“Please see my solution below (highlight in red) which some scientists are working on for the treatment of cancer especially related to the DNA.” – Contributed by Oogle.
Wyss scientists are learning how to quickly and cheaply manufacture the building blocks of life – DNA, RNA, proteins, and cells – and to generate almost unlimited variations in their shape and structure. Platform faculty and staff leverage automation and selections to sort through these molecular libraries to discover the ones that meet their needs. This approach offers an unprecedented ability to harness the natural process of evolution at an accelerated pace, which provides scientists with new tools for studying and treating disease. This approach is being used to evolve human antibodies that will steer drugs and nanomaterials to specific organ sites, as well as transcription factor gene circuits, which can reprogram cells in predictable ways.
Reengineering DNA synthesis
Improvements in DNA technology have tracked a Moore’s law-like pattern, showing an exponential reduction in DNA sequencing costs over the past two decades. However, to enable the next generation of synthetic biology, a quantum jump in DNA synthesis capability is needed. An ability to produce long, multi-gene length DNA molecules on demand, at low cost, and in a form amenable to directed evolution, selection, and in vitro translation into proteins will transform all fields of biology. It will also make DNA itself a cost-effective, biodegradable, and biocompatible building material for medical applications and facilitate our work on DNA origami-based Programmable Nanomaterials.
Institute faculty and scientists are working with Synthetic Biology Platform staff to push technical boundaries in various ways in order to develop transformative new technologies. One team is re-engineering photosynthetic bacteria to produce hydrogen and other fuels – in essence, transforming groups of cells into biological solar panels. Others are constructing genetic memory devices, including on-off switches and counters, that effectively function like living transistors for use in integrated biochip devices. Another team is developing powerful new methods to assemble complex shapes out of DNA for gene delivery. Some Institute scientists are even exploring the possibility of using cellular reprogramming strategies to reboot cancers so that they stop growing and turn into normal tissue. And all of these efforts are being accelerated and advanced by new methods for rapid, low-cost synthesis of multi-gene length DNAs that are being pioneered by our platform engineers.