Home » Emerging technologies » DNA synthesis » News Digest #240 – How these synbio startups are transforming agriculture, making DNA at scale, and more (sponsored by Codexis)

News Digest #240 – How these synbio startups are transforming agriculture, making DNA at scale, and more (sponsored by Codexis)



Hi all,We just have 45 tickets left for SynBioBeta! And the free Synthetic Biology Week satellite events are 50% sold out! We’ve made this great PDF summary of the schedule and also a PDF of all the Synthetic Biology Week events happening next week too. Check them out here.

Also this week, we discuss how Pivot Bio is giving farmers the tools to transform agriculture, feed the world, and clean the planet. They have developed microbes optimized to deliver nitrogen to plants, reducing farmers’ reliance on petroleum-based fertilizers. Pivot Bio CEO Karsten Temme will be at SynBioBeta next month to discuss agriculture’s pivot toward sustaining water and air quality in a fireside chat with the World Economic Forum’s Nishan Degnarain.

In other news, we take a look at how Manchester’s SYNBIOCHEM is harnessing synthetic biology to speed up the production of chemicals and materials, and how DNA synthesis is one of the fundamental building blocks of synthetic biology; yet the capability to produce high-fidelity DNA at scale remains out of reach. We spoke with Tim Brears, CEO of UK-based Evonetix, which is developing a new approach to highly parallelize DNA synthesis.

Tim Brears will be speaking in the focus panel: Companies that change the rules of the game (sponsored by Civilization Ventures) at SynBioBeta 2018. Also, don’t miss the session talk on why protein is (still) the killer app, sponsored by Codexis, and CEO John Nichols’ workshop: Codexis protein innovations: Impacting real world markets, rapidly.

In case you missed it, here’s our report on how synthetic biology startups are attracting venture funding in record amounts, with $1.9 billion making 2018 the largest year ever – and that’s only counting deals closed by early August. We also published a report and a webinar on how synthetic biology is a critical new tool for the biopharmaceuticals and healthcare industry today – engineering not just genes or proteins, but entire cells as therapeutic agents.

I hope to see you at SynBioBeta!


These super-microbes could fix agriculture’s nitrogen problem
Thermo Fisher Scientific releases gene synthesis and genome editing products in China
Asilomar Bio rebrands as Sound Agriculture to help growers increase productivity
Ingenza takes a stake in new spin-out company Amprologix
Trump’s biodefense plan aims to improve coordination across agencies
Why Cronos Group’s partnership to produce cultured cannabinoids could be a big deal

Sarnia’s idle BioAmber plant is expected to go back into operation following its sale to a new company being formed by Visolis and LCY Chemical Corp.

U.S. Army Research Laboratory and MIT demonstrate a pioneering synthetic biology tool to deliver DNA programming into a broad range of bacteria

DNA technology company Synbio Technologies to attend SynBioBeta 2018 (Press release)

Agilent files new complaint against Twist Bioscience regarding stolen Agilent confidential documents (Press release)

Twist Bioscience responds to Agilent’s latest specious claims (Press release)

Synthetic Biology Week Events

Synthetic Biology and Design Thinking: Multidisciplinary Paradigms and Possibilities (Triple Ring Technologies) October 4 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

SynBio Challenges and Solution Pathways: A VC Perspective.October 4 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Engineered Cells for Growing Fuels and Chemicals (JBEI) October 1 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

IGI Science Day: Be a scientist and explore DNA! (IGI) September 30 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Who’s Hiring?

Senior Scientist, Fungal Strain Engineering: LifeMine, Cambridge, MA

Synthetic Biologist: bioMASON, Research Triangle Park, NC

Research Associate – Molecular Microbiology: bioMASON, Research Triangle Park, NC

Program Manager, Catalyst Science Fund: Revive & Restore, San Francisco, CA

Chemoinformatics Scientist: DiCE Molecules, Redwood City, CA

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

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

Anaerobic Microbiology Lead: Eligo Bioscience, Paris, France

Anaerobe Engineer: Eligo Bioscience, Paris, France

Scientist, Microbiologist: Pivot Bio, Berkeley, CA

To feature your job here, please get in touch

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