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Past Café Synthetique Events

DNA Self Assembly Origami and More

In October's Cafe Synthetique, Kerstin Göpfrich from the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research will speak on DNA 'origami', in 'DNA nanotechnology for artificial ion channels and synthetic cells'; and Lorenzo di Michele from The Department of Physics, will present a talk about 'Amphiphilic DNA Complexes: From Biomimetic Membrane Linkers to Molecular Crystals'
When Oct 16, 2017
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where The Panton Arms, Panton Street, CB2 1HL
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Kerstin Göpfrich will speak on how DNA is used to build synthetic membrane-inserting channels. From creating the largest man-made pore in a lipid membrane to date, approaching the electrical diameter of the nuclear pore complex, to,  pushing the boundaries at the other end of the spectrum - the construction of the smallest DNA membrane pore made from a single membrane-spanning DNA duplex.

Kerstin will look into the function of this type of DNA architectural origami,  and discuss how DNA nanotechnology can enhance synthetic cells, introducing a new microfluidic method for the sequential bottom-up assembly of synthetic cells.

DNA Origami

Synthetic DNA nanostructures can also be designed to replicate the structure and function of biological molecules, as well as to create novel synthetic materials. A combination of selective Watson-Crick interactions and robust hydrophobic forces can be realised in amphiphilic nanostructures where nonpolar tags are arranged onto engineered DNA scaffolds. 

Lorenzo will discuss the use of amphiphilic DNA ligands/receptors to drive attractive interactions between lipid vesicles, sharing key features with adhering biological cells and displaying an intriguing response to external stimuli. He will also introduce a range of amphiphilic DNA nanostructures that reliably self-assemble into 3D macromolecular crystals - and look into the long-standing goal of structural DNA nanotechnology.

 

Supported by:

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Cambridge Consultants is proud to support Cafe Synthetique and the Cambridge synthetic biology community.

 

 

Cafe Synthetique: Writing on DNA: synthesis and information storage

Café Synthetique is the monthly meetup for the Cambridge synthetic biology community with informal talks, discussion and pub snacks.
When Sep 18, 2017
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where Panton Arms, Panton Street, Cambridge
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This month's theme is: Writing on DNA: synthesis and information storage

Pierre Murat from The Department of Chemistry will talk on "Epigenetics-inspired DNA-based Storage Systems", and Jiahao Huang, co-founder of Nuclera Nucleics will speak about "Enzyme-mediated DNA synthesis".

 

 

Biopolymers are an attractive alternative to store and circulate information. DNA combines remarkable longevity with high data storage densities. Accurately synthesized DNA and has been demonstrated as a means for preserving digital information.

Inspired by the dynamic, biological regulation of epigenetic information, Dr Pierre Murat from the Department of Chemistry will present how binary data can undergo controlled changes when encoded in synthetic DNA strands. 

Jiahao Huang is co-founder of Nuclera Nucleics a next-generation DNA synthesis company creating tailored solutions for the synthetic biology industry. He will cover the history of DNA synthesis, and how they approach it using engineered enzymes. Jiahao will also discuss why he believes their platform will enable the rapid and cost-effective production of highly accurate, ultra-long DNA strands and genome libraries for protein, biological pathway, and ultimately genome-scale engineering.

Join us to explore these topics through informal talks and discussion - we look forward to welcoming you.

Café Synthetique: Graduate Talks!

This month Café Synthetique highlights the exciting synthetic biology work being performed by graduate students from around the University. Join us to support our early career researchers meet the Cambridge synthetic biology community over informal talks, discussion and pub snacks.
When Aug 17, 2017
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where Panton Arms, 43 Panton Street CB2 1HL, Cambridge
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Talks

"Synthetic biology strategies to improve timber for biofuel production and to generate designer biomass."
Jan Lyczakowski, Department of Biochemistry

"Developing inducible expression systems for the controlled production of high value compounds in microalgae"
Patrick Hickland, Department of Plant Sciences 

"Machine Learning and Automation in Synthetic Biology"
Clayton Rabideau, Department of Biochemistry

“Algal synthetic biology”
Stefan Grossfurthner, Department of Plant Sciences 

"Creation of genetic circuits between the nucleus and the chloroplast in Chlamydomonas reinahrdtii using TPR and PPR proteins."
Aleix Gorchs-Rovira, Department of Plant Sciences 

"Cell-free arsenic sensing"
Sensor CDT Students

If you would like to give a 5-7 min talk on your research, email synbio@hermes.cam.ac.uk

 

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Café Synthetique: reprogramming the genome

Café Synthetique is the monthly meetup for the Cambridge synthetic biology community with informal talks, discussion and pub snacks.
When Jul 17, 2017
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where Panton Arms, Panton Street, Cambridge
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Café Synthetique is the monthly meetup for the Cambridge synthetic biology community with informal talks, discussion and pub snacks. This month's theme is 'Reprogramming the genome'. Large scale synthetic modifications are becoming possible using new molecular techniques - from precise engineering of DNA at a genomic scale to brand new chemistries reinventing the code of life. 

Join us to explore these topics through informal talks and discussion - we look forward to welcoming you.

"Reprogramming the Genome" 
Soren Hough, Desktop Genetics

"Engineering and application of polymerases for synthetic genetics" 
Gillian Houlihan, MRC-LMB

 

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Café Synthetique: synthetic biology for global challenges

Café Synthetique is the monthly meetup for the Cambridge synthetic biology community with informal talks, discussion and pub snacks.
When Jun 19, 2017
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where Panton Arms, Panton Street, Cambridge
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Café Synthetique is the monthly meetup for the Cambridge synthetic biology community with informal talks, discussion and pub snacks.

This month we are focusing on synthetic biology for global challenges. How can synthetic biology and other emerging and high tech solutions be applied impactfully and equitably to improve the lives of the world's bottom billion?

Dr Lara Allen and Dr Sara Serradas Duarte of the Centre for Global Equality and Cambridge Global Challenges Forum will explain the problems facing civil society and researchers who want to see cutting edge knowledge and technology from Cambridge benefit the global South, while Open Diagnostics introduce their work examining the potential impact of cell-free diagnostics with synthetic gene circuits in South Africa, Kenya and beyond.

Global Challenges Forum: how Cambridge technologies can benefit the bottom billion

Dr Lara Allen and Dr Sara Serradas Duarte

Open Diagnostics: cell-free synthetic biology for global health 

Raghd Rostom and Laura Mitchell 

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Café Synthetique: Biomimicry and engineering

Rescheduled: This meeting was originally due to be on the 15th May, however it has unfortunately had to be changed to the 22nd May. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.
When May 22, 2017
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where Panton Arms, Panton Street, Cambridge
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Contact Phone 01223766545
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Café Synthetique is the monthly meetup for the Cambridge synthetic biology community with informal talks, discussion and pub snacks.

 

This months' theme will focus on Biomimicry and engineering, which is the imitation of the models, systems, and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems. Biomimicry in manufacturing is the practice of designing products that simulate or co-opt processes that occur in nature.

We have two excellent speakers whose work focuses on the use of biomimicry and engineering.  

Free bar snacks and good conversation provided!

 

Talks and speakers

"Learning from photonic nanostructures in plants: how disorder can be a feature"
Tobias Wenzel,
Winton Scholar at the Cavendish Laboratory


'Talk title TBC'

Sanjiv Sambandan

Lecturer in the Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

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Cafe Synthetique

Café Synthetique is the monthly meetup for the Cambridge synthetic biology community with informal talks, discussion and pub snacks.
When Apr 24, 2017
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where Panton Arms, Panton Street, Cambridge
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Contact Phone 01223766545
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Free bar snacks and good conversation provided!

 

Talks and speakers

Talks and speakers TBC

Café Synthetique, CRISPR: genome editing comes of age

Café Synthetique is the monthly meetup for the Cambridge synthetic biology community with informal talks, discussion and pub snacks.
When Mar 20, 2017
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where Panton Arms, Panton Street, Cambridge
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Contact Phone 01223766545
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This months' theme will focus on genetic circuit engineering, which is the synthesis of unnatural DNA segments encoding protein or RNA molecules that control each other’s levels. Come along and learn more about this exciting technology! 

 

We have two excellent speakers whose work focuses respectively on the use of CRISPR and the design of genetic circuits, and the application of cell engineering in Bioprocess.  

Free bar snacks and good conversation provided!

 

Talks and speakers

"Using CRISPR in Cancer research

Dr Alisdair Russell, Cambridge Cancer Centre

Alasdair heads up a specialised team that provide a centralised ‘Hub’ for the innovation and application of state-of-the-art Genome Editing technologies to complex, patient-relevant model systems in a pre-clinical setting. They use these novel models in a range of pre-clinical trials to advance our understanding of disease.


"Advances in genome editing: could we design the perfect cell line for
the manufacture of biotherapeutics?"

Dr Bruno Fievet, Senior Scientist, Applied R&D, Horizon

Bruno works as part of Products Division for applications in Bioprocess, and is using leading edge genome editing technology to develop new mammalian host cell lines for the Bioprocess Industry. 

 

For more information, and to RSVP, click here.

Café Synthetique: Biology as Technology

Café Synthetique is the monthly meetup for the Cambridge synthetic biology community with informal talks, discussion and pub snacks. This month's theme is Biology as Technology.
When Feb 20, 2017
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where Panton Arms, Panton Street, Cambridge
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This months theme will focus on how biology is used as technology, with a particular focus on how we have and will continue to shape plant crops species. We have two excellent speakers whose work focuses on how technology has been and will be used to modify genes both for use as research tools in genetics and evolutionary biology, and also as a means of plant breeding. Free bar snacks and good conversation provided!

 

Talks and speakers 

"Biology as Technology: An Unexpected History of Innovation in 

Living Things"

Dr Helen Anne-Curry

Department of History and Philosophy of Science 

Helen's current research considers the history of global conservation, in particular efforts made to preserve the genetic diversity of agricultural crop species through the practice of seed banking.

 

"Breeding technology for better crops"
Dr Alison Bentley
NIAB

Alison has worked on a range of projects within NIAB’s flagship wheat pre-breeding programme, including research on characterising flowering time response and the exploitation of novel genetic diversity and genomics tools for wheat improvement. She has a strong interest in the genotype x environment interactions controlling complex traits and in the application of genomics in the breeding of high yielding, climate resilient cereals.

 

For more information and to RSVP, click here.

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Cafe Synthetique: engineering algae for energy and medicine

Café Synthetique is the monthly meetup for the Cambridge synthetic biology community with informal talks, discussion and pub snacks. This month's theme is engineering algae for energy and medicine.
When Jan 16, 2017
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where Panton Arms, Panton Street, Cambridge
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Algae are exciting organisms for synthetic biology: easy to grow and manufacturing an abundance of useful compounds, they are used in research on biofuels, medicines and carbon capture among many other applications. Moritz Meyer will introduce his work on re-engineering photosynthesis, one of the most important processes in biology, while Payam Mehrshahi examines engineering algae for medicine in this algal double-bill.

Free bar snacks and good conversation provided!

Talks and speakers

Algae"Re-engineering photosynthesis: the green algal gold mine"

Dr Moritz Meyer, Department of Plant Sciences

"Using synthetic biology to engineer medicinal algae"

Dr Payam Mehrshahi, Department of Plant Sciences 

More information about this event…

Café Synthetique at Christmas

When Dec 12, 2016
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
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Café Synthetique is the monthly meetup for the Cambridge synthetic biology community with informal talks, discussion and pub snacks.  

"Topic titles TBC" 

 

Christmas party and mixer

This month, Café Synthetique will include Christmas activities and a social mixer!

 

Please join us in the Panton Arms pub at 6pm. 

Café Synthetique - OpenPlant Fund Mixer and Microfluidics

When Nov 21, 2016
from 06:00 PM to 08:45 PM
Where Panton Arms 43 Panton Street CB2 1HL, Cambridge.
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OpenPlant Fund december 1

 

Café Synthetique is the monthly meetup for the Cambridge synthetic biology community with informal talks, discussion and pub snacks.

This month we’ll hear from 2016 OpenPlant Fund grantees and discuss your ideas for open, innovative and interdisciplinary projects in cell-free or plant synthetic biology.

OpenPlant Fund Mixer

The OpenPlant Fund will support innovative, open and interdisciplinary projects relevant to plant Synthetic Biology over 2015-19. Around 20 six-month projects per year will receive £4k each, with an additional £1k awarded on completion for follow-on and outreach. We are now accepting applications with a submission deadline of 1 December 2016.

If you are interested in finding out more, come along to our mixer event on November 21st.

This event will be casual, and informative so that you can find out more about the fund, share ideas and meet potential collaborators – you do not need to have a proposal ready formulated beforehand.

The aim of the fund is to promote the development of plant Synthetic Biology as an interdisciplinary field and to facilitate exchange between The University of Cambridge, the John Innes Centre, the Ealham Institute and The Sainsbury Laboratory for the development of open technologies and responsible innovation in the context of Synthetic Biology.

In 2015 the OpenPlant Fund supported 16 projects with very diverse aims, from lab-based projects to generate and characterise DNA parts, through hardware and software projects to workshops in intellectual property, hackathons and outreach.

For more information on the fund, click here.

Microfluidics

This month, Café Synthetique will also include a series of talks on the emerging topic of microfluidics. This month’s speakers will include Ivan Reyna-Llorens, Steve Burgess, Florian Hollfelder, and Clive Smith from Sphere Fluidics.

”Plant ProChip: A microfluidic device for high-throughput analysis of genetic circuits in plant protoplasts.”

Ivan Reyna-Llorens is post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Plant Sciences.

”High Throughput Screening of Synthetic Biology Libraries by ESI Mass Spectrometry”

Clive Smith is principal chemist at Cambridge based company Sphere Fluidics.

”Plant ProChip: Exploring the Use of Microfluidics for High-throughput Screening in Plants”

Steve Burgess is a research staff member in the Department of Plant Sciences.

”Topic title TBC”

Dr Florian Hollfelder is a principal investigator in the Department of Biochemistry.

Please join us in the Panton Arms pub at 6pm.

Cafe Synthetique - 'Chloroplast engineering' and 'Biomimetic materials'

Café Synthetique is the monthly meetup for the Cambridge synthetic biology community with informal talks, discussion and pub snacks.
When Oct 17, 2016
from 06:00 PM to 07:30 PM
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Attendees iGEM team 2016, Cambridge, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge
Michelle L. Oyen, Reader, Cambridge University Engineering Dept., The Nanoscience Centre
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Image result for chloroplast basf

 

Café Synthetique is the monthly meetup for the Cambridge synthetic biology community with informal talks, discussion and pub snacks.

iGEM Cambridge team 2016 are taking part in the prestigious iGEM synthetic biology competition. Focusing on chloroplast engineering, the team are interested in using chloroplasts to produce metabolic products, such as biofuels and edible vaccines. 

Michelle L. Oyen is a Reader in the Bioengineering in the Mechanics and Materials Division and the Bioengineering research group in the Cambridge University Engineering Department. Her work involves research on mechanical behavior in biological materials with many of her projects having a distinct biomedical focus.

 

"InstaCHLAM, a toolbox for chloroplast engineering"

iGEM team 2016, Cambridge, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge

"Biomimetic materials for structural applications" 

Michelle L. Oyen, Reader, Cambridge University Engineering Dept., The Nanoscience Centre 

Please join us in the Panton Arms pub at 6pm. 

 

Image credit: 
Photo from BASF on Flicker, licensed under cc by-nc-nd/2.0/-Image source

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Café Synthetique: engineering algae

Café Synthetique is the monthly meetup for the Cambridge synthetic biology community with informal talks, discussion and pub snacks.
When Sep 19, 2016
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where The Panton Arms
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Algae are exciting organisms for synthetic biology: easy to grow and manufacturing an abundance of useful compounds, they are used in research on biofuels, medicines and carbon capture among many other applications. Moritz Meyer and Payam Mehrshahi will introduce their work on two aspects of this research, including re-engineering photosynthesis, one of the most important processes in biology.

Dr Moritz Meyer, Department of Plant Sciences

with his presentation: "Re-engineering photosynthesis: the green algal gold mine"

and

Dr Payam Mehrshahi, Department of Plant Sciences

with his presentation "Using synthetic biology to engineer medicinal algae".
We will be very glad to see you in the Panton Arms on 19th of September at 6pm.

 

 

Café Synthetique: Are synthetic biologists engineers, tinkerers or hackers?

Café Synthetique is the monthly meetup for the Cambridge synthetic biology community with informal talks, discussion and pub snacks.
When Aug 15, 2016
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where The Panton Arms
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Fernan Fedirici is a co-organiser of TecnoX, an undergraduate initiative in Latin America which promotes playful and low cost learning technologies to address issues of social relevance, including robotics, software and synthetic biology. After an introduction to the competition - which likely features a lot of engineering, tinkering and hacking - Chih-Chun Chen will be drawing on her research on design thinking in the fields of synthetic biology and swarm robotics to ask the room "Are synthetic biologists engineers, tinkerers or hackers?" - come ready to discuss! 

 

Fernan Federici - Department of Plant Sciences and Université Catholique de Santiago

"TecnoX: applying technology to Latin American problems".

 

Chih-Chun Chen - Cambridge Engineering Design Centre

"Are synthetic biologists engineers, tinkerers or hackers?" (Interactive session)

 

Café Synthetique: biomechanics and DNA lego

Café Synthetique is the monthly meetup for the Cambridge synthetic biology community with informal talks, discussion and pub snacks.
When Jul 18, 2016
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where The Panton Arms
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We have a diverse pairing of talks for this month as we move from biomechanics to bioengineering and from insects to algae!

Dr ​Walter Federle, Department of Zoology

"Expert climbers: biomechanics of surface attachment in insects"

and

Dr Francisco J. Navarro, Department of Plant Sciences

"Playing with lego blocks: constructing gene circuits in alga"

Please join us in the Panton Arms on 18th of July, 18:00

Café Synthetique: synbio and open technologies for development

Café Synthetique is the monthly meetup for the Cambridge synthetic biology community with informal talks, discussion and pub snacks.
When Jun 20, 2016
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where The Panton Arms
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This month we’re focused on technologies that can be applied in international development and humanitarian contexts – what are the technical design challenges, regulatory issues and ethics surrounding synthetic biology and open hardware for development?

Lalitha Sundaram, Department of Pathology on the Arsenic Biosensor Project

Richard Bowman, Alexander Patto, WaterScope “WaterScope: A rapid test for bacterial water contamination that can be used by anyone, anywhere.”

 

 

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

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