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Applications & Industries » Synthetic Biology » Synthetic Biology Webinars

Synthetic Biology Webinars

Synthetic Biology Webinars

Our synthetic biology webinars feature 30-45 minute-long, online seminars followed by a short Q&A session presented by experts in the field. Content of each webinar is specifically developed to highlight strategies, techniques, services, or products that can help you avoid common pitfalls in experimental design and implementation of your metabolic pathway and microbial strain engineering.


Click on any title below to view the webinar and download PDF of slides.


Expression of Toxic Genes in E. coli: Special Strategies and Genetic Tools

Escherichia coli is the most efficient and widely-used host for synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, protein production and plasmid replication. With the advent of the post-genomic era, a growing number of genes originating from different organisms are expressed in this bacterial host. Unfortunately, many of these genes can severely interfere with the survival of E. coli. These genes, which are defined as toxic genes, can lead to metabolic burden, growth defects, or even death, resulting in experimental failure or unpredictability of the outcome. In this webinar, we will discuss how to identify and predict the presence of such toxic genes in your molecular cloning experiments. We will also review several methods and genetic tools to ensure successful execution of your experiments for obtaining reliable results.

Speaker: Dr. Fanglong Zhao is a senior scientist at GenScript USA Inc. He received his Ph.D. from Tianjin University and is specialized in the field of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. He has extensive experience in assembly of long DNA fragments.

Building DNA Libraries to Explore the Combinatorial Design Space

Engineering complex biological systems is not straightforward. To this end, synthetic biologists often need to explore a combinatorial design space to achieve the best performance. In this webinar, we will discuss strategies for designing and assembling combinatorial DNA libraries to optimize or develop novel metabolic pathways, genetic circuits, or microbial strains. We will also introduce our comprehensive combinatorial DNA library services, which can greatly accelerate the build phase of your development cycle and facilitate your engineering of novel biological systems.

Speaker: Dr. Yifan Li is a senior scientist at GenScript USA Inc. He received his Ph.D. from Tianjin University and is specialized in the field of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. He has extensive experience in building and using combinatorial DNA assembly libraries for metabolic pathway optimization.

A Guide to Harnessing DNA Assembly for Drug Discovery

Current DNA synthesis and assembly technologies give today’s genetic engineers unprecedented freedom to control every aspect of genetic design. In this webinar, Dr Michael Smanski - Professor at the University of Minnesota - will discuss how his team is using combinatorial DNA assembly strategies to interrogate and optimize refactored gene clusters. This webinar will cover key concepts in DNA assembly, discuss the importance of analyzing combinatorial libraries of genetic designs, and highlight emerging areas of research. These main points will include an example application of DNA assembly for the production of a natural product with promising pre-clinical bioactivity.

Speaker: Dr. Michael Smanski is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota interested in developing new strategies for DNA synthesis and assembly for multiplex design of biotechnological processes. Dr. Smanski completed a postdoctoral HHMI fellowship at MIT under Christopher Voigt and his doctoral degree under Ben Shen at the Scripps Institute. Dr. Smanski is the author of over 20 research articles, 4 of which are in Nature journals.

Understanding and Designing Flanking Homology DNA Assembly Experiments

Dr. Nathan Hillson will discuss methods in flanking homology DNA assembly, including Gibson, In-Fusion, and yeast TAR assembly – amongst many other related methods. Current DNA assembly methods offer many advantages over traditional (multiple cloning site, digestion/ligation) approaches, including the ability to assembly multiple fragments at once, the lack of a necessary specific restriction enzyme, and time commitment.

One part of DNA assembly is designing these experimental methods. To that end, Dr. Hillson will provide a demonstration of how to use web-based software to automate and optimize the design of protocols for these methods.

Finally, Dr. Hillson will explain how synthetic DNA fragments fit in to the DNA assembly process and how this relates to your work.

Speaker: Dr. Nathan Hillson, Director of Synthetic Biology Informatics at the Joint BioEnergy Institute

Engineering Cell Behavior with Synthetic Biology

Synthetic biology is generally understood to be a graft of engineering and biology, and this has led to some confusing and unhelpful metaphors. In this webinar, Dr. Richardson will introduce you to the interdisciplinary world of synthetic biology, busting some of the popular myths about this field—DNA is not a programming language, and cells are not compilers or circuit boards! Dr. Richardson will also tell you about how synthetic biology differs to recombinant DNA technology, and you will get a solid overview of where and how synthetic biology can be used within research. You will receive tips and resources to help you embark on synthetic biology. The webinar will finish with open questions and future perspectives for this exciting and fast-growing field.

Building a Synthetic Eukaryotic Genome: Design, Construction and Application

Are you looking for new methods to design and engineer genes, pathways and even chromosomes? Leslie Mitchell, Ph.D., one of the leading scientists working on the Synthetic Yeast genome project Sc2.0 (www.syntheticyeast.org), will present their ambitious work to build the first synthetic eukaryotic genome. Sc2.0 aims to design, construct, and replace the native 12Mb genome of Saccharomyces cerevisiae with a fully synthetic version. Sc2.0 chromosomes are designed to encode myriad changes. First, to improve genomic stability, destabilizing elements such as transposons are removed and tRNA genes are re-located to a separate 'neochromosome'. Second, synonymously recoded sequences called PCRtags permit encryption and tracking of the synthetic DNA. Finally, to enable downstream genetic flexibility, Sc2.0 encodes an inducible evolution system called SCRaMbLE (Synthetic Chromosome Rearrangement and Modification by LoxP-mediated Evolution) that can generate combinatorial genetic diversity on command. To date, construction has begun on more than half of the 16 synthetic chromosomes by an international team of collaborators. Software and experimental infrastructure developed to facilitate Sc2.0 genome design and construction are applicable to new projects ranging from single gene/pathway design to synthesizing artificial chromosomes.

Gene variant libraries: design, construction, and research applications

Do you wish you could enhance your research by using large gene mutant libraries, but find the thought of generating them too daunting? While it can be very challenging and time-consuming to create and validate hundreds or thousands of unique variant sequences in your own lab, GenScript's expertise in gene synthesis technology makes it easy and affordable. In this webinar, we'll discuss different strategies for designing variant libraries, and we'll explore how DNA libraries are being used in peer-reviewed publications from fields including structural biology, vaccine research, synthetic biology, and antibody engineering.

Codon optimization: Why & how to design DNA sequences for optimal soluble protein expression

Have you struggled with low protein expression levels in your experiments? This webinar will explain the principles of codon optimization and explore case studies showing how it improves protein expression up to 100-fold. Research has revealed dozens of DNA sequence features that influence the efficiency of each step required to achieve soluble target protein expression. We will review the critical publications that inform GenScript's patented algorithm and the data showing how our algorithm compares to our competitors. We will look at peer-reviewed papers that employed codon-optimized synthetic genes for heterologous protein expression in different host systems, including bacteria, yeast, plant, and human cells. Finally, we will see how GenScript's codon optimization can provide clever solutions to molecular biology problems in specialized applications.

Design high specificity CRISPR/Cas9 gRNAs: principles and tools

The CRISPR/Cas9 system has recently emerged as the most powerful gene editing method to study gene function. This new technology has made gene editing easy to do in any lab. To perform CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing, the first step is to design guide RNA sequences for the target gene. In this webinar, we will present detailed gRNA design principles and provide step-by-step guidance on how to design high specificity gRNAs that avoid off-target effects. We will also introduce the online gRNA design tool and other resources offered by GenScript to help you start doing CRISPR-mediated gene editing with the knowledge and tools you need to be successful.

A Guide to CRISPR /Cas9 Delivery: How to Maximize Your Editing Efficiency

While CRISPR/Cas9 editing is utilized in a wide variety of cell types, editing efficiency continues to pose a challenge to researchers. Join Dr. Allison Mayle, as she shares best practices for increasing CRISPR/Cas9 editing efficiency. Viewers will learn discover online tools to aid in CRISPR/Cas9 design and delivery, and tips for optimizing your CRISPR/Cas9 experiments.

In this webinar, Dr. Mayle will review the factors influencing genome editing, including target sequence selection and CRISPR/Cas9 delivery methods. A comparison of plasmid and viral vector delivery will be provided, as well as an introduction to DNA-free CRISPR/Cas9 ribonucleoprotein reagents. Additionally, Dr. Mayle will cover best practices for CRISPR knock-in mutagenesis via homology-directed repair (HDR) and applications available from new Cas9 protein variants.

CRISPR solutions: how to choose and implement CRISPR in your research

Named the 2015 breakthrough of the year, the CRISPR technology has quickly become one of the most popular gene editing technologies. However, as the technology advances, so do the number of reagents and tools available, which can make selection of the most appropriate system for the intended research application trickier. In this webinar, we will discuss the different CRISPR technology systems on the market, from CRISPR plasmids to RNA oligos and screening libraries. We will describe the advantages, disadvantages, and important considerations prior to starting your CRISPR experiments. We will also go over helpful workflows to ensure your gene editing projects go smoothly.

Can CRISPR/Cas9 off-target genomic editing be avoided? Ways to improve target specificity

Have you tried to generate knock-out or knock-in cell lines using CRISPR/Cas9 in your lab only to find that genes other than your intended target were affected as well? In this webinar, we will review current data on improving the fidelity of CRISPR/Cas9, including better ways to design the sgRNA, and using the double nickase mutant form of Cas9 to avoid off-target effects. We will also discuss best practices in quality control against potential off-target effects and how our GenCRISPR™ service can provide you with a high-quality, genome edited cell line.

Cancer immunotherapy: advancing and accelerating immuno-oncology research and development

Cancer immunotherapy has emerged as an exciting new approach to cancer treatment because of its specificity, adaptability and durability. The discovery of immune targets and development of therapeutic antibodies against immune checkpoints is becoming the momentum among academia and pharmaceutical industry. With the increasing success and subsequent interests in cancer immunotherapy, there is a growing need for well-characterized cell models, antibodies and proteins for immune-oncology. If you are interested in this rising field, or want to advance and accelerate your immune-oncology research, please join this webinar. We will introduce the development, application and challenges in Cancer immunotherapy field, and the one-stop station including diversity functional antibodies, targets, cell models and assay platforms from GenScript to accelerate the related discovery and development program.