Synthetic biology lab backed by £2 million award
- Posted on 3 April, 2014
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have been awarded £2M to build a state-of-the-art DNA synthesis facility, a capability offering much needed tools for genome engineering to the academic and private sectors.
This facility, named GeneMill will be part of the UK’s focus on synthetic biology, identified by the Government as one of the ‘Eight Great Technologies’ in which Britain is, or can be, a world leader.
Synthetic biology involves the construction of artificial biological devices, pathways or networks or the re-engineering of existing natural ones. Key to this engineering process is the construction of parts or components, which are encoded in DNA. One of the biggest hurdles in synthetic biology is the creation and assembly of starting materials: modular bits of DNA that code for a particular function and are synthesised in the lab.
Creating such starting materials is time-consuming and expensive and a challenge that the Liverpool group of scientists will address through the GeneMill. Like traditional mills, scientists will take in raw materials and use them to create new products.
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