10:52 AM
May 03, 2018
 |  BC Innovations  |  Translation in Brief

Tuning thresholds

How Rice University researchers are tuning biosensors of inflammation

Synthetic biologists at Rice University have figured out how to tune naturally occurring bacterial biosensors to detect clinically relevant levels of target molecules. The group intends to use the approach to engineer gut microbes that can diagnose -- and, one day, possibly treat -- GI diseases.

Bacteria express a wide range of two-component biosensors wherein one component detects a signal in the environment and the second triggers a biological response.

Synthetic biologists inside and outside of drug development have been identifying two-component biosensors that can detect molecules of interest for use in diverse applications. Within therapeutics, at least two biotechs, Synlogic Inc. (NASDAQ:SYBX) and Gencirq LLC, are engineering bacterial systems that can sense signals and produce beneficial molecules for combating cancer, metabolic and hepatic diseases (see “Making Cells Compute.” BioCentury Innovations...

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