Chemistry And Biochemical Engineering : The Fields Of Synthetic Biology And Chemical Engineering

1270 WordsApr 8, 20176 Pages
Significance of work: Recent advances in the fields of synthetic biology and biochemical engineering have been fundamental in progressing the ability of engineers to sustainably and quickly produce specialty chemicals in bioreactors. Using well-characterized microorganisms to generate commodity chemicals is a scalable and cost-effective method for producing a plethora of complex products that are difficult to synthesize chemically. In fact, the workhorses of biology- enzymes- enable high specificity in biochemical transformations (for example, to isomerize small molecules, or to act on a specific isomer preferentially over a different isomer) that has not yet been possible via chemistry alone. Thus, applying the synthetic biology toolbox…show more content…
Alper’s work has introduced a method for concurrent optimization and screening of full biosynthesis pathways. Speaker question: How does selection pressure enable evolutionary selection? Evolutionary selection of clones or library variants depends on the fitness of the microbe in question against a specific selection pressure. Selection pressure allows for the identification of mutants who can survive under the selection pressure in question; selection pressures, thus, must be carefully designed to minimize background and to select for mutants that are performing the desired function (which is intimately linked with survival). Thus, survivors of selective pressure are those whose mutations provide them with a fitness advantage. One must be careful, however, because as Dr. Alper astutely noted: you get what you select for! Since cellular metabolism is very complex, cells will inevitably find ways to survive selection pressure by mutating an off-target DNA. Key results explained: The main results and phenomena observed in the manuscript of interest [2] can be grouped into four overarching points (explained below). However, the main point of this paper that should not be lost is that the authors developed a novel, robust method for continuous evolution of large DNA elements in a eukaryotic organism (yeast) (Fig. 1). The system, termed ICE (In vivo Continuous Evolution) consists of transforming yeast with a single

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