis platform allow for the synthesis of custom-made genes in only 5 business days.
In gene synthesis, production speed can be critical—for example, when a sudden viral outbreak requires the quick development and production of vaccine. A key example of such an emergency was the 2009 swine flu outbreak in Europe. During the crisis, the institution in Germany responsible for disease control and prevention, the Robert Koch Institute, as well as several major pharmaceutical companies involved in vaccine development, ordered GeneArt® genetic material for vaccine production because of our extremely fast turnaround time.
Our production time of 3–5 days for viral coat proteins was achieved to address just such an emergency outbreak scenario. Then regarded as record speed, our production turnaround time has now become available to every GeneArt® customer, as the technologies developed to fight emergency outbreaks have found their way into the regular gene synthesis assembly line.
Send us your story about how Life Technologies is enabling you to make breakthroughs, and we’ll feature your story in our next issue. Email us at SynBioNews@lifetech.com
New! GeneArt® Strings™ DNA Fragments ‐ Fast and affordable for every lab
Do you have a tight timeline and small budget for your cloning project, but still want to achieve high expression yields? With GeneArt® Strings™ DNA Fragments we offer you now a fast and affordable alternative to traditional cloning and full gene synthesis: custom DNA fragments made by gene synthesis delivered in only 5–7 business days and ready for cloning into your vector.
Assembly of the Strings™ DNA Fragments works great with GeneArt® Seamless Cloning & Assembly Kits. Assemble up to 4 cloned fragments in only 30 minutes or less at room temperature.
Have tips and tricks you use in your lab?
Algae are are a large, diverse group of simple, Single celled, typically autotrophic organisms. Photosynthetic algae produce oxygen as a byproduct and efficiently store solar energy in the form of lipids, making algae a viable candidate biofuel production. Along with sunlight and warmth, algae utilize CO2 as a source of energy, and can sequester undesirable CO2, such as from power plants.
Other characteristics support algae utilization in commercial processes, including their high biomass yield per acre of cultivation and fast growth. As a non-food source, algae can grow on cheap, available land and not compete for arable acreage. Instead of competing for freshwater needs, algae can thrive in brackish water or wastewater, saving drinkable water. Algae also find commercial use as nutritional supplements, vitamins, food, livestock feed & fodder, cosmetics, fertilizer, soil conditioner, chemicals, perfumes and natural pigments. Algae can control pollution in sewage and wastewater facilities, reduce CO2 emissions in power plants and capture fertilizers in runoff from farms, among other uses.
By the 1940s, scientists discovered that algae can produce lipids. By the Late 40s and early 50s, algae were being considered as a food source. The 1970s energy crisis provided new life for concept of algae as a fuel source and by the 1980s, commercial development of the microalgae industry began in the form of nutraceuticals. Fast forward to 2008, when a Continental airlines flight was powered an algae-fueled jet. In 2012, Life Technologies, in part, sponsored algae-fueled motorcycle in the Baja 1000 and other events, further spurring the concept of algae fueled vehicles.
Despite the commercial promise of algae, several challenges must be overcome for their widespread use. New synthetic biology technologies may help unlock these hurdles and enable higher growth density, lower cost, optimized growth conditions to prevent overcrowding, optimal species selection, increased lipid production, greater hardiness, improved growth rate, ability to thrive in temperature extremes and the ability to thrive in the presence of competing strains. Synthetic Biology enables the use of renewable, sustainable feedstocks like algae to produce chemicals, biofuels and other desired products. SynBio provides “Biofactories” that incorporate optimized hosts, vectors & specialty media to accomplish these goals.
As a step toward harnessing the power of algae, in late 2011 Life Technologies commercialized the GeneArt® Algae Engineering Kits, as the first all-in-one solution for simplifying algae engineering. Previously, algae research and production labs relied on poorly characterized, nonoptimized cell stocks and cloning tools for their work. Preparing growth medium was convoluted and time-consuming, and growth rates and yields from the transformed cells were disappointing. The new kits for Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Synechococcus elongatus are the first commercially available genetic modification and expression systems for photosynthetic microalgae.
We have developed algae engineering kits in various configurations. Whether you’re performing basic research or embarking on a new Bioproduction strategy, you can rely on the optimized and quality-controlled reagents and protocols in the GeneArt® Algae Engineering Kits. And to see the our tools in action, see recent publications such as Simkovsky et al, PNAS vo. 109 no. 41 pp. 16678-16683
Recently published your data? Share your data with us and we’ll feature it in our newsletter. Email us at
Cloning 1-4 fragments has never been quicker or easier. Look at how the newest cloning tools from GeneArt® compare to traditional cloning methods. Check out this free online tool that guides you through planning, design and assembly for your construct and PCR primer design.
|Synthetic biology is an emerging
discipline that mixes engineering and
biology to construct novel biological
entities with broad applications in
medicine, energy, the environment,
and materials. Innovative tools and
technologies have been developed
for use in strain characterization,
modeling, and engineering
|Join us at the BIO International
Convention as both academic and
industrial experts cover the various
methods, technologies, and processes
that have been developed for conducting
synthetic biology–based work for the
enhanced production of biofuels, highvalue
chemicals, and other bio-based
What does Synthetic Biology mean to you?
Check out this Synthetic Biology word cloud we created using comments from our Facebook fans
Did You Know?New, even faster production time GeneArt® gene synthesis production times are now up to 2 days faster—for example, only 9 days for genes up to 1.2 kb. Our Express service allows us to shorten this time further—down to 7 days. This means you benefit from a processing time, from planning to receiving a 100% accurate sequence, comparable to your required lab time at similar cost. But you gain free optimization for expression, zero effort, and individual flexibility compared to starting with a sequence design from scratch.
How can I access the progress of my Gene Synthesis project?
Come see us at these upcoming tradeshows & conferences
|Bioenergy 2013 Releasing Green Bioenergy||Nanjing, China||April 25–27, 2013|
|PEGS The Essential Protein Engineering Summit||
||April 29–May 3, 2013|
|BIO Biotechnology Industry Organization||
|June 16–19, 2013|
|BioBricks SB6.0||London, UK||July 9-11, 2013|