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Cafe Synthetique: engineering biology for real-world applications

This month's Cafe Synthetique is curated by the Cambridge University Synthetic Biology Society (SynBioSoc https://cusbs.soc.srcf.net/). Join us for talks that will introduce synthetic biology and its project-based applications. It will also be a great opportunity to meet new members of the Cambridge undergraduate synthetic biology community!
When Nov 19, 2018
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where Panton Arms, 43 Panton Street, Cambridge
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ENGINEERING LIVING MATERIALS WITH SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY
Dr. Charlie Gilbert (Department of Pathology)

Abstract: Natural biological materials exhibit remarkable properties: self-assembly from simple raw materials, autonomous control of morphology, diverse physical and chemical properties, self-repair and the ability to sense-and-respond to environmental stimuli. In their natural form, the utility of these materials for applications in human industry and society is limited. But, could it be possible to genetically program living cells to create entirely new and useful grown materials? In this talk I'll discuss emerging synthetic biology approaches to create "engineered living materials".

ENGINEERING MICROBIOMES FOR IMPROVING WINE FERMENTATION PROCESSES
Dr. Duygu Dikicioglu (Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology)

Abstract: Many fermentation and bioremediation processes depend on the synergistic interactions between different microbial species living together in a community. In some cases these species rely on each other’s presence for survival. In other cases, although each species can survive on its own, living in a community has clear selective advantages for all participating species in both the natural environment and in traditional biotechnological processes. A detailed understanding of these interactions would enable us to better exploit their capabilities. An interesting example of such a community exists on grapes and it facilitates the succession of alcoholic and malolactic fermentations during wine making. Both the ethanol and sensory characteristics of wine depend on how this community of multiple species behaves. This talk will discuss some of the day-to-day problems faced by wine makers, and how we can use systems biotechnology and metabolic modelling to address these issues, and suggest possible solutions.

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The Synthetic Biology Strategic Research Initiative provides a hub for anyone interested in Synthetic Biology at the University of Cambridge, as well as commercial partners and external collaborators.