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Biotechnology Advances

Philippe Jeandet, Eduardo Sobarzo-Sánchez, Christophe Clément, Seyed Fazel Nabavi, Solomon Habtemariam, Seyed Mohammad Nabavi, Sylvain Cordelier
Numerous in vitro and in vivo studies on biological activities of phytostilbenes have brought to the fore the remarkable properties of these compounds and their derivatives, making them a top storyline in natural product research fields. However, getting stilbenes in sufficient amounts for routine biological activity studies and make them available for pharmaceutical and/or nutraceutical industry applications, is hampered by the difficulty to source them through synthetic chemistry-based pathways or extraction from the native plants...
November 8, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Tao Wang, Changying Chen, Leon Larcher, Roberto A Barrero, Rakesh N Veedu
Aptamers are short single-stranded nucleic acid sequences capable of binding to target molecules in a way similar to antibodies. Due to various advantages such as prolonged shelf life, low batch to batch variation, low/no immunogenicity, freedom to incorporate chemical modification for enhanced stability and targeting capacity, aptamers quickly found their potential in diverse applications ranging from therapy, drug delivery, diagnosis, and functional genomics to bio-sensing. Aptamers are generated by a process called SELEX...
November 5, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Tianwen Li, Linwen Zhu, Bingxiu Xiao, Zhaohui Gong, Qi Liao, Junming Guo
Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR) system is being championed as a robust and flexible tool for genome editing. Compared with CRISPR associated protein 9 (Cas9), the CRISPR from Prevotella and Francisella 1 (Cpf1) protein has some distinct characteristics, including RNase activity, T-rich protospacer adjacent motif (PAM) preference and generation of sticky cutting ends. The extremely low propensity of off-target effects and relatively high editing efficiency represent prominent advantages of Cpf1 over Cas9...
November 3, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Emma Karlsson, Jae Ho Shin, Veronica Saez-Jimenez, Valeria Mapelli, Lisbeth Olsson
Adipic acid is a platform chemical, and is the most important commercial dicarboxylic acid. It has been targeted for biochemical conversion as an alternative to present chemical production routes. From the perspective of bioeconomy, several kinds of raw material are of interest including the sugar platform (derived from starch, cellulose or hemicellulose), the lignin platform (aromatics) and the fatty acid platform (lipid derived). Two main biochemical-based production schemes may be employed: (i) direct fermentation to adipic acid, or (ii) fermentation to muconic or glucaric acid, followed by chemical hydrogenation (indirect fermentation)...
October 30, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Ruihua Zhang, Chenyi Li, Jian Wang, Yaping Yang, Yajun Yan
Natural products are promising chemicals due to their structural diversity and bioactivities. Over the decades, a vast variety of gene clusters encoding natural products have been identified and overexpressed in microbes. Recently, the development of metabolic engineering, synthetic biology and bioinformatics strategies have facilitated target discovery and design. Microbial cells have been therefore constantly engineered for product accumulation. This review summarizes approaches of domesticating microbial hosts in producing major classes of natural products, with an emphasis on recent advances...
October 29, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Veeresh Juturu, Jin Chuan Wu
Bacteriocins are low molecular weight peptides secreted by the predator bacterial cells to kill sensitive cells present in the same ecosystem competing for food and other nutrients. Exceptionally few bacteriocins along with their native antibacterial property also exhibit additional anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Bacteriocins are generally produced by Gm+, Gm- and archaea bacteria. Bacteriocins from Gm + bacteria especially from lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have been thoroughly investigated considering their great biosafety and broad industrial applications...
October 29, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Mehdi Rezaee, Behzad Behnam, Maciej Banach, Amirhossein Sahebkar
With unique characteristics such as high surface area, capacity of various functionalization, low weight, high conductivity, thermal and chemical stability, and free radical scavenging, carbon nanomaterials (CNMs) such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), fullerene, graphene (oxide), carbon nanohorns (CNHs), and their derivatives have increasingly been utilized in nanomedicine and biomedicine. On the one hand, owing to ever-increasing applications of CNMs in technological and industrial fields as well as presence of combustion-derived CNMs in the ambient air, the skepticism has risen over the adverse effects of CNMs on human being...
October 17, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Maarten L De Mol, Nico Snoeck, Sofie L De Maeseneire, Wim K Soetaert
The struggle of humans versus pathogens is a never ending battle. Since the discovery of antibiotics humans have tipped the scales in their favour, but today bacteria are nullifying this advantage by developing resistance mechanisms against these molecules. The plethora of different antibiotics active against pathogens is shrinking while the discovery of new molecules is arduous. Especially the development of drugs active against Gram- pathogens continues slowly. New strategies to discover novel, potent antibiotics are hence needed...
October 17, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Adam W Westbrook, Dragan Miscevic, Shane Kilpatrick, Mark R Bruder, Murray Moo-Young, C Perry Chou
While the widespread reliance on fossil fuels is driven by their low cost and relative abundance, this fossil-based economy has been deemed unsustainable and, therefore, the adoption of sustainable and environmentally compatible energy sources is on the horizon. Biorefinery is an emerging approach that integrates metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, and systems biology principles for the development of whole-cell catalytic platforms for biomanufacturing. Due to the high degree of reduction and low cost, glycerol, either refined or crude, has been recognized as an ideal feedstock for the production of value-added biologicals, though microbial dissimilation of glycerol sometimes can be difficult particularly under anaerobic conditions...
October 16, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
İpek Ergal, Werner Fuchs, Benedikt Hasibar, Barbara Thallinger, Günther Bochmann, S K-M R Rittmann
A CO2 -neutral energy production alternative compared to conventional fossil fuel utilization is biohydrogen (H2 ) production. Three basic mechanisms for microbial H2 production exist: photosynthetic H2 production, photo-fermentative H2 production, and dark fermentative H2 production (DFHP). Despite surmounting reports in literature on the characterization and optimization of DFHP systems, H2 production has not yet reached an industrial scale. Here, DFHP characteristics of pure culture of microorganisms from more than one century were reviewed and analysed...
October 12, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
M Larroude, T Rossignol, J-M Nicaud, R Ledesma-Amaro
The non-conventional oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica shows great industrial promise. It naturally produces certain compounds of interest but can also artificially generate non-native metabolites, thanks to an engineering process made possible by the significant expansion of a dedicated genetic toolbox. In this review, we present recently developed synthetic biology tools that facilitate the manipulation of Y. lipolytica, including 1) DNA assembly techniques, 2) DNA parts for constructing expression cassettes, 3) genome-editing techniques, and 4) computational tools...
October 11, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Keshav K Nepal, Guojun Wang
Due to the worldwide prevalence of multidrug-resistant pathogens and high incidence of diseases such as cancer, there is an urgent need for the discovery and development of new drugs. Nearly half of the FDA-approved drugs are derived from natural products that are produced by living organisms, mainly bacteria, fungi, and plants. Commercial development is often limited by the low yield of the desired compounds expressed by the native producers. In addition, recent advances in whole genome sequencing and bioinformatics have revealed an abundance of cryptic biosynthetic gene clusters within microbial genomes...
October 9, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Achinta Bordoloi, Peter A Gostomski
The fate of the carbon from degraded pollutants in biofiltration is not well understood. The issue of missing carbon needs to be addressed quantitatively to better understand and model biofilter performance. Elucidating the various carbon end-points in various phases should contribute to the fundamental understanding of the degradation kinetics and metabolic pathways as a function of various environmental parameters. This article reviews the implications of key environmental parameters on the carbon end-points...
October 8, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Boris Zacchetti, Han A B Wösten, Dennis Claessen
Microbial cells within clonal populations can display different morphologies or carry out different tasks. This heterogeneity is beneficial at the population level and allows microbes to spread risk or separate incompatible activities. Heterogeneity is also evident in filamentous bacteria and fungi, which form mycelial networks consisting of interconnected hyphae. Here, heterogeneity is observed between clonal mycelial particles, between different zones of colonies, between adjacent hyphae and even between adjacent compartments of individual hyphae...
October 4, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Wenya Wang, Yuwenbin Li, Yaqiong Wang, Chen Shi, Chenmeng Li, Qiang Li, Robert J Linhardt
Since its discovery in the 1970s, the T7 RNA polymerase (T7 RNAP) transcription system has been applied extensively as an effective tool in molecular biology because of its robust function in various hosts, including prokaryotic, eukaryotic and cell free systems. Recently, the T7 RNAP transcription system has emerged as a critical component for synthetic biology. The present paper summarizes the advances of the T7 RNAP transcription system in synthetic biology, including the recent progress of T7 RNAP structure and its cognate promoter and terminator and its application in cell free systems, logic gates and orthogonal genetic circuits...
October 2, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Esmond Lee, Jaichandran Sivalingam, Zhong Ri Lim, Gloryn Chia, Low Gin Shi, Mackenna Roberts, Yuin-Han Loh, Shaul Reuveny, Steve Kah-Weng Oh
In vitro generation of red blood cells (RBCs) has the potential to circumvent the shortfalls in global demand for blood for transfusion applications. The conventional approach for RBC generation has been from differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) derived from cord blood, adult bone marrow or peripheral blood. More recently, RBCs have been generated from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) as well as from immortalized adult erythroid progenitors. In this review, we highlight the recent advances to RBC generation from these different approaches and discuss the challenges and new strategies that can potentially make large-scale in vitro generation of RBCs a feasible approach...
September 29, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Ling Jiang, Hongxin Fu, Hopen K Yang, Wei Xu, Jufang Wang, Shang-Tian Yang
Butyric acid is an important C4 organic acid with broad applications. It is currently produced by chemosynthesis from petroleum-based feedstocks. However, the fermentative production of butyric acid from renewable feedstocks has received growing attention because of consumer demand for green products and natural ingredients in foods, pharmaceuticals, animal feed supplements, and cosmetics. In this review, strategies for improving microbial butyric acid production, including strain engineering and novel fermentation process development are discussed and compared regarding product yield, titer, purity and productivity...
September 26, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Gilberto Vinícius de Melo Pereira, Bruna de Oliveira Coelho, Antonio Irineudo Magalhães Júnior, Vanete Thomaz-Soccol, Carlos Ricardo Soccol
International competition within the dairy market and increasing public awareness about the importance of functional food consumption are providing new challenges for innovation in the probiotic sector. In this context, countless references are currently dedicated to the selection and characterization of new species and more specific strains of probiotic bacteria. In general, these studies adopt basic selection criteria established by the World Health Organization (WHO), including host-associated stress resistance, epithelium adhesion ability, and antimicrobial activity...
September 26, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Roland Wohlgemuth, Jennifer Littlechild, Daniela Monti, Kirk Schnorr, Teunke van Rossum, Bettina Siebers, Peter Menzel, Ilya V Kublanov, Anne Gunn Rike, Georgios Skretas, Zalan Szabo, Xu Peng, Mark J Young
Novel hydrolases from hot and other extreme environments showing appropriate performance and/or novel functionalities, and new approaches for their systematic screening are of great interest for developing new processes, for improving safety, health and environment issues. Existing processes could benefit as well from their properties. The workflow, based on the HotZyme project, describes a multitude of technologies and their integration from discovery to application, providing new tools for discovering, identifying and characterizing more novel thermostable hydrolases with desired functions from hot terrestrial and marine environments...
September 25, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
Divya B Patel, Marco Santoro, Louis J Born, John P Fisher, Steven M Jay
Extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes, microvesicles, and others, have emerged as potential therapeutics for a variety of applications. Pre-clinical reports of EV efficacy in treatment of non-healing wounds, myocardial infarction, osteoarthritis, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and many other injuries and diseases demonstrate the versatility of this nascent therapeutic modality. EVs have also been demonstrated to be effective in humans, and clinical trials are underway to further explore their potential...
September 12, 2018: Biotechnology Advances
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