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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 = {Storch, M and Casini, A and Mackrow, B and Fleming, T and Trewhitt, H and Ellis, T and Baldwin, GS},
doi = {10.1021/sb500356d},
journal = {ACS Synthetic Biology},
pages = {781--787},
title = {BASIC: a new Biopart Assembly Standard for Idempotent Cloning provides accurate, single-tier DNA assembly for synthetic biology},
url = {},
volume = {4},
year = {2015}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - The ability to quickly and reliably assemble DNA constructs is one of the key enabling technologies for synthetic biology. Here we define a new Biopart Assembly Standard for Idempotent Cloning (BASIC), which exploits the principle of orthogonal linker based DNA assembly to define a new physical standard for DNA parts. Further, we demonstrate a new robust method for assembly, based on type IIs restriction cleavage and ligation of oligonucleotides with single stranded overhangs that determine the assembly order. It allows for efficient, parallel assembly with great accuracy: 4 part assemblies achieved 93% accuracy with single antibiotic selection and 99.7% accuracy with double antibiotic selection, while 7 part assemblies achieved 90% accuracy with double antibiotic selection. The linkers themselves may also be used as composable parts for RBS tuning or the creation of fusion proteins. The standard has one forbidden restriction site and provides for an idempotent, single tier organisation, allowing all parts and composite constructs to be maintained in the same format. This makes the BASIC standard conceptually simple at both the design and experimental levels.
AU - Storch,M
AU - Casini,A
AU - Mackrow,B
AU - Fleming,T
AU - Trewhitt,H
AU - Ellis,T
AU - Baldwin,GS
DO - 10.1021/sb500356d
EP - 787
PY - 2015///
SN - 2161-5063
SP - 781
TI - BASIC: a new Biopart Assembly Standard for Idempotent Cloning provides accurate, single-tier DNA assembly for synthetic biology
T2 - ACS Synthetic Biology
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 4
ER -