Synthetic Biology Group

Synthetic Biology Group

Synthetic group

We are half way!

The Macquarie University Synthetic Biology group are building chromosomes and they have passed the half way mark for the Yeast Chromosome XIV. It is a great accomplishment to have overcome the many obstacles along the way.

Chromosomes are the strings of DNA in cells containing the instructions for all of the complex, highly interactive pathways and components of a cell that enable life. People have 46 chromosomes and yeast has 16. Laureate Fellow Prof. Ian Paulsen is leading the Australian contingent in the Global Yeast 2.0 consortium aspiring to synthesise a customisable version of the entire yeast genome.

The bespoke genetic code will open a proliferation of industrial and medical applications and enhance our understanding of basic biology on how the genome is organised.

You are already familiar with the use of yeast for the brewing of alcoholic beverages and baking, but you may not know that yeast is a brilliant factory for the manufacturing of biological compounds. These include:
  • The manufacture of pharmaceuticals, such as the antimalarial drug Artemisinin
  • The production of biofuels from agricultural waste
  • The production of other enzymes and metabolites important to industrial processes

The synthetic genome allows versatility for expansion of industrial capability capability and increased efficiencies.

With our rapid progress to date, Macquarie is actively exploring how our synthetic biology technological platforms and optimised yeast strains can innovate Australian industry and make a difference to society and the environment.

For information on other projects by the Synthetic Biology Group contact Natalie Curach.

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