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Posts Tagged "synthetic biology"

Guest Blog

Mixed cultures: art, science, and cheese

Cheese is an everyday artifact of microbial artistry. Discovered accidentally when someone stored milk in a stomach-canteen full of gut microbes, acids, and enzymes thousands of years ago, cheesemaking evolved as a way to use good bacteria to protect milk from the bad bacteria that can make us sick, before anyone knew that bacteria even [...]

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Observations

Researchers Engineer Rewriteable Digital Data Storage in the DNA of Living Bacteria

DNA

Engineers have invented a way to store a single rewriteable bit of data within the chromosome of a living cell—a kind of cellular switch that offers precise control over how and when genes are expressed. For three years, Jerome Bonnet, Pakpoom Subsoontorn, and Drew Endy of Stanford University tinkered with the switch in Escherichia coli [...]

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Observations

Could Human and Computer Viruses Merge, Leaving Both Realms Vulnerable?

Influenza virus

Mark Gasson had caught a bad bug. Though he was not in pain, he was keenly aware of the infection raging in his left hand, knowing he could put others at risk by simply coming too close. But his virus wasn’t a risk for humans. Gasson, a cybernetics scientist at the University of Reading, was [...]

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Observations

Can fermenting microbes save us from climate change?

Clostridium-ljungdahlii

Just as bacteria and fungi are methodically breaking down the millions of gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, microbes might help us with another uncontrolled emission due to human activity—carbon dioxide. An anaerobic bacteria by the name of Clostridium ljungdahlii can ferment everything from sugars to simple mixtures of carbon dioxide and [...]

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Observations

What’s next for synthetic life?

synthetic life genome next step dinosaurs venter

COLD SPRING, N.Y.— J. Craig Venter and his colleagues recently announced that they had created the first cell to run on a fully artificial genome. So what’s next for this synthetic strain of microscopic Mycoplasma mycoides and the new technology? The "synthetic cell" achievement has been lauded, condemned and undercut, but it has yet to [...]

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