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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 = {Zielonka, D and Witkowski, G and Puch, EA and Lesniczak, M and Mazur-Michalek, I and Isalan, M and Mielcarek, M},
doi = {10.3389/fmed.2020.00079},
journal = {Frontiers in Medicine},
title = {Prevalence of non-psychiatric comorbidities in pre-symptomatic and symptomatic Huntington's disease gene carriers in Poland},
url = {},
volume = {7},
year = {2020}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Huntington's disease (HD) is monogenic neurodegenerative disorder caused by CAG expansions within the Huntingtin gene (Htt); it has a prevalence of 1 in 10,000 worldwide and is invariably fatal. Typically, healthy individuals have fewer than 35 CAG repeats, while the CAG expansions range from 36 to ~200 in HD patients. The hallmark of HD is neurodegeneration, especially in the striatal nuclei, basal ganglia and cerebral cortex, leading to neurological symptoms that involve motor, cognitive, and psychiatric events. However, HD is a complex disorder that may also affect peripheral organs, so it is possible that HD patients could be affected by comorbidities. Hence, we investigated the prevalence of comorbid conditions in HD patients (pre-symptomatic and symptomatic groups) and compared the frequency of those conditions to a control group. Our groups represent 65% of HD gene carriers registered in Poland. We identified 8 clusters of comorbid conditions in both HD groups, namely: musculoskeletal, allergies, cardiovascular, neurological, gastrointestinal, thyroid, psychiatric, and ophthalmologic. We found that HD patients have a significantly higher percentage of co-existing conditions in comparison to the control group. Among the 8 clusters of diseases, musculoskeletal, psychiatric, and cardiovascular events were significantly more frequent in both pre- and symptomatic HD patients, while neurological and gastrointestinal clusters showed significantly higher occurrence in the HD symptomatic group. A greater recognition of comorbidity in HD might help to better understand health outcomes and improve clinical management.
AU - Zielonka,D
AU - Witkowski,G
AU - Puch,EA
AU - Lesniczak,M
AU - Mazur-Michalek,I
AU - Isalan,M
AU - Mielcarek,M
DO - 10.3389/fmed.2020.00079
PY - 2020///
SN - 2296-858X
TI - Prevalence of non-psychiatric comorbidities in pre-symptomatic and symptomatic Huntington's disease gene carriers in Poland
T2 - Frontiers in Medicine
UR -
UR -
VL - 7
ER -