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Monthly Archives: January 2010

Outlaw Biology

Know what the DIYbio crew is really good at? PR and marketing. This event today and tomorrow at UCLA — “Public Participation in the Age of Big Bio” — has the makings of historic significance, though. *This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

The Virus Inside Us

Carl Zimmer, author of The Tangled Bank: An Introduction to Evolution and Microcosm, gives a wide-ranging talk riffing on the theme of viruses, touching on synthetic biology and the role of viruses in human evolution.

Molds and Map Making

When presented with oat flakes arranged in the pattern of Japanese cities around Tokyo, single-cell slime molds constructed networks of nutrient-channeling tubes that are quite similar to the layout of the Japanese rail system, with a larger number of strong, resilient tunnels connecting centrally located oats. Researchers from Japan and England reported their finding in […]

Oscillate Wildly

The hot synthetic biology video of the moment. Putting together molecular timekeeping and quorum sensing. Beautiful. Plus, bonus video for the obscure title reference of this blog post. Morrissey forever!

Rob Carlson on Synthetic and DIY Bio

Video interview from the Carlson’s new book on biotech, Biology Is Technology, is due out in February

Green-Gene Swapping

Via Scientists have discovered a sea slug that takes the green photosynthetic organelles called chloroplasts from the algae it eats and hold them inside its own cells. The result: an animal that can feed itself using photosynthesis, like a plant. From the article: “[O]nce a young slug has slurped its first chloroplast meal from […]

Why “Minimal Organisms”?

The recent issue of Nature Biotechnology, which focused on synthetic biology, contained a concise and accessible editorial, “Unbottling the Genes,” outlining synbio’s next big goal, which seemed worth excerpting here: “There are many views on what synthetic biology is, and what it should be, but one aspect that differentiates this field from previous genetic/metabolic engineering […]