Synthetic Biology

Synthetic biology moves into the realm of the unnatural

October 18, 2021

artificial metalloenzyme
An artificial metalloenzyme based on the natural enzyme called P450 (gray structure). UC Berkeley chemists created a heme molecule (magenta) with an embedded iridium atom (red) that, in E. coli, was incorporated into P450 to execute a reaction unknown in the natural world. (UC Berkeley image by Brandon Bloomer)

The field of synthetic...

Jay Keasling receives distinguished scientist fellow award

September 23, 2021

Jay Keasling

Jay Keasling, a senior faculty scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), professor at UC Berkeley, and CEO of the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), has been named a Distinguished Scientist Fellow by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

He and the other...

New AI Speeds Discovery in Synthetic Biology

October 8, 2020

Artificial Intelligence machine learning

Berkeley Lab’s machine learning algorithm accelerates metabolic engineering in synthetic biology. (Image Adobestock)

Synthetic biology, like artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning, is a relatively modern field that applies emerging technologies to achieve innovation. Now scientists at Lawrence Berkeley...

New discovery facilitates design of synthetic proteins

January 9, 2020

synthetic film that mimics transmembrane proteins

Researchers, led by UC Berkeley lead investigator Ting Xu, Professor of Chemistry & Materials Science and Engineering, have created a synthetic material that is as effective as naturally occurring proteins in transporting molecules through membranes, a major milestone that could transform such fields as medicine, life sciences, alternative energy and environmental science.

New research illuminates E. Coli toxin cancer-causing mechanism

September 18, 2019

E Coli

New research from a team of scientists from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), UC Berkeley and Scripps Institution of Oceanography of University of California, San Diego (SCRIPPS) has used synthetic biology to determine the active mechanism of E. Coli toxin in breaking down DNA.

Jay Keasling awarded Doing a World of Good Medal

September 12, 2019

AIChE Gala graphic

AIChE has announced the 2019 Doing a World of Good Medal will be presented to Jay D. Keasling, Professor, University of California, Berkeley and Senior Faculty Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Jay, is a pre-eminent scientist in the field of synthetic biology. AIChE is pleased to have the opportunity to honor Jay’s contributions and achievements for this most deserving recognition.

Frances Arnold turns microbes into living factories

May 28, 2019

Frances Arnold. Photo by Erika Gerdemark for The New York Times.Instead of synthesizing new biochemicals from scratch, the Nobel Prize-winning chemist puts nature to the task — with astonishing results.

PASADENA, Calif. — The engineer’s mantra, said Frances Arnold, a professor of chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology, is: “Keep it simple, stupid.” But Dr. Arnold, who last year became just the fifth woman in history to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, is the opposite of stupid, and her stories sometimes turn rococo.

MOF water harvesting technology one of ten innovations that could change the world

April 4, 2019

Testing the water harvester

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has released the results of its first search for the Top Ten Emerging Technologies in Chemistry. Initiated as a special activity in honor of IUPAC’s 100th anniversary this year, the results have been published in the 2019 April-June 2019 issue of Chemistry International. Research from the lab of Omar Yaghi on water harvesting from desert air technology has been featured as one of the top 10.

Semisynthetic artemisinin anti-malarials reach African children

August 15, 2014

Jay Keasling with children in a village outside Nairobi, Kenya. (Photo by Gabrielle Tenenbaumn)1.7 million treatments of semisynthetic artemisinin have shipped to Africa, where they will treat malaria sufferers in Burkina Faso, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Niger and Nigeria over the next few months. This shipment is the culmination of a 13-year project in the lab of CBE professor Jay Keasling. Enough semisynthetic artemisinin has been produced for 70 million treatments, and the capacity exists to produce 100-150 million treatments annually.

Potential new way to boost biofuels and bioproducts production

November 27, 2018

Itay Budin and Jay KeaslingJBEI researchers gain understanding of central metabolism of bacteria and yeast species commonly used in biotechnology.