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Published On: November 22nd, 2022Categories: Articles, Synthetic Biology

Synthetic biology is an emerging field of bioengineering. This field has continued to grow, powered by technological advancements in lab techniques and lab equipment. Microbiologists and geneticists can develop new biological systems quickly and efficiently by simplifying living cells to basic forms called chassis.Discover the real-world examples of synthetic biology that are already available today. Synthetic biology examples range from cosmetics to sustainable fuel development, with many industries putting a unique spin on synthetic biology.

Sustainable Perfume

Historically, perfume has used rare or difficult-to-produce ingredients as a way to display the wealth of people who wear perfume. In the current era of mass production, many artificial imitations of these natural ingredients have emerged.

However, getting a perfect match is hard, and some people are sensitive to these artificial fragrances.

Synthetic biology provides a solution: engineered yeasts that release rose oil as a metabolite. These yeasts replicate the processes in a rose plant to create rose oil, which is then filtered and used as a perfume ingredient. While this synthetic biology example is currently limited to a few botanical scents, there is potential for sustainable synthetic biology perfumeries to replicate animal ingredients like musk or ambergris that is no longer harvested.

Enhanced Food

Anyone who has eaten plant-based meat alternatives in the past 5 years knows just how far plant-based food has come from the days of dry veggie burger patties. These advancements are an example of synthetic biology that is found in most grocery stores.

Impossible Foods has engineered a synthetic alternative to the heme protein found in red meat. Yeasts created with synthetic biology produce heme protein, which gives plant-based meat alternatives a richer flavor and aroma. Heme is a bioavailable source of iron, making these synthetic foods an excellent nutritional option for vegans or vegetarians who may struggle with dietary iron.

Carbon Fixing and Renewable Energy

The increased reliance on fossil fuels has made atmospheric carbon dioxide levels a global concern. Many existing living systems, like plants, metabolize carbon dioxide. However, the rate at which carbon dioxide would be metabolized to remain stable is too high for natural systems alone.

Creative applied synthetic biology examples in this field involve mimicking plants’ natural carbon dioxide metabolism within synthetically created microorganisms.

These autotrophic microbes can generate useful metabolites, like ethanol or lactic acid, as byproducts of their carbon fixation. One of the major benefits of using living organisms to fix carbon is that these organisms can operate without using more fossil fuels.

Vaccine Development

The world saw the need for rapid, effective vaccine development with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Vaccine development is one of the most newsworthy synthetic biology examples of the past few years. At Novartis, a synthetic biology vaccine development platform helped create a vaccine candidate within days. The vaccine platform had been designed for rapid pandemic response following the H1N1 flu outbreak.

As soon as the Covid-19 viral genome was released, researchers synthesized the virus’ antigens to create an RNA-based vaccine. An existing biopart is the basis of many flu viruses served as the chassis. Communication technology allows public health scientists to discover new outbreaks quickly, and synthetic biology allows biologists to respond with effective treatments quickly.

Contact Hudson Robotics for more information on synthetic biology and lab equipment for your business.