Bench talksOct 21, 2022
Engineering synthetic microbial communities with Ákos Kovács
Delve into the fascinating world of microbial communities with our latest podcast featuring Professor Ákos T. Kovács and engage 🦠 in our dialogue on the secrets of bacterial interactions, and community behavior on biofilm development. 🌱🔬 This episode brings on an interesting perspective of engineering synthetic communities to understand the complex behavior of microbes in their native environment.
Biosafety and genetic safeguards with Enrique Asin Garcia
Get ready for an enlightening discussion as we delve into the realm of biosafety in the Netherlands and explore the crucial role of genetic safeguards in Synthetic biology. In our current episode, we sat down with Dr. Enrique Asin Garcia, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wageningen, as he navigated us through the fascinating world of biosafety regulations in the Netherlands. From understanding the latest advancements in genetic containment strategies to unraveling the potential of synthetic organisms, this conversation promises to be both captivating and insightful.
Stay tuned for an engaging dialogue on the future of biosafety and the critical importance of responsible research in the ever-evolving domain of synthetic biology. 🌱🧬 #BiosafetyNetherlands #GeneticSafeguards #SyntheticBiology #EthicalResearch
If you are curious and want to follow and read more about Enrique's work, check out the links below: Dr. Enrique Asin Garcia, Post Doc at the Wageningen University: university profile, twitter, Linkedin
Discovering novel antifungal agents with Kristina Haslinger and Sonja Billerbeck
Join us in our next episode as we dive into the world of antifungal discovery using synthetic biology and open science. We had the pleasure of interviewing two brilliant scientists, Dr. Sonja Billerbeck and Dr. Kristina Haslinger, who are making significant contributions in this field. Sonja's research focuses on unraveling the potential of yeast killer toxins as antifungal agents and preservatives, while Kristina leverages synthetic biology techniques to discover new insights into antifungal compounds. Get ready for an engaging conversation on cutting-edge technologies, efforts in open science, and the future of antifungal therapies. Don't miss out! 🌱🔬 #SynBioDiscoveries #AntifungalResearch #SyntheticBiology #OpenScience
If you are curious and want to follow and read more about research on discovering novel antifungal agents check out the links below:
Dr. Kristina Haslinger, Assistant Professor at the University of Groningen: Lab website
Dr. Sonja Billerbeck, Assistant Professor at the University of Groningen: Lab website
Engineering photosynthetic organisms with Sarah D'Adamo and Sandra Irmisch
For our second episode of 2023, we have invited Dr. Sandra Irmisch from the Leiden university and Dr. Sarah D'Adamo from the Wageningen university to learn about their research in understanding and engineering photosynthetic organisms. In this episode, we talked about their research, current challenges in engineering photosynthetic organisms and their metabolic pathways, how synthetic biology tools help towards solving these challenges and why the future looks 'green' and promising with advances in this field! Join us for more and stay tuned for upcoming #BenchTalks!
If you are curious and want to follow and read more about research on engineering photosynthetic organisms check out the links
Synthetic metabolism with Lennart Schada and Nico Claassens
For our first episode of 2023, we have invited Dr. Lennart Schada von Borzyskowski from the Leiden university and Dr. Nico Claassens from the Wageningen university to learn about their research in synthetic metabolism, a little bit about Dutch research funding and ways to communicate technical research to public. With this episode, we start our long awaited discussions with synbio-researchers in the Netherlands. We will learn how scientists use synthetic biology in a wide variety of research fields to solve global problems or build on fundamental research. Stay tuned for upcoming #BenchTalks!
If you are curious and want to follow and read more about research on synthetic metabolism check out the links
Dr. Lennart Schada von Borzyskowski: Twitter and university-link
Dr. Nico Claassens: Twitter and university-link
Into the mind of bioartists: with Lizah van der Aart and Michael Sedbon
This episode marks the beginning of a new series of Meet the Biodreamers, the BioArtists. In this series we will focus on some amazing bio-artists, who create art, inspired by science - especially biology. In this series we want to talk to artists associated with the Netherlands, who are involved in storytelling and scientific communication, or are generating new media and novel platforms for interactive art.
In this episode, we invited two such artists. First, we have Lizah van der Aart, who did a PhD in Leiden and now is working as a science artist and communicator. Second, we have Michael Sedbon who has done exhibitions in the Netherlands as an Interaction Designer, and is an artist and life science researcher based in Paris. Let's hear their journey as artists and get to know the process of creating visuals about Science.
If you are curious and want to enjoy the work created by Lizah and Michael, please find the links to their website and projects below.
- Here's a link to Lizah's website: https://lizahvanderaart.com/ and you can find MinuteEarth at www.youtube.com/minuteearth
- Here is a link to Michael's website, information about the project of Cryptic beings that he mentioned and his Instagram.
SynBio Supervisors with a Dream
Marjolein and Darshak had a chat with 'super' biodreamers, i.e. supervisors and professors in Netherlands involved in running SynBio education, especially with a focus on their role as advisors for iGEM teams.
This is a special episode on SynBio education in Netherlands. We will discuss how universities in Netherlands promote students into the field of Synthetic Biology,e.g. for participation in iGEM, and especially how supervisors and teachers play a major role in this process. For this special episode we have our guests, Prof. Sonja Billerbeck from the University of Groningen and Prof. Dennis Claessen from the university of Leiden. Both of them are actively involved in educating students in the field of SynBio, especially through managing their university iGEM teams.
Find more about Prof. Sonja Billerbeck and her research on: https://www.billerbecklab.com/
Find more about Prof. Dennis Claessen and his research on: https://www.universiteitleiden.nl/en/staffmembers/dennis-claessen
A nano-yet-golden dream of iGEM Leiden
Marjolein and Darshak talked with biodreamers from Leiden university, with their aim to produce BINANOX, i.e. gold and silver nanoparticles from bacteria for application as a cancer therapy.
The team thinks "Photothermal therapy (PTT) is a novel and promising treatment for head and neck cancers. PTT utilizes nanoparticles that convert light at 800 nm from a laser to heat, which kills the tumor cells. Biological production of nanoparticles for PTT is superior to other synthesis methods. So, our team developed a microbial factory to produce these nanoparticles by engineering E. coli and optimized these nanoparticles for good efficacy with PTT."
Find more about BINANOX on their website: https://2022.igem.wiki/leiden
Dreaming of colorful diagnostics with iGEM Wageningen
Marjolein and Darshak talked with biodreamers from Wageningen university, with their aim to detect colorectal cancer using living diagnostics and colorful poop.
The team thinks "Colorectal cancer is the second most deadly cancer worldwide. Currently employed screening methods, suffer from low detection rates and result in frequent false positives, leading to missed diagnoses or unnecessary follow-up treatments. We created Colourectal, an easy-to-use living diagnostic tool. We engineered the probiotic strain Escherichia coli Nissle 1917 to bind to tumour cells, detect two distinct cancer biomarkers, and secrete a coloured protein in the stool."
Find more about COLOURECTAL on their website: https://2022.igem.wiki/wageningen-ur/
An IMPACTful dream of iGEM Eindhoven
Marjolein and Darshak talked with biodreamers from Eindhoven university, with their aim to solve autoimmune disorders using personalized cell therapy.
The team thinks "Worldwide 400 million people suffer from autoimmune diseases, of which 1 million are affected by the inflammatory disorder ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV). Current therapies against AAV are based on unspecific immunosuppressive drugs causing burdensome side effects, high healthcare expenditures and workloads, while not excluding disease relapses. To overcome these shortcomings, we designed !MPACT: a Modular and Personalized Autoimmune Cell Therapy. We engineered mammalian cells that detect the autoantibodies (ANCAs) and subsequently produce the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10, which results in suppression of the autoimmune response. The modularity of the used technology offers great potential to treat many autoimmune diseases."
Find more about IMPACT on their website: https://2022.igem.wiki/tu-eindhoven/
A Nanobuddy dream by iGEM Groningen
Marjolein and Darshak talked with biodreamers from Groningen university, with their Nanobuddy development to protect chicken from bird flu.
The team thinks
"The highly pathogenic avian influenza virus sweeps through the world. Current biosecurity and prevention strategies (e.g. intravenous vaccination) are insufficient and logistical nightmares, resulting in deaths of millions of poultry worldwide. With Nanobuddy, iGEM Groningen propose a novel solution by engineering Lactobacillus reuteri, a native species in the lung and intestinal microbiome of chickens, to secrete broadly neutralizing nanobodies against bird flu."
Find more about Nanobuddy on their website: https://2022.igem.wiki/groningen/
Teaser: Meet the BioDreamers
This is a sneak peek behind the curtains of our upcoming podcast hosted by Darshak Bhatt and Marjolein Crooijmans from SynBioNL. In our first series of episodes, we are going to meet the bio-dreamers of Netherlands. We will talk to them about their dream project to solve problems related to environment, diagnostics, therapeutics, bio-production, and much more.