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  • Biocatalysis in Green and Blue: Cyanobacteria
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2021-01-16
    Julia Jodlbauer; Thomas Rohr; Oliver Spadiut; Marko D. Mihovilovic; Florian Rudroff

    Recently, several studies have proven the potential of cyanobacteria as whole-cell biocatalysts for biotransformation. Compared to heterotrophic hosts, cyanobacteria show unique advantages thanks to their photoautotrophic metabolism. Their ability to use light as energy and CO2 as carbon source promises a truly sustainable production platform. Their photoautotrophic metabolism offers an encouraging

  • Novel Modalities in DNA Data Storage
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2021-01-14
    Cheng Kai Lim; Saurabh Nirantar; Wen Shan Yew; Chueh Loo Poh

    The field of storing information in DNA has expanded exponentially. Most common modalities involve encoding information from bits into synthesized nucleotides, storage in liquid or dry media, and decoding via sequencing. However, limitations to this paradigm include the cost of DNA synthesis and sequencing, along with low throughput. Further unresolved questions include the appropriate media of storage

  • Equitable Science Requires Collegial Debate
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-11-19
    Nicki Tiffin; Jon Ambler

    We welcome an ongoing debate about benefit-sharing related to the use of digital sequence information (DSI) and how to ensure global equity in the use of biological samples, including those donated by human beings.

  • Production of Bio-alkanes from Biomass and CO2
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2021-01-12
    Richen Lin; Chen Deng; Wuyuan Zhang; Frank Hollmann; Jerry D. Murphy

    Bioelectrochemical technologies such as electro-fermentation and microbial CO2 electrosynthesis are emerging interdisciplinary technologies that can produce renewable fuels and chemicals (such as carboxylic acids). The benefits of electrically driven bioprocesses include improved production rate, selectivity, and carbon conversion efficiency. However, the accumulation of products can lead to inhibition

  • Grand Challenges for Industrializing Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs)
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2021-01-08
    Dan Tan; Ying Wang; Yi Tong; Guo-Qiang Chen

    Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are a diverse family of sustainable bioplastics synthesized by various bacteria, but their high production cost and unstable material properties make them challenging to use in commercial applications. Current industrial biotechnology (CIB) employs conventional microbial chassis, leading to high production costs. However, next-generation industrial biotechnology (NGIB)

  • Build a Sustainable Vaccines Industry with Synthetic Biology
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2021-01-08
    Richard I. Kitney; Jennifer Bell; Jim Philp

    The vaccines industry has not changed appreciably in decades regarding technology, and has struggled to remain viable, with large companies withdrawing from production. Meanwhile, there has been no let-up in outbreaks of viral disease, at a time when the biopharmaceuticals industry is discussing downsizing. The distributed manufacturing model aligns well with this, and the advent of synthetic biology

  • Intrinsically Conductive Microbial Nanowires for ‘Green’ Electronics with Novel Functions
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2021-01-06
    Derek R. Lovley; Jun Yao

    Intrinsically conductive protein nanowires, microbially produced from inexpensive, renewable feedstocks, are a sustainable alternative to traditional nanowire electronic materials, which require high energy inputs and hazardous conditions/chemicals for fabrication and can be highly toxic. Pilin-based nanowires can be tailored for specific functions via the design of synthetic pilin genes to tune wire

  • Microphysiological Systems to Recapitulate the Gut–Kidney Axis
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2021-01-06
    Laura Giordano; Silvia Maria Mihaila; Hossein Eslami Amirabadi; Rosalinde Masereeuw

    Chronic kidney disease (CKD) typically appears alongside other comorbidities, highlighting an underlying complex pathophysiology that is thought to be vastly modulated by the bidirectional gut–kidney crosstalk. By combining advances in tissue engineering, biofabrication, microfluidics, and biosensors, microphysiological systems (MPSs) have emerged as promising approaches for emulating the in vitro

  • In the Era of the Actionable Genome, Everyone is Responsible
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2021-01-04
    Diewertje Houtman; Boy Vijlbrief; Sam R. Riedijk

    Genomics professionals and the general public have a responsibility to bridge the gap between science and society. The general public has a responsibility to deliberate, as their choices not only impact themselves but also shape society. Conversely, genomics professionals have a responsibility to enable the process of opinion formation.

  • Designing Artificial Cells towards a New Generation of Biosensors
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-12-30
    Margrethe A. Boyd; Neha P. Kamat

    The combination of biological and synthetic materials has great potential to generate new types of biosensors. Toward this goal, recent advances in artificial cell development have demonstrated the capacity to detect a variety of analytes and environmental changes by encapsulating genetically encoded sensors within bilayer membranes, expanding the contexts within which biologically based sensing can

  • Carotenoid Biofortification of Crops in the CRISPR Era
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-12-29
    Xiongjie Zheng; Hendrik N.J. Kuijer; Salim Al-Babili

    Carotenoids are micronutrients important for human health. The continuous improvements in clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-based genome-editing techniques make rapid, DNA/transgene-free and targeted multiplex genetic modification a reality, thus promising to accelerate the breeding and generation of ‘golden’ staple crops. We discuss here the progress and future prospects

  • RNA-Centric Methods: Toward the Interactome of Specific RNA Transcripts
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-12-19
    Cathrin Gräwe; Suzan Stelloo; Femke A.H. van Hout; Michiel Vermeulen

    RNA–protein interactions play an important role in numerous cellular processes in health and disease. In recent years, the global RNA-bound proteome has been extensively studied, uncovering many previously unknown RNA-binding proteins. However, little is known about which particular proteins bind to which specific RNA transcript. In this review, we provide an overview of methods to identify RNA–protein

  • From 3D Back to 2D Monolayer Stomach Organoids-on-a-Chip
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-12-19
    Phatcharida Jantaree; Liubov Bakhchova; Ulrike Steinmann; Michael Naumann

    2D monolayer gastric organoids (2DMGOs)-on-a-chip have consistent structures and can live for more than a year in culture. This state-of-the-art cell physiological system in a microfluidic device provides a way to investigate biomedically relevant, stimuli-dependent cellular responses in a variety of differentiated 2DMGOs.

  • Gene Drive-Modified Organisms: Developing Practical Risk Assessment Guidance
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-12-17
    Yann Devos; Michael B. Bonsall; Leslie G. Firbank; John Mumford; Fabien Nogué; Ernst A. Wimmer

    Risk assessors, risk managers, developers, potential applicants, and other stakeholders at many levels discuss the need for new or further risk assessment guidance for deliberate environmental releases of gene drive-modified organisms. However, preparing useful and practical guidance entails challenges, to which we offer recommendations based on our experience drafting guidance.

  • Using Co-Culture to Functionalize Clostridium Fermentation
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-12-17
    Yonghao Cui; Kun-Lin Yang; Kang Zhou

    Clostridium fermentations have been developed for producing butanol and other value-added chemicals, but their development is constrained by some limitations, such as relatively high substrate cost and the need to maintain an anaerobic condition. Recently, co-culture is emerging as a popular way to address these limitations by introducing a partner strain with Clostridium. Generally speaking, the co-culture

  • Engineering Metabolism in Nicotiana Species: A Promising Future
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-12-17
    Francisco Javier Molina-Hidalgo; Marta Vazquez-Vilar; Lucio D'Andrea; Olivia C. Demurtas; Paul Fraser; Giovanni Giuliano; Ralph Bock; Diego Orzáez; Alain Goossens

    Molecular farming intends to use crop plants as biofactories for high value-added compounds following application of a wide range of biotechnological tools. In particular, the conversion of nonfood crops into efficient biofactories is expected to be a strong asset in the development of a sustainable bioeconomy. The ‘nonfood’ status combined with the high metabolic versatility and the capacity of high-yield

  • Overcoming Challenges in Expressing Iron–Sulfur Enzymes in Yeast
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-12-15
    Alessandra Biz; Radhakrishnan Mahadevan

    Iron–sulfur clusters are metal cofactors that are present in all domains of life. Many enzymes that require these cofactors have biotechnological importance, because they can be used to uncover catabolic routes to new sugar substrates or can be a critical part of pathways to produce chemicals and biofuels. However, the expression of these iron–sulfur enzymes of bacterial origin in yeast at high levels

  • Does RNAi-Based Technology Fit within EU Sustainability Goals?
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-12-05
    Clauvis Nji Tizi Taning; Bruno Mezzetti; Gijs Kleter; Guy Smagghe; Elena Baraldi

    European Union (EU) and global sustainability policies emphasize the need to replace contentious pesticides with safe, efficient, and cost-effective alternatives to ensure sustainable food production. However, R&D for alternatives to contentious pesticides are lagging behind and need to be broadened. Here, we discuss how RNAi-based technology can contribute to pesticide risk reduction.

  • Linker Engineering in the Context of Synthetic Protein Switches and Sensors
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-12-05
    Alexander Gräwe; Viktor Stein

    Linkers play critical roles in the construction of synthetic protein switches and sensors as they functionally couple a receptor with an actuator. With an increasing number of molecular toolboxes and experimental strategies becoming available that can be applied to engineer protein switches and sensors with tailored response functions, optimising the connecting linkers remains an idiosyncratic and

  • Microbial Electrosynthesis: Where Do We Go from Here?
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-12-03
    Ludovic Jourdin; Thomas Burdyny

    The valorization of CO2 to valuable products via microbial electrosynthesis (MES) is a technology transcending the disciplines of microbiology, (electro)chemistry, and engineering, bringing opportunities and challenges. As the field looks to the future, further emphasis is expected to be placed on engineering efficient reactors for biocatalysts, to thrive and overcome factors which may be limiting

  • In Situ 3D Printing: Opportunities with Silk Inks
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-12-02
    Francesca Agostinacchio; Xuan Mu; Sandra Dirè; Antonella Motta; David L. Kaplan

    In situ 3D printing is an emerging technique designed for patient-specific needs and performed directly in the patient’s tissues in the operating room. While this technology has progressed rapidly, several improvements are needed to push it forward for widespread utility, including ink formulations and optimization for in situ context. Silk fibroin inks emerge as a viable option due to the diverse

  • Deciphering Organoids: High-Dimensional Analysis of Biomimetic Cultures
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-12-02
    Xiao Qin; Christopher J. Tape

    Organoids are self-organising stem cell-derived ex vivo cultures widely adopted as biomimetic models of healthy and diseased tissues. Traditional low-dimensional experimental methods such as microscopy and bulk molecular analysis have generated remarkable biological insights from organoids. However, as complex heterocellular systems, organoids are especially well-positioned to take advantage of emerging

  • Litter to Leaf: The Unexplored Potential of Silk Byproducts
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-12-02
    Roopa Reddy; Qiuran Jiang; Pornanong Aramwit; Narendra Reddy

    Silk has remained the most preferred protein fiber since its discovery in 3000 BC. However, the cost, availability, and resources required to rear the silkworms and process silk are imposing considerable constraints on the future of silk. It is often unrealized that apart from the fibers, production and processing of silk are a source for a diverse range of sustainable, biodegradable, and biocompatible

  • Why the Synthetic Cell Needs Democratic Governance
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-12-01
    Michelle G.J.L. Habets; Hub A.E. Zwart; Rinie van Est

    Engineering synthetic cells from the bottom up is expected to revolutionize biotechnology. How can synthetic cells support societal transitions necessary to tackle our current global challenges in a socially equitable and sustainable manner? To answer this question, we need to assess socioeconomic considerations and engage in early constructive public dialogue.

  • Next-Generation CRISPR Technologies and Their Applications in Gene and Cell Therapy
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-12-01
    M. Alejandra Zeballos C.; Thomas Gaj

    The emergence of clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) nucleases has transformed biotechnology by providing an easy, efficient, and versatile platform for editing DNA. However, traditional CRISPR-based technologies initiate editing by activating DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair pathways, which can cause adverse effects in cells and restrict certain therapeutic applications

  • The Sustainable Path to a Circular Bioeconomy
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-11-25
    Eleanor Hadley Kershaw; Sarah Hartley; Carmen McLeod; Penelope Polson

    Circular bioeconomy is gaining prominence in academic, policy, and industry contexts, linking circular economy and bioeconomy agendas in service of sustainability. However, it is at risk of developing in narrow, unsustainable ways. A sustainable path to circular bioeconomies must embrace diverse expert and stakeholder input, multiple solutions, and noneconomic value.

  • Impacts on International Research Collaborations from DSI/ABS Uncertainty
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-11-23
    Stuart J. Smyth; Trevor C. Charles

    Digital sequence information (DSI) has no clear definition. Numerous countries define DSI as a nonphysical genetic resources, such as genetic sequence data. Restricting free sharing of DSI is at odds with fundamental science core principles in disciplines like microbiology and molecular genetics. It has the potential to adversely affect international research collaborations.

  • Engineered Living Materials: Taxonomies and Emerging Trends
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-11-21
    Wil V. Srubar

    At the intersection of synthetic biology and materials science, the field of engineered living materials (ELMs) has evolved into a new, standalone discipline. The fusion of bioengineering’s design–build–test–learn approaches with classical materials science has yielded breakthrough innovations in the synthesis of complex, biologically active materials for functional applications in therapeutics, electronics

  • Thraustochytrid Cell Factories for Producing Lipid Compounds
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-11-13
    Xiao-Man Sun; Ying-Shuang Xu; He Huang

    Thraustochytrids can accumulate over 150 g/l biomass, containing up to 55% lipids, without any genetic modification. Their broad substrate utilization capacity, several effective key metabolic pathways, and a well-developed suite of bioprocess engineering strategies all point toward great promise for the future development of these marine protists.

  • Gallium-Based Liquid Metal Particles for Therapeutics
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-11-13
    Wanjie Xie; Francois-Marie Allioux; Jian Zhen Ou; Eijiro Miyako; Shi-Yang Tang; Kourosh Kalantar-Zadeh

    Gallium (Ga) and Ga-based liquid metal (LM) alloys offer low toxicity, excellent electrical and thermal conductivities, and fluidity at or near room temperature. Ga-based LM particles (LMPs) synthesized from these LMs exhibit both fluidic and metallic properties and are suitable for versatile functionalization in therapeutics. Functionalized Ga-based LMPs can be actuated using physical or chemical

  • Image-Based Live Cell Sorting
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-11-13
    Cody A. LaBelle; Angelo Massaro; Belén Cortés-Llanos; Christopher E. Sims; Nancy L. Allbritton

    Technologies capable of cell separation based on cell images provide powerful tools enabling cell selection criteria that rely on spatially or temporally varying properties. Image-based cell sorting (IBCS) systems utilize microfluidic or microarray platforms, each having unique characteristics and applications. The advent of IBCS marks a new paradigm in which cell phenotype and behavior can be explored

  • Prospective Therapeutic Applications of Platelet Extracellular Vesicles
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-11-04
    Jancy Johnson; Yu-Wen Wu; Chantelle Blyth; Gregor Lichtfuss; Hadi Goubran; Thierry Burnouf

    There is much interest in the use of extracellular vesicles (EVs) as a subcellular therapy for regenerative medicine and drug delivery. Blood-borne platelets represent a source of therapeutic EVs that is so far largely unexplored. Advantages of platelets as a cellular source of EVs include their established clinical value, regulated collection procedures, availability in a concentrated form, propensity

  • International Reporting Mechanism for Unethical Germline Gene Editing Experiments Is Needed
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-11-04
    G. Owen Schaefer; Markus K. Labude; Yujia Zhu; Roger Sik-Yin Foo; Vicki Xafis

    Recent reporting found that a number of scientists internationally knew about the experiment resulting in the birth of the first gene-edited babies well before the news broke. Because scientists have a responsibility to reveal such activities, an international governance mechanism for reporting unethical gene editing experiments should be established.

  • Arming Yourself for The In Silico Protein Design Revolution
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-10-31
    Sidney P. Walker; Venkata V.B. Yallapragada; Mark Tangney

    Proteins mediate many essential processes of life to a degree of functional precision unmatched by any synthetic device. While engineered proteins are currently used in biotech, food, biomedicine, and material technology-based industries, the true potential of proteins is practically untapped. The emerging field of in silico protein design is predicted to provide the next quantum leap in the biotech

  • Stability of Biologics and the Quest for Polysorbate Alternatives
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-10-30
    Sachin Dubey; Roberto Giovannini

    Most biopharmaceutical formulations use polysorbates: surfactants that are highly efficient but difficult to manage in terms of compositional variability, quality, and stability. Alternatives, such as poloxamers, albumin, and cyclodextrin, are becoming popular and are being explored for their potential to protect biopharmaceuticals against physical and mechanical stresses.

  • Third Generation Whole-Cell Sensing Systems: Synthetic Biology Inside, Nanomaterial Outside
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-10-23
    Mingzhang Guo; Kunlun Huang; Wentao Xu

    Whole-cell sensing systems (WCSSs) are highly anticipated in the field of on-site detection. However, due to their low specificity, poor stability, and potential environmental problems, their commercial application is unrealistic. Recently, synthetic biology and nanomaterials have provided potential solutions to these problems, propelling WCSSs into a new generation. Synthetic biology provides a complete

  • Biotechnology for Tomorrow’s World: Scenarios to Guide Directions for Future Innovation
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-10-21
    Marc Cornelissen; Aleksandra Małyska; Amrit Kaur Nanda; René Klein Lankhorst; Martin A.J. Parry; Vandasue Rodrigues Saltenis; Mathias Pribil; Philippe Nacry; Dirk Inzé; Alexandra Baekelandt

    Depending on how the future will unfold, today’s progress in biotechnology research has greater or lesser potential to be the basis of subsequent innovation. Tracking progress against indicators for different future scenarios will help to focus, emphasize, or de-emphasize discovery research in a timely manner and to maximize the chance for successful innovation. In this paper, we show how learning

  • Host Systems for the Production of Recombinant Spider Silk
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-10-10
    Dominic R. Whittall; Katherine V. Baker; Rainer Breitling; Eriko Takano

    Spider silk is renowned for its impressive mechanical properties. It is one of the strongest known biomaterials, possessing mechanical properties that outmatch both steel and Kevlar. However, the farming of spiders for their silk is unfeasible. Consequently, production of recombinant spider silk proteins (spidroins) in more amenable hosts is an exciting field of research. For large-scale production

  • Understanding and Assisting Reproduction in Wildlife Species Using Microfluidics
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-10-07
    Séverine Le Gac; Marcia Ferraz; Bastien Venzac; Pierre Comizzoli

    Conservation breeding and assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) are invaluable tools to save wild animal species that are on the brink of extinction. Microfluidic devices recently developed for human or domestic animal reproductive medicine could significantly help to increase knowledge about fertility and contribute to the success of ART in wildlife. Some of these microfluidic tools could be applied

  • SWATH-MS-Based Proteomics: Strategies and Applications in Plants
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-10-06
    Mo-Xian Chen; Youjun Zhang; Alisdair R. Fernie; Ying-Gao Liu; Fu-Yuan Zhu

    Most applied proteomic approaches require labeling steps. Recent technological advances provide an alternative label-free proteomics approach: SWATH-MS. This powerful tool is now widely used in animal studies but has drawn far less attention in plants. Here we summarize how this promising technology can be applied to facilitate functional analysis in plant research.

  • From Acetate to Bio-Based Products: Underexploited Potential for Industrial Biotechnology
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-10-06
    Dirk Kiefer; Manuel Merkel; Lars Lilge; Marius Henkel; Rudolf Hausmann

    Currently, most biotechnological products are based on microbial conversion of carbohydrate substrates that are predominantly generated from sugar- or starch-containing plants. However, direct competitive uses of these feedstocks in the food and feed industry represent a dilemma, so using alternative carbon sources has become increasingly important in industrial biotechnology. A promising alternative

  • Fabricating Organized Elastin in Vascular Grafts
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-10-02
    Ziyu Wang; Linyang Liu; Suzanne M. Mithieux; Anthony S. Weiss

    Surgically bypassing or replacing a severely damaged artery using a biodegradable synthetic vascular graft is a promising treatment that allows for the remodeling and regeneration of the graft to form a neoartery. Elastin-based structures, such as elastic fibers, elastic lamellae, and laminae, are key functional components in the arterial extracellular matrix. In this review, we identify the lack of

  • Embracing Dynamic Models for Gene Drive Management
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-09-30
    Andrew J. Golnar; Emily Ruell; Alun L. Lloyd; Kim M. Pepin

    Robust methods of predicting how gene drive systems will interact with ecosystems is essential for safe deployment of gene drive technology. We describe how quantitative tools can reduce risk uncertainty, streamline empirical research, guide risk management, and promote cross-sector collaboration throughout the process of gene drive technology development and implementation.

  • Synthetic Methylotrophy in Yeasts: Towards a Circular Bioeconomy
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-09-29
    Jonathan Thomas Fabarius; Vanessa Wegat; Arne Roth; Volker Sieber

    Mitigating climate change is a key driver for the development of sustainable and CO2-neutral production processes. In this regard, connecting carbon capture and utilization processes to derive microbial C1 fermentation substrates from CO2 is highly promising. This strategy uses methylotrophic microbes to unlock next-generation processes, converting CO2-derived methanol. Synthetic biology approaches

  • Promoting Lignin Valorization by Coping with Toxic C1 Byproducts
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-09-29
    Zhihui Zhang; Yu Wang; Ping Zheng; Jibin Sun

    The toxic C1 compounds methanol and formaldehyde are generated during bioconversion of lignin into value-added chemicals. These toxins can be detoxified and assimilated by methylotrophs to synthesize useful metabolites and cell biomass. We discuss the promising future of constructing integrated biosystems to use toxic C1 byproducts and promote lignin valorization.

  • Innovative Tools and Strategies for Optimizing Yeast Cell Factories
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-09-29
    Gregory Guirimand; Natalja Kulagina; Nicolas Papon; Tomohisa Hasunuma; Vincent Courdavault

    Metabolic engineering (ME) aims to develop efficient microbial cell factories that can produce a wide variety of valuable compounds, ideally at the highest yield and from various feedstocks. We summarize recent developments in ME methods for tailoring different yeast cell factories (YCFs). In particular, we highlight the most timely and cutting-edge molecular tools and strategies for biosynthetic pathway

  • From Sequencing to Genome Editing for Cotton Improvement
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-09-28
    Renhai Peng; Don C. Jones; Fang Liu; Baohong Zhang

    Traditional breeding techniques are proven, but additional knowledge learned from genome sequencing provides vast new data that might help identify gene targets for improving cotton sustainability. CRISPR/Cas9 provides a powerful tool for precision cotton breeding. Here, we discuss the opportunities and challenges of genome sequencing and editing for cotton improvement.

  • Extracellular Vesicles in Cardiac Regeneration: Potential Applications for Tissues-on-a-Chip.
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-09-19
    Karl T Wagner,Trevor R Nash,Bohao Liu,Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic,Milica Radisic

    Strategies to regenerate cardiac tissue postinjury are limited and heart transplantation remains the only ‘cure’ for a failing heart. Extracellular vesicles (EVs), membrane-bound cell secretions important in intercellular signaling, have been shown to play a crucial role in regulating heart function. A mechanistic understanding of the role of EVs in the heart remains elusive due to the challenges in

  • Advancing Mass Spectrometry Technology in cGMP Environments.
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-07-24
    Da Ren

    Mass spectrometry is a powerful analytical tool that has been widely used in the biotech industry. Recent trends of implementing a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) based multi-attribute method (MAM) in cGMP environments enables end-to-end monitoring and control of critical quality attributes (CQAs) of therapeutic proteins to ensure drug product quality.

  • Process Analytical Technologies and Data Analytics for the Manufacture of Monoclonal Antibodies.
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-08-21
    Murali K Maruthamuthu,Scott R Rudge,Arezoo M Ardekani,Michael R Ladisch,Mohit S Verma

    Process analytical technology (PAT) for the manufacture of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) is defined by an integrated set of advanced and automated methods that analyze the compositions and biophysical properties of cell culture fluids, cell-free product streams, and biotherapeutic molecules that are ultimately formulated into concentrated products. In-line or near-line probes and systems are remarkably

  • Enhancing Biopolymer Hydrogel Functionality through Interpenetrating Networks.
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-09-16
    Abhishek P Dhand,Jonathan H Galarraga,Jason A Burdick

    Traditional hydrogels are strong candidates for biomedical applications; however, they may suffer from drawbacks such as weak mechanics, static properties, and an inability to fully replicate aspects of the cellular microenvironment. These challenges can be addressed through the incorporation of second networks to form interpenetrating polymer network (IPN) hydrogels. The objective of this review is

  • Adaptive Evolution Improves Algal Strains for Environmental Remediation.
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-09-14
    Quanyu Zhao,He Huang

    Microalgae have potential for environmental remediation, but they must better tolerate stress. Adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE) is effective to construct evolved strains, but its efficiency is low. Highly efficient ALE relies on selecting suitable environmental stress, original strain selection, and optimizing initial cell density and stress strategy.

  • In situ Biogas Upgrading by CO2-to-CH4 Bioconversion.
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-09-08
    Shanfei Fu,Irini Angelidaki,Yifeng Zhang

    Biogas produced by anaerobic digestion is an important renewable energy carrier. Nevertheless, the high CO2 content in biogas limits its utilization to mainly heat and electricity generation. Upgrading biogas into biomethane broadens its potential as a vehicle fuel or substitute for natural gas. CO2-to-CH4 bioconversion represents one cutting-edge solution for biogas upgrading. In situ bioconversion

  • Can Bottom-Up Synthetic Biology Generate Advanced Drug-Delivery Systems?
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-09-07
    Felix Lussier,Oskar Staufer,Ilia Platzman,Joachim P Spatz

    Creating a magic bullet that can selectively kill cancer cells while sparing nearby healthy cells remains one of the most ambitious objectives in pharmacology. Nanomedicine, which relies on the use of nanotechnologies to fight disease, was envisaged to fulfill this coveted goal. Despite substantial progress, the structural complexity of therapeutic vehicles impedes their broad clinical application

  • Recent Advances in the Microbial Synthesis of Hemoglobin.
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-09-07
    Xinrui Zhao,Jingwen Zhou,Guocheng Du,Jian Chen

    Hemoglobin is a cofactor-containing protein with heme that plays important roles in transporting and storing oxygen. Hemoglobins have been widely applied as acellular oxygen carriers, bioavailable iron-supplying agents, and food-grade coloring and flavoring agents. To meet increasing demands and overcome the drawbacks of chemical extraction, the biosynthesis of hemoglobin has become an attractive alternative

  • A Shift Towards Biotechnology: Social Opinion in the EU.
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-09-04
    E Woźniak,A Tyczewska,T Twardowski

    Consumers’ attitude to genetic engineering provides information to stakeholders who are interested in its adoption, which is essential considering the emerging growth of new breeding techniques. This short article analyses, compares, and describes the knowledge, doubts, and concerns of Europeans about biotechnology and genetic engineering over the past 20 years.

  • Learning from Nature to Expand the Genetic Code.
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-09-04
    Enric Ros,Adrian Gabriel Torres,Lluís Ribas de Pouplana

    The genetic code is the manual that cells use to incorporate amino acids into proteins. It is possible to artificially expand this manual through cellular, molecular, and chemical manipulations to improve protein functionality. Strategies for in vivo genetic code expansion are under the same functional constraints as natural protein synthesis. Here, we review the approaches used to incorporate noncanonical

  • Gene Delivery to the Skin - How Far Have We Come?
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-08-29
    Qurrat Ul Ain,Estefania V R Campos,Ariel Huynh,Dominik Witzigmann,Sarah Hedtrich

    Gene therapies are powerful tools to prevent, treat, and cure human diseases. The application of gene therapies for skin diseases received little attention so far, despite the easy accessibility of skin and the urgent medical need. A major obstacle is the unique barrier properties of human skin, which significantly limits the absorption of biomacromolecules, and thus hampers the efficient delivery

  • Platelet-Derived Products in Veterinary Medicine: A New Trend or an Effective Therapy?
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-08-28
    Carla S Soares,Pedro S Babo,Rui L Reis,Pedro P Carvalho,Manuela E Gomes

    Platelet-derived products (PDPs) have gained popularity, mainly due to their high concentrations of bioactive molecules such as growth factors and cytokines, which play important roles in tissue healing and regeneration. PDPs are obtained through minimally invasive procedures and their therapeutic effect has been widely recognized. In veterinary medicine, however, the lack of standard protocols to

  • Magnetic Levitation Systems for Disease Diagnostics.
    Trends Biotechnol. (IF 14.343) Pub Date : 2020-08-27
    Ali Akbar Ashkarran,Morteza Mahmoudi

    Magnetic levitation (MagLev) is a well-documented, robust technique for density measurements and separations. Although the potential of MagLev as an emerging tool in biotechnology has been recently investigated, the practical use of MagLev in diagnosis and disease detection merits further attention. This review highlights the diagnostic capacity of a simple and portable MagLev system and the possibilities

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