Home » Biomanufacturing, chemicals & materials » News Digest #237 – Airbus bets big on spider silk, Bolt Threads’ new bag, women in synbio, and more (sponsored by Ginkgo Bioworks)

News Digest #237 – Airbus bets big on spider silk, Bolt Threads’ new bag, women in synbio, and more (sponsored by Ginkgo Bioworks)



Hi all,Big news in biomaterials this week with AMSilk’s announcement of a joint development agreement with Airbus, one of the largest airplane manufacturers in the world, to use synthetic spider silk biopolymers to build the lightweight, high performance planes of the future. Bolt Threads also announced a new launch licensing Ecovative’s mushroom material. Ecovative CEO and co-founder Eben Bayer will be joining the panel discussion “A revolution in materials,” on the opening night of the SynBioBeta conference.

Today’s digest is brought to you by Ginkgo Bioworks. If you’re unable to attend SynBioBeta because of family obligations with young children – Ginkgo wants to help, and is giving you the opportunity to participate fully by offering nanny care and lactation facilities to speakers, sponsors and attendees. If you would like to take advantage of this offer, please let me know by noon on Wed Sept 19.

The underrepresentation of women in STEM persists in both academia and industry, but there is hope. “With leaders like Christina Agapakis, Jenny Rooke, Una Ryan, Vonnie Estes, and Jaleh Daie (pictured below) paving the way, the future for women in synthetic biology looks brighter every day”, writes Embriette Hyde. Ginkgo Bioworks Creative Director, Christina Agapakis, adds that “When we imagine technology that could so dramatically reshape our world, our food, and ourselves, everybody should have a voice.” Join Christina for an interactive lunch and learn session on women in synthetic biology at SynBioBeta 2018. Mintz Levin will also be hosting a breakfast and satellite event on empowering women leaders, and don’t miss our focus panel sponsored by Ginkgo Bioworks on emerging women leaders in synthetic biology for a discussion on how we can create champions and mentors at the highest levels.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced 36 projects totaling $80 million to support early-stage bioenergy research and development. Congratulations to Arzeda, Lygos, ZymoChem, LanzaTech, Visolis, and the other grantees. Also, congrats to Laura Deming, Elizabeth Iorns, Emily Leproust, Molly Morse for being recognized as 2018 Upstart 50, entrepreneurs and visionaries who fuel the Bay Area’s business innovations.

Check out my conversation with Alok Tayi of TetraScience for the Digital Biotech podcast. We talk about the synthetic biology ecosystem, and how the community is seeing their innovations applied in the real world.

Finally, SynBioBeta contributor David Kirk explores how public funding is fueling the synthetic biology industry in the UK — and why it’s especially critical for supporting new synthetic biology companies.


Federal court sides with Broad in CRISPR patent dispute
USDA and FDA announce public meeting to discuss the use of cell culture technology
Synvitrobio rebrands as Tierra Biosciences, announces $2.6M seed round
Nitrogen fixation engineering in cereal crops moves a step closer
KnipBio announces success with third single cell protein product
PvP Biologics announces first-in-human clinical trials for a novel therapeutic for celiac disease
Inscripta acquires Solana Biosciences to commercialize gene-editing technology
Photanol raises €8M to produce chemicals from CO2 and sunlight
ATUM and ADM extend joint development agreement on bioengineering technology

Large-scale demonstration of groundbreaking wastewater treatment technology by Microvi Biotech shows full nitrogen removal in less than two hours (Press release)

Gilead Sciences and Precision BioSciences announce collaboration to develop therapies against hepatitis B virus using ARCUS genome editing (Press release)

DOULIX and SIRION Biotech release world’s first online adeno-associated VirusDesign and production tool (Press release)

Jennifer Doudna, the co-inventor of CRISPR genome editing technology,
opens laboratory at the Gladstone Institutes

Looking to accelerate your startup? Apply to Berkeley SkyDeck, UC Berkeley’s global startup accelerator

Startup persuasion masterclass with Bill Liao – sales & fundraising workshop by RebelBio, September 26, London (Event)

For the first time, researchers will release genetically engineered mosquitoes in Africa (STAT News)

Yield10 Bioscience reports promising seed yield results for novel yield trait C3004 in growth chamber studies in camelina (Press release)

“We can keep synthetic biology miracles coming by investing in US research” – Gigi Gronvall, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security (The Hill)

Who’s Hiring?

Principal Scientist, Automation Engineer, Hardware Engineer, Software Architect – CATALOG, Boston, MA

Postdoctoral Associate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Synthetic Biology Center, Cambridge, MA USA

Head of product management: Evonetix, Cambridge, UK

Anaerobic Microbiology Lead – Eligo Bioscience, Paris, France

Anaerobe Engineer – Eligo Bioscience, Paris, France

Chief Technology Officer: Boost Biomes, South San Francisco, CA, US

Data Curator: Pivot Bio, Berkeley, CA

Scientist, Microbiologist: Pivot Bio, Berkeley, CA

Scientist/Senior Scientist, Microbial Formulation: Pivot Bio, RTP, North Carolina

Software Engineer: Pivot Bio, Berkeley, CA

To feature your job here, please get in touch

Free events at Synthetic Biology Week 2018

Join BioCurious for a workshop with low budget moonshots to explore some of the current problems our industry is working to solve through BioHacking. (September 30 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am)

Join Founder of SynBioBeta John Cumbers for an early morning sojourn across the Golden Gate Bridge and discuss what makes the SF Bay Area a synthetic biology hub (October 1 @ 7:30 am – 9:00 am)

Are you curious about the intersection of design thinking and synthetic biology? Where are we now and where are we going? What is the dominant paradigm? (October 4 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm)

BioBuilder presents a hands-on workshop, encouraging young scientists to put on their goggles and gloves to explore the future through synthetic biology (October 6 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am)

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