RVC scientists develop safe and inexpensive alternative to antibiotics in production of biofuels and biopharmaceuticals
Researchers at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) have developed a system that eliminates the need for antibiotics and resistance genes in the engineering of industrial and medical products.
The method involves safer, less costly alternatives and is well suited for industrial production of many biofuels and biopharmaceuticals. This research has been published in the online access journal BMC Biotechnology.
Genetic engineering underpins much of biotechnology, and antibiotic selection of engineered strains is a key tool. Unfortunately, antibiotic selection methods risk spreading resistance traits, particularly as biotechnology products move into the environment and clinic. There have been alternatives, but none are satisfactory for wide application.
Gene targeting is the insertion of DNA into specific sites or genes within the genome of selected cells in order to alter gene expression for a particular purpose.
While working on gene targeting in bacteria, RVC researchers discovered that a well-known interaction between a cell membrane synthesis gene and the biocide triclosan could be exploited for strain selection. Surprisingly, triclosan selection performs better than conventional antibiotic selection.
“We think this simple technology is well suited for industrial scale fermentations that produce a range of valuable products, including bio-fuels and bio-pharmaceuticals,” said Dr Liam Good, at the Royal Veterinary College and lead researcher on the project. “More importantly, the new system is relatively safe and inexpensive, because the gene is native in all bacteria and triclosan is approved for use in many household applications.”
The research was carried out with Dr Shan Goh of the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm.
Owen Morris | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...