Biotechnology and Bioengineering

Cover image for Vol. 111 Issue 8

Edited By: Douglas S. Clark

Impact Factor: 3.648

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2012: 31/160 (Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology)

Online ISSN: 1097-0290

Virtual Issue: Synthetic Biology

Edited by Ryan Gill

Synthetic biology has progressed from the domain of a visionary set of scientists to an increasingly mainstream aspect of modern biotechnology and bioengineering. B&B has been a leader in the publication of synthetic biology research; both indirectly through a longstanding emphasis on protein, pathway, and metabolic engineering, as well as via the publication of a range of recent efforts of direct synthetic biology relevance.

In this virtual issue, B&B is pleased to highlight several of such recent publications starting with research directed at the development of basic synthetic biology capabilities and extending through to the construction of complex circuits and pathways. In Hartenbach and Fussenegger (2006) as well as Du et al. (2009) we see the engineering of basic genetic parts (a mammalian promoter or transcriptional terminators), which enable the construction of synthetic circuits in various cell types. Weiss et al. (2008) provide an example of a simple circuit that allows the direct observation of communication between two engineered strains (a sender and a receiver strain). While Keum et al. (2009) report on the use of an in vitro system to investigate basic genetic circuits involving anti-sense based regulation. We also highlight two papers out of the Shuler group (Echtenkamp et al., 2009; Foley and Shuler, 2010) that describe efforts directed at the larger synthetic biology goal of designing and constructing complete genomes and synthetic cells.

In addition to efforts directed at the development of foundational technologies, B&B has also led in the publication of applications of such technologies to dramatically speed the engineering of production strains (Qian et al., 2009; Wang et al., 2010). Finally, we include two articles (Bagh et al., 2011; Clarke and Voigt, 2011) that demonstrate the potential of this growing field to address problems of broader societal relevance.

A novel synthetic mammalian promoter derived from an internal ribosome entry site, Shizuka Hartenbach and Martin Fussenegger

Engineering motility as a phenotypic response to LuxI/R-dependent quorum sensing in Escherichia coli, Lucien E. Weiss, Jonathan P. Badalamenti, Lane J. Weaver, Anthony R. Tascone, Paul S. Weiss, Tom L. Richard, and Patrick C. Cirino

Combinatorial, selective and reversible control of gene expression using oligodeoxynucleotides in a cell-free protein synthesis system, Jung-Won Keum, Jin-Ho Ahn, Taek Jin Kang, and Dong-Myung Kim

Cell cycle progression in Escherichia coli B/r affects transcription of certain genes: Implications for synthetic genome design, Patricia L. Echtenkamp, David B. Wilson, and Michael L. Shuler

Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for the production of putrescine: a four carbon diamine, Zhi-Gang Qian, Xiao-Xia Xia and Sang Yup Lee

Engineering multigene expression in vitro and in vivo with small terminators for T7 RNA polymerase,Liping Du, Rong Gao, and Anthony C. Forster

Considerations for the design and construction of a synthetic platform cell for biotechnological applications, Patricia L. Foley and Michael L. Shuler

Farnesol production from Escherichia coli by harnessing the exogenous mevalonate pathway, Chonglong Wang, Sang-Hwal Yoon, Asad Ali Shah, Young-Ryun Chung, Jae-Yean Kim, Eu--Sung Choi, Jay D. Keasling, and Seon-Won Kim

An active intracellular device to prevent lethal disease outcomes in virus-infected bacterial cells, Sangram Bagh, Mahuya Mandal, Jordan Ang and David R. McMillen

Characterization of combinatorial patterns generated by multiple two-component sensors in E. coli that respond to many stimuli, Elizabeth J. Clark and Christopher A. Voight