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Current Opinion in Biotechnology

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28342725/editorial-overview-biofortification-of-crops-achievements-future-challenges-socio-economic-health-and-ethical-aspects
#1
EDITORIAL
Dominique Van Der Straeten, Teresa B Fitzpatrick, Hans De Steur
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 22, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28329726/folate-biofortification-in-food-crops
#2
REVIEW
Simon Strobbe, Dominique Van Der Straeten
Folates are essential vitamins in the human diet. Folate deficiency is still very common, provoking disorders such as birth defects and anemia. Biofortification via metabolic engineering is a proven powerful means to alleviate folate malnutrition. A variety of metabolic engineering approaches have been successfully implemented in different crops and tissues. Furthermore, ensuring folate stability is crucial for long-term storage of crop products. However, the current strategies, shown to be successful in rice and tomato, will need to be fine-tuned to enable adequate biofortification of other staples such as potato, wheat and cassava...
March 19, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28319855/microbial-bioreporters-of-trace-explosives
#3
REVIEW
Benjamin Shemer, Ori Koshet, Sharon Yagur-Kroll, Shimshon Belkin
Since its introduction as an explosive in the late 19th century, 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), along with other explosive compounds, has left numerous environmental marks. One of these is widespread soil and water pollution by trace explosives in military proving grounds, manufacturing facilities, or actual battlefields. Another dramatic impact is that exerted by the millions of landmines and other explosive devices buried in large parts of the world, causing extensive loss of life, injuries, and economical damage...
March 17, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28327427/printable-food-the-technology-and-its-application-in-human-health
#4
REVIEW
Jeffrey I Lipton
Millions of Americans suffer from diseases and conditions that require careful control of their diet as part of treatment. The current solution is to have each person customize their own food choices. Food production automation can enable consumer specific data to be easily integrated into the food as it is being prepared. This would improve the quality and utility of the food without a cognitive burden on the consumer. 3D Printing is an ideal family of technologies for enabling such mass customization of food...
March 16, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28327426/current-strategies-for-vitamin-e-biofortification-of-crops
#5
REVIEW
Laurent Mène-Saffrané, Sébastien Pellaud
Vitamin E refers to four tocopherols and four tocotrienols that are exclusively synthesized by photosynthetic organisms. While α-tocopherol is the most potent vitamin E compound, it is not the main form consumed since the composition of most major crops is dominated by γ-tocopherol. Nutritional studies show that populations of developed countries do not consume enough vitamin E and that a large proportion of individuals exhibit plasma α-tocopherol deficiency. Following the identification of vitamin E biosynthetic genes, several strategies including metabolic engineering, classic breeding and mutation breeding, have been undertaken to improve the vitamin E content of crops...
March 16, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28319856/systems-biology-solutions-for-biochemical-production-challenges
#6
REVIEW
Anne Sofie Lærke Hansen, Rebecca M Lennen, Nikolaus Sonnenschein, Markus J Herrgård
There is an urgent need to significantly accelerate the development of microbial cell factories to produce fuels and chemicals from renewable feedstocks in order to facilitate the transition to a biobased society. Methods commonly used within the field of systems biology including omics characterization, genome-scale metabolic modeling, and adaptive laboratory evolution can be readily deployed in metabolic engineering projects. However, high performance strains usually carry tens of genetic modifications and need to operate in challenging environmental conditions...
March 16, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28319854/extremely-thermophilic-energy-metabolisms-biotechnological-prospects
#7
REVIEW
Christopher T Straub, Benjamin M Zeldes, Gerrit J Schut, Michael Ww Adams, Robert M Kelly
New strategies for metabolic engineering of extremely thermophilic microorganisms to produce bio-based fuels and chemicals could leverage pathways and physiological features resident in extreme thermophiles for improved outcomes. Furthermore, very recent advances in genetic tools for these microorganisms make it possible for them to serve as metabolic engineering hosts. Beyond providing a higher temperature alternative to mesophilic platforms, exploitation of strategic metabolic characteristics of high temperature microorganisms grants new opportunities for biotechnological products...
March 16, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28301820/techniques-for-the-experimental-investigation-of-the-protein-corona
#8
REVIEW
Carolina Carrillo-Carrion, Monica Carril, Wolfgang J Parak
Due to its enormous relevance the corona formation of adsorbed proteins around nanoparticles is widely investigated. A comparison of different experimental techniques is given. Direct measurements of proteins, such as typically performed with mass spectrometry, will be compared with indirect analysis, in which instead information about the protein corona is gathered from changes in the properties of the nanoparticles. The type of measurement determines also whether before analysis purification from unbound excess proteins is necessary, which may change the equilibrium, or if measurements can be performed in situ without required purification...
March 13, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28292710/bacterial-persistence-from-a-system-level-perspective
#9
REVIEW
Jakub Leszek Radzikowski, Hannah Schramke, Matthias Heinemann
In recent years, our understanding about bacterial persistence has significantly advanced: we comprehend the persister phenotype better, more triggers for persistence entry have been found, and more insights in the involvement and role of toxin-antitoxin systems and other molecular mechanisms have been unravelled. In this review, we attempt to put these findings into an integrated, system-level perspective. From this point of view, persistence can be seen as a response to a strong perturbation of metabolic homeostasis, either triggered environmentally, or by means of intracellular stochasticity...
March 11, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28292709/toward-a-quantitative-understanding-of-antibiotic-resistance-evolution
#10
REVIEW
Marta Lukačišinová, Tobias Bollenbach
The rising prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria is an increasingly serious public health challenge. To address this problem, recent work ranging from clinical studies to theoretical modeling has provided valuable insights into the mechanisms of resistance, its emergence and spread, and ways to counteract it. A deeper understanding of the underlying dynamics of resistance evolution will require a combination of experimental and theoretical expertise from different disciplines and new technology for studying evolution in the laboratory...
March 11, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28292673/bioresponsive-transcutaneous-patches
#11
REVIEW
Jicheng Yu, Yuqi Zhang, Anna R Kahkoska, Zhen Gu
Transdermal drug delivery systems that utilize transcutaneous patches of arrayed microneedles have attracted increasing interest in medical practice as an alternative method to hypodermic injection. Over the past ten years, research has focused on leveraging physiological signals associated with diseases or skin-specific tissues to create bioresponsive patches that release drug directly in response to an internally-generated stimulus. This review surveys the recent advances in the development and use of bioresponsive transcutaneous patches for on-demand smart and precise drug delivery, exploiting different physiological signals including pH, serum glucose levels, and enzyme activity...
March 11, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28292659/reassessing-escherichia-coli-as-a-cell-factory-for-biofuel-production
#12
REVIEW
Chonglong Wang, Brian F Pfleger, Seon-Won Kim
Via metabolic engineering, industrial microorganisms have the potential to convert renewable substrates into a wide range of biofuels that can address energy security and environmental challenges associated with current fossil fuels. The user-friendly bacterium, Escherichia coli, remains one of the most frequently used hosts for demonstrating production of biofuel candidates including alcohol-, fatty acid- and terpenoid-based biofuels. In this review, we summarize the metabolic pathways for synthesis of these biofuels and assess enabling technologies that assist in regulating biofuel synthesis pathways and rapidly assembling novel E...
March 11, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28288339/lessons-on-enzyme-kinetics-from-quantitative-proteomics
#13
REVIEW
Dan Davidi, Ron Milo
Enzyme kinetics are fundamental to an understanding of cellular metabolism and for crafting synthetic biology applications. For decades, enzyme characterization has been based on in vitro enzyme assays. However, kinetic parameters are only available for <10% of reactions, and this data scarcity limits the predictive power of metabolic models. Here we review recent studies that leverage quantitative proteomics to gain insight into in vivo enzyme kinetics. We discuss findings on the relationship between in vivo and in vitro enzyme catalysis and show how proteomics can be used to characterize the efficiency of enzyme utilization across conditions...
March 10, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28288336/breaking-the-silence-new-strategies-for-discovering-novel-natural-products
#14
REVIEW
Hengqian Ren, Bin Wang, Huimin Zhao
Natural products have been a prolific source of antibacterial and anticancer drugs for decades. One of the major challenges in natural product discovery is that the vast majority of natural product biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) have not been characterized, partially due to the fact that they are either transcriptionally silent or expressed at very low levels under standard laboratory conditions. Here we describe the strategies developed in recent years (mostly between 2014-2016) for activating silent BGCs...
March 10, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28288335/how-to-control-cyclic-nucleotide-signaling-by-light
#15
REVIEW
Vera Jansen, Jan F Jikeli, Dagmar Wachten
Optogenetics allows to non-invasively manipulate cellular functions with spatio-temporal precision by combining genetic engineering with the control of protein function by light. Since the discovery of channelrhodopsin has pioneered the field, the optogenetic toolkit has been ever expanding and allows now not only to control neuronal activity by light, but rather a multitude of other cellular functions. One important application that has been established in recent years is the light-dependent control of second messenger signaling...
March 10, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28288329/gm-biofortified-crops-potential-effects-on-targeting-the-micronutrient-intake-gap-in-human-populations
#16
REVIEW
Hans De Steur, Saurabh Mehta, Xavier Gellynck, Julia L Finkelstein
Genetic engineering has been successfully applied to increase micronutrient content in staple crops. Nutrition evidence is key to ensure scale-up and successful implementation. Unlike conventional plant breeding efforts, research on the efficacy or effectiveness of GM biofortified crops on nutritional status in human populations is lacking. This review reports on the potential role of GM biofortified crops in closing the micronutrient gap - increasing the dietary intake of micronutrients in human populations...
March 10, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28273648/optogenetic-methods-in-drug-screening-technologies-and-applications
#17
REVIEW
Vivana Agus, Harald Janovjak
The optogenetic revolution enabled spatially-precise and temporally-precise control over protein function, signaling pathway activation, and animal behavior with tremendous success in the dissection of signaling networks and neural circuits. Very recently, optogenetic methods have been paired with optical reporters in novel drug screening platforms. In these all-optical platforms, light remotely activated ion channels and kinases thereby obviating the use of electrophysiology or reagents. Consequences were remarkable operational simplicity, throughput, and cost-effectiveness that culminated in the identification of new drug candidates...
March 5, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28254681/provitamin-a-biofortification-of-crop-plants-a-gold-rush-with-many-miners
#18
REVIEW
Giovanni Giuliano
Carotenoids are synthesized de novo by plants, where they play fundamental physiological roles as photosynthetic pigments and precursors for signaling molecules. They are also essential components of a healthy diet, as dietary antioxidants and vitamin A precursors. Vitamin A deficiency is a public health problem in developing countries, which has prompted a series of efforts toward the biofortification of plant-derived foods with provitamin A carotenoids (mainly β-carotene), giving rise to 'golden' crops. Since the 'golden rice' exploit, a number of biofortified crops have been generated, using transgenic approaches as well as conventional breeding...
February 27, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28254670/environmental-monitoring-using-autonomous-vehicles-a-survey-of-recent-searching-techniques
#19
REVIEW
Behzad Bayat, Naveena Crasta, Alessandro Crespi, António M Pascoal, Auke Ijspeert
Autonomous vehicles are becoming an essential tool in a wide range of environmental applications that include ambient data acquisition, remote sensing, and mapping of the spatial extent of pollutant spills. Among these applications, pollution source localization has drawn increasing interest due to its scientific and commercial interest and the emergence of a new breed of robotic vehicles capable of operating in harsh environments without human supervision. The aim is to find the location of a region that is the source of a given substance of interest (e...
February 27, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28237511/coupling-genetic-code-expansion-and-metabolic-engineering-for-synthetic-cells
#20
REVIEW
Jan-Stefan Völler, Nediljko Budisa
Orthogonal protein translation with noncanonical amino acids (ncAAs) has become a standard method in biosciences. Whereas much effort is made to broaden the chemical space of ncAAs, only few attempts on their systematic low-cost in situ production are reported until now. The main aim is to engineer cells with newly designed biosynthetic pathways coupled with orthogonal aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase/tRNA pairs (o-pairs). These should provide cost-effective solutions to industrially relevant bio-production problems, such as peptide/protein production beyond the canonical set of natural molecules and to expand the arsenal of chemistries available for living cells...
February 23, 2017: Current Opinion in Biotechnology
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