Researchers have developed a more reliable approach to synthetic biology, the assembly of genetic 'standard parts' to create an organism with desired traits. They've been able to combine a library of parts with computer models that help predict the behavior of those parts when they're combined in a living system. The approach takes some of the trial and error out of the process, moving 'tweaking' of the system earlier in the process.
The team used their improved method to build a genetic timer for brewer's yeast, capable of causing the yeast to clump together within a fermentation vat at a specific time. We'll talk with a member of the team about the research, and what improved synthetic biology might be used for.
Produced by Charles Bergquist, Director and Contributing Producer