synthetic biology

Synthetic Biology Summer Schools

For graduate students interested in getting intensive training in synthetic biology, there are several summer schools worth considering: CSHL Summer School in Synthetic Biology: This program spans 2 weeks and combines lectures and intensive lab experience. Application deadline is April 15th.  SSBSS 2017:The Synthetic and Systems Biology Summer School (SSBSS) is a full-immersion five-day residential […]

Apply to Q-Bio Summer School

There is still time to apply to the 2016 Q-Bio Summer School. Applications are due on Monday, February 16 at 11:59pm (MST). The application requires a CV and a 1-page statement of interest in the summer school (combined into a single .pdf). Scholarships are available. To apply now, please visit the Q-Bio website: The […]

Noise in synthetic genetic oscillators

This paper focuses on characterizing the stochastic dynamics of previously described synthetic genetic oscillators. It is a very nice combination of experimental and computational work. The computational aspect includes both image analysis and parameter estimation. They breakdown the noise into different components including intrinsic noise, cell cycle noise, and parameter variability by looking at the expression […]

Entrainment of a genetic oscillator

This paper from Bill Mather group in the Physics Department at Virginia Tech shows how a genetic oscillator responds to noisy signals. The authors show that the oscillator gets entrained despite the noise affecting the input signal. This is a nice use of an existing oscillator developed in Jeff Hasty’s group. After demonstrating this property […]

Synthetic biology textbooks

synthetic biology books

I recently came across a couple of synthetic biology textbooks that you may find useful if you have not seen them yet. BioBuilder published by O’Reilly in July 2015. The lead author is Natalie Kuldell  who is an Instructor in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT as well as Founder and President of the […]

Teaching Synthetic Biology with GenoCAD


Teaching synthetic biology can be challenging because it involves concepts from so many fields.  I would like to give credit to two professors who have been teaching synthetic biology using GenoCAD. I was directly involved in the class taught by Massimiliano Pierobon at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Using video conference, I first gave a seminar […]

Minimal Cell Cycle

This is a great example of a paper where synthetic biology meets systems biology. The authors developed a minimal cell cycle regulatory network by engineering a synthetic CDK. To simplify the cell cycle control machinery, a cassette expressing a fusion of cdc13 and cdc2under the control of the cdc13 regulatory elements was integrated into the genome. They show that oscillation of a […]

Universal genetic parts for bacteria

This paper describes UBER, a set of universal genetic parts for bacteria.  This gene expression system for bacteria relying on a self-regulated T7 promoter. The advantage of this system is that it can be ported across species. The system is primed by using degenerate promoter sequences that works in many bacteria. The sequences were also […]

Synthetic Biology Security Course

synthetic biology security

Overview: Practical Introduction to Synthetic Biology Security Synthetic biology security can be difficult to assess. The emergence of synthetic biology is catalyzing a change of paradigms in life sciences. It supports the development of a new generation of biotechnology products, it enables radically new kinds of experiments in basic research, and it provides new training opportunities […]