Skip to comments.New 1-step process for designer bacteria
Posted on 05/28/2013 11:24:28 PM PDT by neverdem
A simpler and faster way of producing designer bacteria used in biotechnology processes has been developed by University of Adelaide researchers.
The researchers have developed a new one-step bacterial genetic engineering process called 'clonetegration', published in the journal ACS Synthetic Biology.
Led by Dr Keith Shearwin, in the University's School of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, the research facilitates faster development of designer bacteria used in therapeutic drug development, such as insulin, and other biotechnology products.
Designer bacteria are produced by integrating extra pieces of genetic material into the DNA of bacteria, in this case E. coli, so that the bacteria will make a desired product.
"E. coli strains are commonly used workhorses for biotechnology and metabolic engineering," Dr Shearwin says.
"For example, new genes or even the genetic material for whole metabolic pathways are inserted into the bacteria's chromosome so that they produce compounds or proteins not normally produced. Insulin is an example of a therapeutic product produced in this way."
"The existing process for integrating new genes is inefficient, taking several days. Our new process can be completed overnight."
As well as speeding up the process, 'clonetegration' enables multiple rounds of genetic engineering on the same bacteria, and simultaneous integration of multiple genes at different specific locations.
"This will become a valuable technique for facilitating genetic engineering with sequences that are difficult to clone as well as enable the rapid construction of synthetic biological systems," Dr Shearwin says.
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Without getting into the moral or religious corners of this discussion - I wonder how long it’ll be before we create something we can’t contain.
I've genetically engineered E. coli hundreds of times, and I've never caused a gene to be integrated into the chromosome. I usually put the gene into a plasmid, which I force the bacteria to use by also growing them with an antibiotic; if they don't have the plasmid, they die. I guess that integrating genes into their chromosome would obviate the need for using antibiotic, which might be important for industrial scale processes. But for the ordinary bench scientist, I think plasmids are going to remain the gene delivery vehicle of choice for a long time.
[I wonder how long itll be before we create something we cant contain.]
Ask the [Former] Boy Scouts of America.
Creating things they couldn’t contain certainly worked out well for the theocratic “human” livestock breeders in Ancient Egypt, and Greece, and Babylon, and Rome...
What could possibly go wrong.
Are automobiles and firearms self-replicating pathogens?
Stupid is as Abomination does.
Figured I would ignore the arguments of “what, at this point, does it matter.” My point remains. Thanks