Engage the Hyper-Drive: Synbio’s Fastest Are Going Faster, Bigger as Kytopen, Ginkgo, Twist Biosciences, Arzeda, TeselaGen Feel the Need for Speed
by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest) … Is everyone’s organism for making fuels, chemicals, materials, foods, flavors, fragrances and therapeutics — beautifully and slowly — heading for rapid obsolescence?
“Everyone wants to make it faster,” notes Kytopen co-founder Cullen Buie. “Over the past 18 months, we discovered there’s a huge market for speed.”
Say goodbye to artisanal design in synbio, for sure — the days of mysterious alchemists and alchemy. Now it’s about huge throughput, fast, cheap.
The stakes are high because fast is getting faster, that’s the takeaway from news pouring out of the advanced materials and the bioeconomy sectors this week via Ginkgo BioWorks, Twist Bioscience, Arzeda, TeselaGen, Kytopen, and Volkervessels.
Ginkgo supersizes its Twist order: A billion base pairs of DNA, fast
From Silicon Valley and Boston, we heard that Ginkgo Bioworks and Twist Bioscience Corporation expanded their already gargantuan synthetic DNA supply deal — now, it’s one billion base pairs, including genes up to five kilobases in length.
Ginkgo’s technology platform is bringing biotechnology into consumer goods markets, enabling fragrance, cosmetic, nutrition, food companies, and more to make better products.
Arzeda, TeselaGen expand to accelerate the design-build-test cycle
Meanwhile, from San Francisco and Seattle we note that Arzeda will license TeselaGen’s proprietary cloud-based informatics solution and collaborate to extend TeselaGen’s state-of-the-art biological design automation platform.
Kytopen: Delivering DNA to bacterial cells 10,000 times faster
As co-founder Cullen Buie observes:
“One of the main bottlenecks during genetic engineering is the actual delivery of the DNA into the cell. As it stands, a highly trained person inserts DNA into cells one sample at a time, which is a manual and labor intensive process. Kytopen has invented a continuous flow process for delivery using electricity in microfluidic devices to zap bacterial cells as they’re flowing inside microscale channels. This is the new wave of genetic engineering, delivering DNA to bacterial cells up to 10,000 times faster than current state-of-the-art methods.
“Initially we believed that the industry would be interested in engineering new types of microorganisms, but they are far more interested in speeding up the whole process,
The plethora of applications enabled by low-cost DNA synthesis and sequencing, engineering, and analysis have allowed scientists to make jet fuel, cure chronic diseases, and develop synthetic leather. Imagine what’s next. “The bacteria are amazing, marvelous little creatures,” Cullen says affectionately. “What’s fascinating to me is how much potential there is. To the extent that we can unlock that diversity with our creative engineering, this is a tremendous opportunity.”
1 septillion reasons Dad’s CRISPR-Cas9 may already be Toast
In the rapid-fire tech and political world of 2017, a day feels like a month, a year is like a generation, and sometimes it feels like 90% of the population hasn’t heard of a technology wave before it is swamped by the next tsunami, and that may well be the case with the first wave of CRISPR-Cas technology — and we looked at it in 1 Septillion Reasons your Dad’s CRISPR-CAS9 may already be toast.
It was voted “Breakthrough of the Year” in 2015 by AAAS and big companies are just now taking big licenses. It’s a hyper-specific, gene level version of what any gardener does with a pair of pruning shears, yet takes the system of improving genomes, using the set of DNA that Nature gives us to work with, to another level. But it’s been slooooow.
One more thing: Volkerwessels’ 100% recycled plastic road is gaining viral visibility
The idea has been around for some time — what is racing in this case is social media, which is to say the visibility of this idea.
It’s lightweight design, a fraction of the construction time, virtually maintenance free, and three times the expected lifespan. PlasticRoad, which consists of 100% recycled material, is the ideal sustainable alternative to conventional road structures. READ MORE includes VIDEO