Systems biology is a new approach to bioscience that combines theory, computer modelling and experiments. It is revolutionising how bioscientists think and work and will make the outputs on their work more useful, and easier to use in industry and policymaking. Instead of using the traditional biology approach of observation and experiment, systems biology uses computer simulations and modelling to process results, design new experiments and generate predictive solutions.
The new European programme, Systems Biology of Microorganisms (SysMO), is being managed in the UK by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), who contributed with £7.4 M to this initiative. BBSRC is already a leading supporter of systems biology, having invested £47M in 6 centres across the UK in the last two years and launching £35M of initiatives to foster systems biology related knowledge transfer last autumn.
Professor Julia Goodfellow, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: "In order to remain internationally competitive in the biosciences, the research community must look to a future which is increasingly quantitative and data rich. We have to adopt approaches which enable us to look at the whole system. Using such systems approaches to study microorganisms, as announced today, will lead to both a leap forward in our understanding and also offer us real opportunities for developing applications useful for industry, consumers and patients. I hope that these multi-national projects will form the basis for future pan-European systems biology research."
SysMO aims to apply the principles of systems biology to studying single cell organisms. The projects funded are intended to significantly improve our understanding of microorganisms that have important applications for industry or medicine. Some of the projects funded are:
* A project involving UK, German and Dutch researchers to understand what triggers butanol production in the bacterium Clostridium acetobutylicum. Butanol is being studied as a potential biofuel in place of ethanol and the research team hope that their work could lead to more effective fuel production. The bacterium is closely related to the hospital superbug Clostridium dificile and the research may also generate useful countermeasures in the fight against hospital acquired infections.
* Extremophiles are organisms that thrive in extreme conditions unsuitable for most forms of life. One SysMO funded project involving partners from four countries, including the UK, is planning to study extremophiles with the aim of understanding how their metabolic pathways are affected by temperature shifts. The research will help both to understand how this basic biological function in organisms will be affected by climate change and also help to develop 'extreme' enzymes for clinical and industrial use.
* A project to look at why small genetic differences cause stark and important differences in species. Scientists in six countries, including the UK, aim to understand the differences between a group of highly-related microorganisms - Lactococcus lactis, Enterococcus faecalis, Streptococcus pyogenes. All have a metabolism that is able to convert sugar lactose into lactic acid but the first is important to industry for fermenting food, such as yoghurt while the latter two are a major contamination threat for food and water and a cause of toxic shock syndrome respectively.
The SysMO programme is funding a total of 11 projects running for three years. It is being financed by the UK, Austria, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway and Spain.
Matt Goode | alfa
Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View
22.06.2018 | University of Sussex
New cellular pathway helps explain how inflammation leads to artery disease
22.06.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.06.2018 | Life Sciences