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Research alliance to improve aquaculture and livestock breeding

The University of Edinburgh’s The Roslin Institute and Hendrix Genetics, a global leader in animal breeding, have established a research agreement to improve the sustainability of animal...

Catch up on the latest animal sector news, funding and events

The August edition of KTN's  Animal Sector newsletter , filled with the latest funding opportunities, events and research news, is now available. If you didn't get a copy in...

£4M awarded for new UK-Brazil joint projects in wheat research

A £4M investment between BBSRC and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) has been made to support collaborations between UK and Brazilian scientists in wheat research. ...

Salad days – tomatoes that last longer and still taste good

The tomato ( Solanum lycopersicum ) is one of the most valuable fruit crops in the world with an annual global value in excess of $50Bn. We eat so many they also play an important role in our...

KTN's plant sector newsletter now available

The July 2016 edition of KTN's  Plant  Sector newsletter   is now available, full of all the latest funding opportunities, events and research news of relevance to the...

Flagship DNA facility sets sights on advances in science

Scientists are marking the opening of the first fully automated DNA production facility in the UK. The Edinburgh Genome Foundry will design, build and test large sections of DNA – the...

Robotics and plant intelligence win in GROW agri-tech competition

The GROW competition has been developed by Agri-Tech East to encourage entrepreneurship in agri-food industry. Dr Belinda Clarke, Director of Agri-Tech East, says: “Agri-Tech East’s...

Keep up to date with KTN's Animal Sector newsletter

We have just published the July edition of KTN's  Animal Sector newsletter   with updates on the latest funding opportunities, events and research news. If you didn't get a...

ERA-CAPS third call: Strengthening transnational research in the molecular plant sciences

The ERA-Net for Coordinating Action in Plant Sciences (ERA-CAPS) has launched its third joint call for collaborative applications in the area of molecular plant sciences. In addition to the...

Naturally occurring protein discovered which boosts rice yield by 50%

In collaboration with researchers at Nanjing Agricultural University, Dr Tony Miller from the John Innes Centre has developed rice crops with an improved ability to manage their own pH levels,...

Read the latest plant & crops sector funding opportunities, events and research news

The June 2016 edition of KTN's  Plant  Sector newsletter   was published today, full of all the latest funding opportunities, events and research news of relevance to the...

Wheat Sequencing Consortium makes data resource available to researchers

Following the January 2016 announcement of the production of a whole genome assembly for bread wheat, the  International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium  (IWGSC), having...

Broad bean and cowpea peptides may have role in war on antibiotic resistance

Scientists have isolated peptides (strings of amino acids) with antibiotic effects on bacteria that spoil food and cause food poisoning, after turning to the plant kingdom for help in boosting...

Catch up on the latest animal sector news, funding and events

The June edition of KTN's  Animal Sector newsletter   was published yesterday, packed with all the latest funding opportunities, events and research news. If you didn't get a...

Genus to use CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology in livestock species

Genus plc, a global pioneer in animal genetics, and Caribou Biosciences, Inc.have announced a multi-year strategic collaboration where Genus receives a worldwide, exclusive license to Caribou’s...

Survey on the future of Plant Phenotyping in the UK and Europe

The BBSRC funded UK Plant Phenotyping Network (UKPPN) is seeking to  engage with a broad cross-section of UK researchers via a survey to: Determine the current status of relevant...

New report on genetically engineered crops - experiences & prospects

An extensive study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has found that new technologies in genetic engineering and conventional breeding are blurring the once clear...

Keep up to date with the latest plant sector funding opportunities, events & news

We have just published the May edition of KTN's  Plant  Sector newsletter ,  full of all the latest funding opportunities, events and research news of relevance to the plants...

PhD Studentship in Crop Genetics at the University of Reading

University of Reading School of Agriculture, Policy and Development  is advertising a PhD Studentship in Crop Genetics: Breeding for disease resistance and yield in faba bean. The...

Read the latest animal sector news, events and funding opportunities in our Animal Newsletter

We have just published the May edition of KTN's  Animal Sector newsletter , packed with all the latest funding opportunities, events and research news. If you didn't get a copy in...
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How the UK is Taking the Business World of Synthetic Biology by Storm

By Caroline Channing

Guest blog by Ashley Kubis, SynBioBeta

The United Kingdom has emerged as a global leader in the synthetic biology. Here, the uniquely, well-established synbio scene goes beyond the top-notch programs of study offered at Cambridge, Oxford, and Imperial College London. The UK is taking the business world of synthetic biology by storm with its many promising startups and is proving to be one of the most synbio-friendly environments in the world.

There are many forces that the UK synbio industry has to thank for the influx of startups that have taken root there. These include the SynbiCITE, whose mission is to the serve as a bridge between the spheres of academia and business to accelerate the translation of synbio technology from research to reality is influencing change across the UK. IndieBio, whose European arm is located in Cork, Ireland and is intimately associated with the UK synbio scene. IndieBio is a business and technology incubator for biotech startups where groups such as Afineur, BioCellection, and Spira have gotten their start. To top it off, dedicated sources of funding like the Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst program and the Bio-start Accelerator round out the near-perfect conditions in the UK for the budding synbio field.

With its booming presence in in the field, it’s no surprise that the UK is home the annual European SynBioBeta conference, held each year in London. SynBioBeta brings together actors from all of the most innovative leaders in industry and academia with investors and technology scouts. Attendees have the opportunity to listen to panel discussions and talks delivered by top players in the field, as well as engage in invaluable networking events to make connections and build their business. SynBioBeta also hosts smaller, more frequent series of conferences around the world known as SynBioBeta Activate!, with the most recent of such UK-based events taking place in Edinburgh in association with the Edinburgh Genome Foundry.

Last year at SynBioBeta London 2016, there was a wide range of UK and international companies presenting the latest news, tools and innovative products using synthetic biology technology.  Innovators were welcomed to showcase their bio renewable products using synbio technology. Companies like Deinove discussed how they have developed routes to bio products such as carotenoids and mucoid acid, using their host bacterial species Deinococcus. Evolva is producing a grapefruit terpene called Nootkatone using bacteria, which can be used as an insect repellent while smelling like the fruit. Companies including GSK and Novozymes are developing enzymes and we have Twist Bioscience and Gen9 who are continuously improving speed and volume of DNA printing which has allowed genetic engineering to be done more cost effectively and at a faster pace. CRISPR genome editing technology has been taken up by many synbio innovators, with a lot of enthusiasm about its ability to quickly and effectively cut and paste DNA in living cells. There were companies such as AstraZeneca who are using CRISPR to develop cell lines for drug discovery and delivery as well as Thermo Scientific investigating curing genetic disorders such as sickle cell anemia and Glaucoma. With the industry rapidly evolving, SynBioBeta connects you with thought-provoking talks, panels and networking opportunities, allowing the science and business sides of the industry to make critical connections.

SynBioBeta conferences offer a great annual benchmark as to the state of the field, and it is apparent that the pace of progress is accelerating. As biology becomes increasingly easier to engineer, we can potentially revolutionize the way we develop therapeutics, grow our food, and produce our chemicals. SynBioBeta is proud that its upcoming 2017 conference will represent its fifth annual event taking place in London.  The organization is currently looking for speakers to join the lineup for this event.  As a speaker, you will have an opportunity to broadcast your insight to the synthetic biology community, engage in critical discourse, and make invaluable connections with like-minded participants.  If you are interested in becoming a speaker at SynBioBeta London 2017, please contact Ashley Kubis at ashley.kubis@synbiobeta.com.