Science Commentary

Nucleosome cores are screws, not cans or bubbles

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Each one of your cells is too small to be seen with the naked eye. Remarkably, each one has 6 feet of DNA packed inside a smaller compartment (nucleus) within the cell. Very complicated data has solved this mystery…can the data be presented in an attractive and understandable way? Read the rest of this entry »

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A Giant Leap for Synthetic Genes

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Science magazine has just published the latest tour de force in building genetic machinery from the ground-up since Mycoplasma laboratorium (“Mycoplasma of the laboratory”).

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A Biological Parts Repository journey

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I’m heading back to ASU from a very mind-expanding week of leadership training, a very generous  investment in the future of synthetic biology hosted by the Sloan Foundation, NSF, SynBERC, The BioBricks Foundation, and the Woodrow Wilson Center. Twenty  emerging leaders of synthetic biology were invited to propose and develop strategic action plans [1] to advance synthetic biology in the public interest. The speakers were amazing and inspiring. I feel both fired up and focused.

This blog post marks the beginning of my synthetic biology community project, a parts registry that captures the community’s activities related to every biological part that lives in the database. I plan to draw framework structures from the big biology databases, dynamic crowd-sourced editing sites, and even social networking sites. The project will start as a series of micro-experiments where I ask the community to report their experience with a biological part or a protocol.

The repository I envision has no official name yet. But as I typed the title of this post, Biological Parts Repository or “BPR”; seemed to have potential…beeper? The acronym is short, and can be pronounced as a word that ends in a sound that makes it work as a verb (I beepered the promoter we ran those measurements on). #GuyKawasaki

  1. Haynes KA. Incentive-driven information sharing for engineering biology. http://synbioleap.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/incentive-driven-information-sharing-for-engineering-biology.pdf