Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Universiteit of Groningen launches research centre for synthetic biology

14.03.2008
The University of Groningen now has a Centre for Synthetic Biology (CSB). Synthetic biology is a new phase in biotechnology in which biologists, bioinformaticians, chemists, physicists and engineers work together to construct the elements of a biological cell using chemical and biochemical building blocks. Over the next five years, the University of Groningen will invest EUR 2 million per year in the new research centre.

Key participants in the Groningen initiative are the biochemist Prof. Bert Poolman (director of the new centre), molecular biologist Prof. Roel Bovenberg (also research leader at DSM in Delft), microbiologist Prof. Lubbert Dijkhuizen (director of the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute), organic chemist Prof. Ben Feringa (Jacobus van ’t Hoff Professor of Molecular Sciences), physicist Prof. Jasper Knoester (director of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials) and molecular microbiologist Prof. Arnold Driessen. The key research areas of the CSB are as follows:

- cell factories for producing pharmaceuticals (including antibiotics) and important biological proteins

- systems for controlled drug delivery and new diagnostics

- materials (e.g. biosensors and biochips) based on biological components.

BioBricks

Until recently, biologists, chemists and biochemists were involved in studying complex biological systems. Synthetic biology takes things a step further: cells and cell components are built to a design produced by humans in order to produce specific products or devices. The starting point is not a cell (or cell component) that has evolved, but a synthetic cell (cell component) specifically designed to perform a non-natural function. Among other things, synthesized DNA is used, and natural as well as non-natural building blocks. As in architecture and electrical engineering, cell components (‘BioBricks’) and the production process will be standardized. In the future it may well be possible to build a complete synthetic cell.

Potential

Synthetic biology is seen as the ‘third technological revolution’, following on from the chip, the foundation of modern electronics, and biotechnology made possible with the discovery of the structure of DNA. Synthetic biology combines these two earlier developments, thus opening up new and promising possibilities. The University of Groningen therefore believes that it is of great strategic importance to invest in fundamental research that will advance this groundbreaking technology.

Support

The new centre, with four new Synthetic Biology sections, is not alone in this task, but will be supported by the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry, and the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB). In the years to come, the CSB will launch an intensive recruitment campaign to attract top researchers and further steps will be taken to establish cooperative partnerships with knowledge centres and businesses in the Netherlands and abroad.

Jos Speekman | alfa
Further information:
http://www.rug.nl

More articles from Interdisciplinary Research:

nachricht Decoding the regulation of cell survival - A major step towards preventing neurons from dying
04.10.2018 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden

nachricht New Cluster of Excellence “Centre for Tactile Internet with Human-in-the-Loop” (CeTI)
28.09.2018 | Technische Universität Dresden

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>