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Synthetic Biology Explained

Synthetic Biology Explained

Related:  Synthetic & Systems Biology

Are Your Bacteria Making You Fat? If you reach for that tasty piece of chocolate, even though you are trying to lose weight, are you doing it out of your own volition? Or are you actually being controlled by the bacteria in your gut? This is the question posed in BioEssays by Dr Carlo Maley of the University of California San Francisco. “Bacteria within the gut are manipulative,” said Marley. “There is a diversity of interests represented in the microbiome, some aligned with our own dietary goals and others not.”

5 Diseases You Should Be More Afraid Of Than Ebola The current outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa is the largest in history, and has already killed over 1200 people. Those living in more developed areas have become fairly sheltered from the devastating effects of widespread infectious disease over the last 60 years or so, due to widespread availability of vaccines, competent healthcare, and education about hygiene’s role in disease transmission. Ebola is particularly unlikely to cause a pandemic in the developed world, as the method of transmission requires close contact with infected people. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s completely impossible for diseases to become widespread in more developed areas. Check out these 5 diseases that could easily cause a global health emergency: Influenza

How will technology impact the future of health and medicine? Navigation Watch a Brief Day Three Recap More Videos from 2014 Participant Testimonials Scientists Create Simple Artificial ‘Cell’ Capable Of Spontaneous Movement The cells that make up all living things are in constant interaction with their environment. Most cells perform complex chemical processes to ensure the cell and the organism remain healthy. Scientists have not yet been able to replicate a fully-functional synthetic cell, but it now appears they are off to a good start. The Body’s Ecosystem The human body is teeming with microbes—trillions of them. The commensal bacteria and fungi that live on and inside us outnumber our own cells 10-to-1, and the viruses that teem inside those cells and ours may add another order of magnitude. Genetic analyses of samples from different body regions have revealed the diverse and dynamic communities of microbes that inhabit not just the gut and areas directly exposed to the outside world, but also parts of the body that were long assumed to be microbe-free, such as the placenta, which turns out to harbor bacteria most closely akin to those in the mouth.

Human enhancement An electrically powered exoskeleton suit in development as of 2010 by Tsukuba University of Japan. Human enhancement is "any attempt to temporarily or permanently overcome the current limitations of the human body through natural or artificial means. It is the use of technological means to select or alter human characteristics and capacities, whether or not the alteration results in characteristics and capacities that lie beyond the existing human range." [1][2][3] Technologies[edit] “Assembly Line” Snaps Together Complex Organic Molecules With Ease Carbon atoms love to hook up. Their versatile ability to bond with each other as well as atoms of other elements is why all known life is made of the stuff. And it doesn’t end with biology. Synthetic organic materials abound—from OLED displays to antibiotics.

Strange Bacteria Dine on Electricity and Link Up to Form Biowires All living organisms need energy. Most animals get their energy by eating other organisms. Plants manufacture energy from sunlight. Now, scientists are finding a strange form of bacterial life that dines on unadulterated electricity. Technological singularity The technological singularity is the hypothesis that accelerating progress in technologies will cause a runaway effect wherein artificial intelligence will exceed human intellectual capacity and control, thus radically changing civilization in an event called the singularity.[1] Because the capabilities of such an intelligence may be impossible for a human to comprehend, the technological singularity is an occurrence beyond which events may become unpredictable, unfavorable, or even unfathomable.[2] The first use of the term "singularity" in this context was by mathematician John von Neumann. Proponents of the singularity typically postulate an "intelligence explosion",[5][6] where superintelligences design successive generations of increasingly powerful minds, that might occur very quickly and might not stop until the agent's cognitive abilities greatly surpass that of any human. Basic concepts

Precise and programmable biological circuits Bio-engineers are working on the development of biological computers with the aim of designing small circuits made from biological material that can be integrated into cells to change their functions. In the future, such developments could enable cancer cells to be reprogrammed, thereby preventing them from dividing at an uncontrollable rate. Stem cells could likewise be reprogrammed into differentiated organ cells. The researchers have not progressed that far yet. Although they have spent the past 20 years developing individual components and prototypes of biological computers, bio-computers today still differ significantly from their counterparts made of silicon, and bio-engineers still face several major obstacles. A silicon chip, for example, computes with ones and zeros – current is either flowing or not – and it can switch between these states in the blink of an eye.