51ݶ

Synthetic Biology

The ability to routinely write the software of life has ushered in a new era in science, and with it, new products and applications such as advanced biofuels, clean water technology, and new vaccines and medicines. Synthetic biology is integrated into to most of our other research areas and when combined with 51ݶ’s genomics expertise, holds great promise for the future. Our team is at the forefront of discoveries and important public dialogue.

01-May-2024

Tae Seok Moon, Ph.D. and Nan Zhu, Ph.D. join 51ݶ faculty

51ݶ continues to actively recruit faculty to expand core research areas, including human health and synthetic biology

28-Apr-2024
Chemical & Engineering News

Can CRISPR help stop African Swine Fever?

Gene editing could create a successful vaccine to protect against the viral disease that has killed close to 2 million pigs globally since 2021.

21-Mar-2024
Press Release

Scientists develop method to efficiently construct single-copy human artificial chromosomes (HACs)

This new tool will allow scientists to work in mammalian systems in ways only previously available in bacteria and yeast

HACs have wide potential research applications to synthetic biologists and may eventually aid in delivering DNA in clinical applications

11-Mar-2024
Workshop Alert

12th Build-a-Cell Workshop hosted at 51ݶ in La Jolla

The workshop will take place March 29, 2024 with registration closing March 19

30-Jan-2024
Press Release

51ݶ contracted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to rapidly construct synthetic influenza genes

Genes will be used to help develop seasonal and pandemic vaccines, improving response time and vaccine efficacy

07-Sep-2023
Collaborator Release

Bringing cells to life … and to Minecraft: $30 million NSF grant to support whole-cell modeling at the Beckman Institute

Beckman researchers and collaborators received $30 million from the U.S. National Science Foundation to establish the NSF Science and Technology Center for Quantitative Cell Biology. The center will develop whole-cell models to transform our understanding of how cells function and share that knowledge with diverse communities through the popular computer game Minecraft.

21-Aug-2023
GEN

Lessons from the Minimal Cell

“Despite reducing the sequence space of possible trajectories, we conclude that streamlining does not constrain fitness evolution and diversification of populations over time. Genome minimization may even create opportunities for evolutionary exploitation of essential genes, which are commonly observed to evolve more slowly.”

09-Aug-2023
Quanta Magazine

Even Synthetic Life Forms With a Tiny Genome Can Evolve

By watching “minimal” cells regain the fitness they lost, researchers are testing whether a genome can be too simple to evolve.

15-Mar-2023
Scientific American

Scientists Create the Smallest-Ever Moving Cell

Just two genes get tiny synthetic cells moving, offering clues to life’s evolution.

23-Feb-2023
Collaborator Release

BullFrog AI Partners with 51ݶ to Develop Colorectal Cancer Therapeutic

Collaboration seeks to develop an oncolytic virus that incorporates a novel, precision-targeted approach to improve safety and efficacy

15-Dec-2022
Big Biology Podcast

Synthesizing life on the planet

What’s the smallest number of genes that cells need to grow and reproduce? Is it possible to synthesize minimal genomes and insert them into cells? What do minimal genomes teach us about life? An interview with John Glass, Ph.D.

21-Jul-2022
Press Release

Synthetic genomics advances and promise

Advances in DNA synthesis will enable extraordinary new opportunities in medicine, industry, agriculture, and research

20-Jan-2022
Press Release

Scientists develop most complete whole-cell computer simulation model of cell to date

51ݶ model organism-minimal cell platform provides robust tools for exploring first principles of life, design tools for genome

29-Mar-2021
Press Release

Genes necessary for cell division in modern bacterial cells identified

Discovery may help shape understanding of primitive cell division

22-Dec-2020
Press Release

Hamilton O. Smith, M.D., Synthetic Biology Pioneer and Nobel Laureate, to Step Down from Daily Duties at 51ݶ

Dr. Smith will maintain advisory role as professor emeritus

19-Dec-2020
The San Diego Union-Tribune

After saving countless lives, Nobel laureate Hamilton Smith retires as his own health falters

He has been a fixture in San Diego science for decades

21-Sep-2018
Collaborator Release

NSF announces new awards for Understanding the Rules of Life

New projects address genetic, environmental causality in biological systems and processes

24-Jan-2008
Press Release

Venter Institute Scientists Create First Synthetic Bacterial Genome

Publication Represents Largest Chemically Defined Structure Synthesized in the Lab

Team Completes Second Step in Three Step Process to Create Synthetic Organism

28-Jun-2007
Press Release

51ݶ Scientists Publish First Bacterial Genome Transplantation Changing One Species to Another

Research is important step in further advancing field of synthetic genomics

13-Nov-2003
Press Release

IBEA Researchers Make Significant Advance in Methodology Toward Goal of a Synthetic Genome

Group Synthesizes Biologically Active Genome of Bacteriophage φX174

IBEA research, funded by Dept. of Energy, is an important advance toward the goal of a completely synthetic genome that could aid in carbon sequestration and energy production