BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Synthetic biology approaches to biological containment: pre-emptively tackling potential risks

    Torres, L. and Kruger, A. and Csibra, E. and Gianni, E. and Pinheiro, Vitor B. (2016) Synthetic biology approaches to biological containment: pre-emptively tackling potential risks. Essays in Biochemistry 60 (4), pp. 393-410. ISSN 1744-1358.

    [img]
    Preview
    Text
    2016_Pinheiro_Containment.full.pdf - Published Version of Record
    Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

    Download (588kB) | Preview

    Abstract

    Biocontainment comprises any strategy applied to ensure that harmful organisms are confined to controlled laboratory conditions and not allowed to escape into the environment. Genetically engineered microorganisms (GEMs), regardless of the nature of the modification and how it was established, have potential human or ecological impact if accidentally leaked or voluntarily released into a natural setting. Although all evidence to date is that GEMs are unable to compete in the environment, the power of synthetic biology to rewrite life requires a pre-emptive strategy to tackle possible unknown risks. Physical containment barriers have proven effective but a number of strategies have been developed to further strengthen biocontainment. Research on complex genetic circuits, lethal genes, alternative nucleic acids, genome recoding and synthetic auxotrophies aim to design more effective routes towards biocontainment. Here, we describe recent advances in synthetic biology that contribute to the ongoing efforts to develop new and improved genetic, semantic, metabolic and mechanistic plans for the containment of GEMs.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Biological Sciences
    Research Centre: Structural Molecular Biology, Institute of (ISMB)
    Depositing User: Dr Vitor Pinheiro
    Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2016 11:07
    Last Modified: 28 Jul 2019 16:04
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/17560

    Statistics

    Downloads
    Activity Overview
    124Downloads
    89Hits

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item