Author Archives: Jen Vanderhoven

SPOTLIGHT ON INDUSTRY: Keith Thomas, Brewlab Limited

Keith Thomas, Brewlab Limited

What is your background and current job role?

Brewlab is a leading provider of training and analysis services for the international brewing industry, based in purpose built premises on the banks of the river Wear in Sunderland. I am currently director of Brewlab Ltd, responsible for company developments and project management.  I am also a senior lecture in Microbiology at the University of Sunderland teaching undergraduate, MSc and PhD students in microbiology, biotechnology and food sciences.  My background in food and beverage production with specialisms in brewing, yeast physiology for food applications and developing novel raw materials.

What Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (IBBE) related project is currently being undertaken by your organisation?

We have three major projects currently ongoing:

  1. Developing uses for brewing by-products with a focus on bioremediation and reintroduction into food products.
  2. Assessment of historic barley varieties for application to contemporary brewing.
  3. Matching of yeast strains to beverage characteristics.

What do you think the challenges related to this project are in the next 1-5 years? 

  1. Molecular biology techniques to identify relevant microorganisms and genes which may assist bioremediation and food flavouring.
  2. Bulk scale trials.
  3. Compiling the range of flavours possible into a palatable beverage.

How can other CBMNet members help you and your organisation with your research?

Collaborations to provide specialist input.

You can contact Keith at keith@brewlab.co.uk

SPOTLIGHT ON INDUSTRY: Charles Bavington, GlycoMar

Charles Bavington, GlycoMar

What is your background and current job role?

I am the founder of GlycoMar and a biochemist with over 15 years experience in marine biotechnology. I graduated of the University of Edinburgh and then completed my PhD at the same university, studying proteoglycan metabolism in cartilage. This was followed by postdoctoral research at Dunstaffnage marine lab studying invertebrate glycans and cell adhesion. Subsequently I worked for Integrin Advanced Biosystems Ltd, a marine biotechnology and testing company, holding the positions of Operations Manager and Research & Development Manager. My commercial interests are in entrepeneurship and development of effective life science innovation business models. My scientific interest is in glycobiology and its role in cell-cell interactions.

What Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy (IBBE) related project is currently being undertaken by your organisation?

GlycoMar is a biotechnology company discovering and developing products for the healthcare and personal care markets. The company, founded in 2005, has an established discovery platform technology based on glycobiology products, which generates valuable intellectual property. The company evaluates the functional properties of its novel glycobiology products to identify the best candidates for development and the best market application, which include pharmaceutical, consumer healthcare, cosmetic and nutraceutical.

GlycoMar is developing novel consumer healthcare products addressing inflammatory disorders such as eczema and rhinitis, and pharmaceutical products that address unmet clinical needs in the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease. The company is developing cosmetic ingredients for the skincare market and nutraceutical ingredients for the supplements and functional food markets. Our development programme is being carried out both in house and with commercial partners.

GlycoMar seeks to develop its discoveries to generate value through out licensing. The value of GlycoMar’s technology has been demonstrated through early stage Licensing and Collaboration deals.

We have developed and marketed a novel polysaccharide product from the marine microalga Prasinococcus capsulatus. The product is used in cosmetic products, healthcare products, and is being developed as a sugar replacement for use in confectionary. We continue to develop new polysaccharides for healthcare application. We are working on microalgae, cyanobacteria, and macroalgae products. Our covers all aspects of discovery and development of novel polysaccharides.

What do you think the challenges related to this project are in the next 1-5 years?

The biggest challenges we face are associated with product yield and production scale-up.

How can other CBMNet members help you and your organisation with your research?

Increase yield by manipulation of transport processes involved in growth of photosynthetic organisms and production of polysaccharide products.

You can contact Charles at Charlie@glycomar.com.

Biosynthesis of the antibiotic nonribosomal peptide penicillin in baker’s yeast

Biosynthesis of the antibiotic nonribosomal peptide penicillin in baker’s yeast

Fungi are a valuable source of enzymatic diversity and therapeutic natural products including antibiotics. Here we engineer the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to produce and secrete the antibiotic penicillin, a beta-lactam nonribosomal peptide, by taking genes from a filamentous fungus and directing their efficient expression and subcellular localization. Using synthetic biology tools combined with long-read DNA sequencing, we optimize productivity by 50-fold to produce bioactive yields that allow spent S. cerevisiae growth media to have antibacterial action against Streptococcus bacteria. This work demonstrates that S. cerevisiae can be engineered to perform the complex biosynthesis of multicellular fungi, opening up the possibility of using yeast to accelerate rational engineering of nonribosomal peptide antibiotics.

Read the full article here.

Whole-cell biocatalysts by design

Whole-cell biocatalysts by design

Whole-cell biocatalysts provide unique advantages and have been widely used for the efficient biosynthesis of value-added fine and bulk chemicals, as well as pharmaceutically active ingredients. What is more, advances in synthetic biology and metabolic engineering, together with the rapid development of molecular genetic tools, have brought about a renaissance of whole-cell biocatalysis. These rapid advancements mean that whole-cell biocatalysts can increasingly be rationally designed. Genes of heterologous enzymes or synthetic pathways are increasingly being introduced into microbial hosts, and depending on the complexity of the synthetic pathway or the target products, they can enable the production of value-added chemicals from cheap feedstock. Metabolic engineering and synthetic biology efforts aimed at optimizing the existing microbial cell factories concentrate on improving heterologous pathway flux, precursor supply, and cofactor balance, as well as other aspects of cellular metabolism, to enhance the efficiency of biocatalysts. In the present review, we take a critical look at recent developments in whole-cell biocatalysis, with an emphasis on strategies applied to designing and optimizing the organisms that are increasingly modified for efficient production of chemicals.

Read the full article here.

Large scale validation of an efficient CRISPR/Cas-based multi gene editing protocol in Escherichia coli

Large scale validation of an efficient CRISPR/Cas-based multi gene editing protocol in Escherichia coli

The exploitation of the CRISPR/Cas9 machinery coupled to lambda (λ) recombinase-mediated homologous recombination (recombineering) is becoming the method of choice for genome editing in E. coli. First proposed by Jiang and co-workers, the strategy has been subsequently fine-tuned by several authors who demonstrated, by using few selected loci, that the efficiency of mutagenesis (number of mutant colonies over total number of colonies analyzed) can be extremely high (up to 100%). However, from published data it is difficult to appreciate the robustness of the technology, defined as the number of successfully mutated loci over the total number of targeted loci. This information is particularly relevant in high-throughput genome editing, where repetition of experiments to rescue missing mutants would be impractical. This work describes a “brute force” validation activity, which culminated in the definition of a robust, simple and rapid protocol for single or multiple gene deletions.

Read the full article here.

CBMNet Sponsored Early Career Researcher wins Gordon Conference ‘Best Oral Presentation’ Prize

     

CBMNet Sponsored Early Career Researcher wins Gordon Conference ‘Best Oral Presentation’ Prize

We are pleased to announce that CBMNet member Arthur Neuberger, University of Cambridge, has just returned from the Gordon Conference on ‘Multi-Drug Efflux Systems’, where he won 1st Prize for ‘Best Oral Presentation’. CBMNet sponsored him through one of our Early Researcher Grants to attend the event.

The Gordon Research Seminar and Conference on “Multi-Drug Efflux Systems” is the most important specialists’ meeting in the field. One of the Gordon Conference policies is that presenters should be actively encouraged to show and discuss a considerable amount of unpublished data and work in progress (where possible). This makes Gordon Conferences not only the most interesting and exciting meetings in the field but also those that truly “operate” at the utmost frontier of science.

Arthur told us ”As a result of the vast interactions with my peers, I have discussed a future collaboration with Prof. Arthur Roberts (University of Georgia, USA) on functional analysis of PgP (a transporter involved in the failure of human cancer chemotherapy due to drug efflux). This was encouraged by another presentation, in which unpublished data motivated further investigation of a potential secondary activity for PgP.”

”The conference was also vital for career planning: As part of the GRS, an expert panel discussion was set up to answer career-related questions from young researchers. New this year was the “power hour”: a panel to discuss science career opportunities and challenges for female scientists. Besides science talking, conference attendees usually discussed career opportunities. In my case, a professor from Essex encouraged me to apply for a lectureship position at his university right after my PhD.”

”Both my presentation and my poster attracted much interest from both young and senior scientists. Moreover, I won the “best presentation” award for my talk.I would like to thank CBMNet for the great opportunity to attend and be part of this fantastic meeting!”

Development of a fast and easy method for Escherichia coli genome editing with CRISPR/Cas9

Development of a fast and easy method for Escherichia coli genome editing with CRISPR/Cas9 tadalafil generico

Abstract

Background
Microbial genome editing is a powerful tool to modify chromosome in way of deletion, insertion or replacement, which is one of the most important techniques in metabolic engineering research. The emergence of CRISPR/Cas9 technique inspires various genomic editing methods. viagra generic

Results
In this research, the goal of development of a fast and easy method for Escherichia coli genome editing with high efficiency is pursued. For this purpose, we designed modular plasmid assembly strategy, compared effects of different length of homologous arms for recombination, and tested different sets of recombinases. The final technique we developed only requires one plasmid construction and one transformation of practice to edit a genomic locus with 3 days and minimal lab work. In addition, the single temperature sensitive plasmid is easy to eliminate for another round of editing. Especially, process of the modularized editing plasmid construction only takes 4 h. cialis coupon 2017

Conclusion
In this study, we developed a fast and easy genome editing procedure based on CRISPR/Cas9 system that only required the work of one plasmid construction and one transformation, which allowed modification of a chromosome locus within 3 days and could be performed continuously for multiple loci. cialis 20mg prix en pharmacie

Read the full article here.

Easy regulation of metabolic flux in Escherichia coli using an endogenous type I-E CRISPR-Cas system

Easy regulation of metabolic flux in Escherichia coli using an endogenous type I-E CRISPR-Cas system

Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats interference (CRISPRi) is a recently developed powerful tool for gene regulation. In Escherichia coli, the type I CRISPR system expressed endogenously shall be easy for internal regulation without causing metabolic burden in compared with the widely used type II system, which expressed dCas9 as an additional plasmid.

 

Read the full article here.

Submit your next biotech article to Microbiology

Submit your next biotech article to Microbiology

Microbiology invites submissions of research articles and reviews that focus on established and emerging topics in biotechnology. There are a wide range of applications for microbiology in the field of biotechnology, from industrial and environmental processes to developments in biopharmaceuticals.

Articles are welcome that utilise microbial systems to develop technologies and products that could improve our lives or our environment. Articles are invited on the following topics:

• Metabolic engineering
• Metabolomics
• Genetic engineering
• Synthetic biology
• Directed evolution
• Bioremediation
• Bioengineering
• Protein engineering
• Microbes as cell factories
• Bioenergy

Microbiology combines editorial expertise from around the world with exceptional breadth of coverage. The journal’s 2015 impact factor is 2.268. There are no submission or page charges and the average time to first decision is four weeks. Authors can also choose to publish with our gold open access option, OpenMicrobiology.

More information here.

Opportunities for Collaboration: IN-PART: Focus on Biotechnology

Opportunities for Collaboration: IN-PART: Focus on Biotechnology

We are living through a revolution in biology. Researchers in universities triggered the shift in paradigm. They now drive the endeavour through developing the next-generation of tools, techniques, and methods that enable us to work with and utilise natural systems for the benefit of humankind. Within this fifth edition of IN-FOCUS are the latest innovations and expertise in biotechnology from university researchers who are committed to working with industry through IN-PART.

The enclosed opportunities to collaborate are available to businesses for commercialisation, co-development, licensing, and knowledge transfer. The technologies featured in IN-FOCUS are conceived in some of the world’s top universities. Importantly, these institutions highlight a growing awareness of the value and importance of industry collaboration. Enabling the community of technology transfer professionals are organisations such as PraxisUnico, Dehns and One Nucleus, who in this edition share their insights in feature editorials. Each university technology within this publication is signposted by the following symbol: ( ).

Further information can be found by following the hyperlinks in the digital edition, or through searching the associated keywords on IN-PART.com. It’s through our platform that you can access the latest university innovations across all technology sectors, and connect with the associated researchers via a personal introduction from our team.

Download information here.

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