February 2009 Archives

The International Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition is no longer just for students. The organisers, apparently, have opened up the contest to teams that could include home biohackers, something that DIYbio enthusiast Mackenzie Cowell has been pushing at for some time.

According to his latest post at the DIYbio blog, iGEM will run a non-institutional team division. A team can register for $500 and will have access to partner deals, such as cheap DNA synthesis from Geneart and access to the Matlab synthetic-biology toolkit, as well as parts from the BioBrick Foundation's registry of genes.

Squid's sucker rings point to synthetic biomaterials

"The sucker rings have long been assumed to be made of the sugar-based polymer chitin that comprises the beak of the Humboldt squid and is a common structural material in invertebrates such as arthropods and other mollusks. It was therefore surprising that the researchers could not find any trace of chitin..." - they seem to be made from a protein complex.

Standards and BioBricks

The Scientist looks at the iGEM competition and standards work in the BioBricks Foundation for synthetic biology.

Two scientists talk (briefly) about their systems biology careers

Short profiles and interviews with Malcolm Young, e-Therapeutics, and Hiroaki Kitano, SBI, in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery.

Europe is the place to be for synthetic biology this spring with no less than three conferences in the region packed into the space of a month. First up is the IET's BioSysBio conference in Cambridge on 23-24 March (disclosure: I cover synthetic biology for the IET's Engineering & Technology magazine). Then just a few days later, it's over to the Costa Brava for the European Science Foundation's ECSB II: Design, Programming and Optimisation of Biological Systems, which runs from 29 March to 3 April.

After that, you get a bit of a break before Biofine 2009 in Frieburg on 16-17 April.

It'll be interesting to see how the programmes differ and whether anyone has the stamina to talk at all three.

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This page is an archive of entries from February 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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