Implementation of protein glycosylation in bacteria

Attachment of sugar molecules on biomolecules such as hormones is a key step in biologics manufacturing and is typically carried in eukaryotic cells which have the protein glycosylation machinery. However, eukaryotic hosts are typically more difficult to manipulate compared to prokaryotic cells such as bacteria, and this adds to the cost of biologics manufacturing. Secondly, … More Implementation of protein glycosylation in bacteria

Expansion of DNA alphabet to 8 letters

Four letters, A, T, C, and G, representing different nucleotides currently constitute the alphabet of DNA, on which genetic information is encoded. However, the use of standardized nucleotides restricts our ability to introduce new functionalities into the genome or to encode unnatural amino acids in proteins. Hence, researchers have been endeavouring to expand the alphabet … More Expansion of DNA alphabet to 8 letters

Single cell genome sequencing reveals polygenomic nature of many cancers

Advances in next-generation sequencing brought forth its use in understanding the genomic content of many cells and tissues in diverse applications. One application area which has seen a large increase in use of genome sequencing for understanding disease mechanisms is cancer research. Specifically, short-read whole genome sequencing has been utilized to understand the genomic features … More Single cell genome sequencing reveals polygenomic nature of many cancers

Gene synthesis is replacing traditional molecular cloning of genes in genetic engineering

The first step of genetic engineering is typically the identification of a candidate gene in a species that is useful for a reaction not found in the organism of interest such as Escherichia coli. This is followed by the cloning of the candidate gene from the species and its insertion into a plasmid for expression … More Gene synthesis is replacing traditional molecular cloning of genes in genetic engineering

Modification of cell surface prevents the attachment of phage to bacteria

Different methods are utilized by bacterial cells for defending against bacteriophages. For example, the CRISPR-Cas system retains a molecular memory of previous phage attack on the cells and uses it to prevent subsequent infection by the same phage. Another approach involves the synthesis of DNA intercalating agents that binds to the newly synthesized DNA of … More Modification of cell surface prevents the attachment of phage to bacteria

Chimeric antibody with different domains binds to different subtypes of flu virus

Antibodies typically bind to specific types of molecules. In the case of preventing flu virus from binding to receptors on cells, antibodies in the host could only recognise specific types of flu virus and are ineffective against other subtypes of flu virus. Thus, efforts have been devoted to the generation of chimeric antibodies through the … More Chimeric antibody with different domains binds to different subtypes of flu virus

Mechanism underlying the emergence of antimicrobial resistance

Resistance to antimicrobial compounds is commonly thought to arise due to emergence of mutations after exposure of the microbes to the compound. This is not entirely true. What actually happens is that mechanisms underlying resistance to an antimicrobial compound exist in a few subpopulations of the species prior to exposure of the population to antimicrobial … More Mechanism underlying the emergence of antimicrobial resistance

Bioretrosynthesis for the manufacturing of complex molecules from simple substrates

Development of chemical synthetic schemes for a particular molecule is typically carried out in the retrosynthetic fashion by organic chemists. Specifically, organic chemists analysed the chemical structure of the molecule of interest, identify possible reaction schemes capable of generating the various functional groups present in the molecule, and finally sequence the chemical reactions in a … More Bioretrosynthesis for the manufacturing of complex molecules from simple substrates

Cell-free biocatalysis

Enzymes catalysed biochemical reactions and thus biotransformation for producing useful products are commonly carried out using whole cell biocatalysis, where the cell serves as carrier for the enzymes important to converting the substrate to product. However, due to multiple competing reactions in the cell, it is desired to achieve higher productivity and purity of products … More Cell-free biocatalysis

Bottom-up biology illuminating the secrets of life

Biological research is typically pursued using the top-down approach where scientists seek to understand the fundamental underpinnings of life by dissecting the various components of cells using increasingly refined techniques and instruments. However, there is a recent trend of studying the principles that govern cellular processes using bottom-up approaches.   Specifically, in what is known … More Bottom-up biology illuminating the secrets of life