Home » Emerging technologies » Automation and hardware » News digest #252 – iGEM teams find success with lab automation and cell-free expression, tips for building your biotech startup team (12/5/2018)

News digest #252 – iGEM teams find success with lab automation and cell-free expression, tips for building your biotech startup team (12/5/2018)


SynBioBeta Digest

Your guide to what’s new in synthetic biology

Hi all,

Synthetic biology is about to close out a record year, and 2019 promises to be even bigger. Are you hiring? We have a recruitment promotion on right now, if you email us your job postings before noon on Friday then we’ll post them for free on our jobs website, and also post one job in our upcoming digest. We also have a great deal on half price job postings for 2019 if you sign up before December 31st. And to help you find the right candidates, we asked Richard Herbert of Helix Recruiting to share his hiring advice for startups building their teams.

As a reminder, early bird pricing for SynBioBeta 2019 is ending next week on December 15th.

Congratulations to Amyris who launched a new sweetener with Camil Alimentos and Givaudan this week – the new launch could generate revenue of more than $200 million.

This year’s iGEM Jamboree featured some extraordinary student projects. Teams have built billion-dollar companies starting with banana-scented bacteria, and gone from iGEM project to clinical trials in just seven years. This week, we have two stories of how technology advances are enabling teams and start-ups alike to go farther, faster, and at greater scale. (iGEM just announced the creation of the Thomas F. Knight Matching Fund).

Team Marburg, winner in the overgrad division, credits much of their success in developing a new bacterial chassis organism to the lab automation made possible by the OT-2 pipetting robot, donated by Opentrons. SynBioBeta’s Embriette Hyde talked with the team and has the story of their amazing accomplishment.

Team Marburg won the grand prize in the overgrad division at the 2018 Giant Jamboree for their project, VibriGens.

Other iGEM teams showed how cell-free systems are becoming increasingly important in synthetic biology for screening assays, protein engineering, and constructing gene circuits. Arbor Biosciences supported seven teams from around the world with its cell-free expression technology. Read our article to learn about the range of accomplishments made possible with this new toolkit.

Paris Bettencourt’s 2018 iGEM project used cell-free expression as a tool to help French pig farmers combat antibiotic resistance.

I hope you have a great week!

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iGEM 2018: The grand prize winners share their experience

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Thanks to our sponsors:

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Mintz Levin

More reads

More reads

BGI-Research, China National GeneBank, and Macquarie University deepen cooperation in synthetic biology

Global Bioenergies receives letters of intent for purchases covering the capacity of its first plant project (Press release)

The Scientist names Cyto-Mine® technology #1 in the Top 10 Innovations of 2018

Gevo technology mitigates effects of climate change identified in US government report (Press release)

Inscripta’s MAD7 named a top innovation of 2018 by The Scientist

Thermo Fisher Scientific opens new bioprocess design center in Shanghai (Press release)

Vedanta pockets $12M from Johnson & Johnson on start of microbiome drug trial (Xconomy)

Oxitec’s 2nd generation technology will be used across mosquito and agricultural pest applications globally (Press release)

Synthetic biology: How the use of metaphors impacts on science, policy and responsible research (BioMed Central)

Lux Research releases annual list of top transformative technologies

Building Australian synthetic biology: Q&A with Claudia Vickers (Part 1) (Nature)

Who's hiring?

Who’s hiring?

Fermentation Engineer: Culture Robotics, South San Francisco, CA

Computational Synthetic Biologist: Colorifix, Norwich Research Park

Synthetic and Microbial Biologist: Colorifix, Norwich Research Park

Feature your job here →



Marianna Limas

Marianna plays a critical role in displaying and communicating SynBioBeta’s message to the world. She manages SynBioBeta’s social media channels and newsletter, and works with the editorial, website, research and marketing teams.

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