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Synthetic Biology underpins advances in the bioeconomy

Biological systems - including the simplest cells - exhibit a broad range of functions to thrive in their environment. Research in the Imperial College Centre for Synthetic Biology is focused on the possibility of engineering the underlying biochemical processes to solve many of the challenges facing society, from healthcare to sustainable energy. In particular, we model, analyse, design and build biological and biochemical systems in living cells and/or in cell extracts, both exploring and enhancing the engineering potential of biology. 

As part of our research we develop novel methods to accelerate the celebrated Design-Build-Test-Learn synthetic biology cycle. As such research in the Centre for Synthetic Biology highly multi- and interdisciplinary covering computational modelling and machine learning approaches; automated platform development and genetic circuit engineering ; multi-cellular and multi-organismal interactions, including gene drive and genome engineering; metabolic engineering; in vitro/cell-free synthetic biology; engineered phages and directed evolution; and biomimetics, biomaterials and biological engineering.



BibTex format

author = {Perin, G and Jones, PR},
doi = {10.1016/j.copbio.2019.04.004},
journal = {Current Opinion in Biotechnology},
pages = {175--182},
title = {Economic feasibility and long-term sustainability criteria on the path to enable a transition from fossil fuels to biofuels.},
url = {},
volume = {57},
year = {2019}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Currently the production of liquid biofuels relies on plant biomass, which in turn depends on the photosynthetic conversion of light and CO2 into chemical energy. As a consequence, the process is renewable on a far shorter time-scale than its fossil counterpart, thus rendering a potential to reduce the environmental impact of the transportation sector. However, the global economy is not intensively pursuing this route, as current generation biofuel production does not meet two key criteria: (1) economic feasibility and (2) long-term sustainability. Herein, we argue that microalgal systems are valuable alternatives to consider, although it is currently technologically immature and therefore not possible to reach criterion 1, nor evaluate criterion 2. In this review we discuss the major limiting factors for this technology and highlight how further research efforts could be deployed to concretize an industrial reality.
AU - Perin,G
AU - Jones,PR
DO - 10.1016/j.copbio.2019.04.004
EP - 182
PY - 2019///
SN - 0958-1669
SP - 175
TI - Economic feasibility and long-term sustainability criteria on the path to enable a transition from fossil fuels to biofuels.
T2 - Current Opinion in Biotechnology
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 57
ER -