Synthetic biology: Novel approaches for microbiology.


In the past twenty years, molecular genetics has created powerful tools for genetic manipulation of living organisms. Whole genome sequencing has provided necessary information to assess knowledge on gene function and protein networks. In addition, new tools permit to modify organisms to perform desired tasks. Gene function analysis is speed up by novel approaches that couple both high throughput data generation and mining. Synthetic biology is an emerging field that uses tools for generating novel gene networks, whole genome synthesis and engineering. New applications in biotechnological, pharmaceutical and biomedical research are envisioned for synthetic biology. In recent years these new strategies have opened up the possibilities to study gene and genome editing, creation of novel tools for functional studies in virus, parasites and pathogenic bacteria. There is also the possibility to re-design organisms to generate vaccine subunits or produce new pharmaceuticals to combat multi-drug resistant pathogens. In this review we provide our opinion on the applicability of synthetic biology strategies for functional studies of pathogenic organisms and some applications such as genome editing and gene network studies to further comprehend virulence factors and determinants in pathogenic organisms. We also discuss what we consider important ethical issues for this field of molecular biology, especially for potential misuse of the new technologies.

DOI: 10.2436/20.1501.01.236

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@article{PadillaVaca2015SyntheticBN, title={Synthetic biology: Novel approaches for microbiology.}, author={Felipe Padilla-Vaca and Fernando Anaya-Vel{\'a}zquez and Bernardo Franco}, journal={International microbiology : the official journal of the Spanish Society for Microbiology}, year={2015}, volume={18 2}, pages={71-84} }