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Synthetic biology

Objectives:
The design and engineering of SYSTEMS based on biological functional rules aimed at obtaining new functionalities NOT present in NATURE
  • Engineering systems made from biological "building blocks" (functional proteins, sub-cellular machinery, organisms
  • Pervasive throughout industry (materials synthesis, energy production, bio-remediation, lubrication, monitoring and sensing, drug delivery.)
  • Versatile and "intelligent" - combining different functions, changing parameters according to local conditions
  • Industrial fabrication of systems "to order", based on standard components and interfaces
Čo tam patrí:
  • Engineered functional building blocks: using biological processes to achieve substantially new functionality (sub-cellular modules, molecular machinery etc.)
  • Components and interfaces (eg synthetic chromosomes, engineered signalling pathways, transport modules.)
  • Working platforms: "optimised" organisms for synthetic biology applications (eg to maximise efficiency of the engineered system etc.)
  • Control, regulatory, and communication systems (genetic regulatory circuits, feedback mechanisms within components and modules etc.)
  • Safety and security technologies (including containment technologies)
  • Production methods (programmable high throughput DNA/protein production)
  • Design tools (but NOT as central objective): eg computational analysis, methods for functional protein design, systems modelling.
  • They can address different biological processes (genetic circuits, metabolic pathways, signal transduction) and components
  • They should have clear applications in mind although they will mainly focus on a proof of principle
  • They should aim for tangible outcomes, demonstrating engineering control over biological processes, or "platform technologies".
Čo tam nepatrí:
  • Research related to Artificial Life
  • Research whose main focus is computational or biomimetic chemistry
  • Basic science mainly open-ended and solely aimed at the acquisition of new knowledge
  • Research on functional genomics and proteomics, single-component genetic engineering and classical biotechnology
  • Research on structural biology and systems biology mainly aimed at the generation of basic knowledge
  • Research on tissue engineering
  • Research on artificial organs and bionics implants
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