Start 2019 discovering the best Synbio stories that BactToThefuture left us last December!


1. Engineered #bacteria could bring us a step closer to #Mars 🚀🛰️
In this years iGEM edition the team members from Exeter University presented their idea to produce oxygen in Mars using a compound found in the Martian soil, perchlorate. To do so they engineered bacteria that are able to break down this toxic chemical into chloride and breathable oxygen. An approach that could boost future space missions to the red planet and that meanwhile can be very useful down here on Earth as perchlorate is a common chemical found in contaminated water. Read more >

2. These #Bacteria have a genetic firewall to protect the against horizontal gene transfer
Bacteria are used to swapping DNA fragments in a process called horizontal gene transfer. This feature allows them to adapt to new environments but it also favors the spread of viruses and antibiotic resistance. To understand more about this process and its implications researcher from Yale University have worked with engineered E.coli that are not able to efficiently read and translate this information as if they had a sophisticated firewall! Read more >

3. As #synbio advances more and more patents are filed! Get an overview of the field with this review! #biotech
Great discoveries can have amazing applications and in a growing field such as synthetic biology the chances are even higher. In every step of the way many patents are filed to protect and exploit these advances and this review maps them all!  Read more >

4. These are some of the tools that are boosting #synbio!
Engineering microorganisms in a precise and predictable way requires more than biochemical and genetic tools because working with living organisms is much more complex than working with programmable machines. To overcome this limitation a new generation of tools is rising: computer-aided systems are revolutionising the way biologist and engineers approach this challenge and although there is still a long way ahead the future looks bright! Read more >

5. Ready for 2019? Here are some #synbio dates to mark in your calendar
Conferences, meetings, workshops… 2019 will be full of synthetic biology events that you should not miss! The early birds already started announcing some of the dates so get ready to start planning your Synbio year! Read more >

6. In #Europe we are working to stay at the forefront of Synbio research!
The US is still the world leader of synbio but Europe doesn’t want to stay behind and its moving in the right direction! Emerging startups, more investor’s money and a consumer driven mindset are shaping the future of the field here in Europe. Read more >

7. Viruses that eavesdrop #bacteria! A fascinating soap opera with microscopic drama!
When bacteria grow within a community they release molecules to communicate with their peers around to coordinate their behavior and actions. But the neighbouring bacteria are not the only ones that can receive these signals. Bacteriophages (viruses that reproduce within bacterial cells) are able to listen to this signals and coordinate their attack ensuring that there is enough bacterial cells around for a successful infection. MIniature spionage! Read more >

8. What do you about #synbio? Listen to this podcast and discover all about the enormous potential of this field! 🎧
The first edition of “Science Perspective” (the podcast of A Writer In The Lab) featured Dr Angel Goñi-Moreno, a Spanish computer engineer and synbio lecturer at Newcastel University. Listen to Angel’s first hand experience and discover all about the great potential of this field. Read more >

The #AwesomeMicrobes could not miss the beautiful holiday season and that’s why these two fascinating microorganisms made it to December’s top10!

9. We are dreaming of a white Christmaaaas 🎵 and these #AwesomeMicrobes can make it happen! ❄️🎄

10. Everything is ready for tonight. Time to celebrate and toast with champagne for a happy new year! These #AwesomeMicrobes will put the sparkling touch to our celebration! 🍾🥂