20.20(S13):Advanced topics

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20.385: Advanced Topics in Synthetic Biology


Homework dropbox is here

Part 1: Readings

  • Paper 1 (10%)
  • Paper 2 (15%)
  • Response record (20%): your thoughts about the papers you don't present.
  • Participation in class discussions (5%): your thoughtful questions and ideas during the presentations of others

Instructions for these assignment are here

Part 2: Team Mentoring

  • Progress and Mentoring Reports (30%): one page summaries of your freshman team's work and dynamics
  • Team's project average (15%): based on the grade for the 3 major assignments submitted by your freshman team
  • Instructor Leverage (5%): discretionary adjustment by NK

Instructions for these assignments are here

Reading Schedule

Discussions will be 1 hour long during Wednesday 2-5 studio block


TOPIC DATE Discussion leader(s) Discussion paper(s) Related paper(s) to enjoy
Preview of 20.385 Week 1:
Wed Feb 6
Natalie Kuldell preview of 20.385 Factory of Life
Witze A Science News

Two ‘What if' experiments
Ptashne M PMID: 15055587
Build Artificial
Brent R PMID: 15055588

Parts™ Week 2:
Wed Feb 13
Natalie Kuldell
ppt is here
Turning lambda Cro into a transcriptional activator
Bushman FD, Ptashne M.Cell. (1988) Jul 15;54(2):191-7.
PMID: 2968842
Synthetic biology devices as tools for metabolic engineering
Shiue E, Prather K. Biochemical Engineering Journal (2012) 65:82–89
Transcription-based Logic Devices
Week 3:
Wed Feb 20
Paula + NK
ppt is here
Genetic programs constructed from layered logic gates in single cells
Moon TS, Lou C, Tamsir A, Stanton BC, Voigt CA Nature (2012) 491: 249–253
Engineering modular and orthogonal genetic logic gates for robust digital-like synthetic biology
Wang B, et al. Nat. Commun. (2011) 2 : 508
doi: 10.1038/ncomms1516
DNA fine-tuning + evolution
Week 4:
Wed Feb 27
Jessica + NK
ppt is here
Rational Diversification of a Promoter Providing Fine-Tuned Expression and Orthogonal Regulation for Synthetic Biology
Blount BA, Weenink T, Vasylechko S, Ellis T.
PLoS ONE (2012) 7(3): e33279.
Directed evolution as a powerful synthetic biology tool
Cobb RE, Sun N, Zhao H. Methods (2012) Mar 23.
PMID: 22465795
RNA Engineering
Week 5:
Wed Mar 6
Kristine + Ryan
ppt is here
De novo automated design of small RNA circuits for engineering synthetic riboregulation in living cells.
Rodrigo G, Landrain TE, Jaramillo A. PNAS(2012) 109(38):15271-6.
PMID: 22949707
RNA synthetic biology
Isaacs FJ, Dwyer DJ, Collins JJ. Nat Biotechnol. (2006) 24(5):545-54.
PMID: 16680139
Engineering Biology
Week 6:
Wed Mar 13
before 3 ideas presentations
Divya + NK
ppt is here
Towards practical, high-capacity, low-maintenance information storage in synthesized DNA
Goldman N et al. Nature (2013)
A fully decompressed synthetic bacteriophage øX174 genome assembled and archived in yeast
Jaschke PR et al. Virology(2012)434(2):278-84.
doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2012.09.020
SynBio for Science
Week 7:
Wed Mar 20
Holly + Gonzo
ppt is here
Synthetic biology challenges long-held hypotheses in translation, codon bias and transcription
Forster AC. Biotechnol J. (2012) 7(7):835-45.
doi: 10.1002/biot.201200002
Five hard truths for synthetic biology
Kwok R. Nature(2010) 463(7279):288-90.
doi: 10.1038/463288a
Spring Break Mar 26-30 No class all week
DNA construction and editing technologies
Week 8:
Wed Apr 3
Jessica (Sung et al paper)
ppt is here
Knockout mice created by TALEN-mediated gene targeting.
Sung YH et al. Nat Biotechnol (2013) 31(1):23-4.
doi: 10.1038/nbt.2477
Multiplex Genome Engineering Using CRISPR/Cas Systems
Cong L et al. Science (2013) Jan 3.
PMID: 23287718
Cell Physiology
Week 9:
Wed Apr 10
before tech spec review
No presentations this week (response record for one or the other paper due) Shared control of gene expression in bacteria by transcription factors and global physiology of the cell
Berthoumieux S et alMol Syst Biol (2013) 9:634
doi: 10.1038/msb.2012.70
A complete mass-spectrometric map of the yeast proteome applied to quantitative trait analysis
Picotti P et al.Nature (2013) Jan 20.
doi: 10.1038/nature11835
Week 10:
Wed Apr 17
Kristine (Woodruff paper) ppt is here
Ryan (Cardinale paper) ppt is here
Towards a metabolic engineering strain "commons": An Escherichia coli platform strain for ethanol production
Woodruff LB, May BL, Warner JR, Gill RT. Biotechnol Bioeng (2013) Jan 15.
doi: 10.1002/bit.24840
Contextualizing context for synthetic biology--identifying causes of failure of synthetic biological systems
Cardinale S, Arkin AP.Biotechnol J(2012) 7(7):856-66.
doi: 10.1002/biot.201200085
Programming in the Noise
Week 11:
Wed Apr 24
Divya (Litcofsky paper) May 1st
Gonzo (Prindle paper) May 8th
Iterative plug-and-play methodology for constructing and modifying synthetic gene networks
Litcofsky KD et al. Nat Methods(2012) 9(11):1077-80.
doi: 10.1038/nmeth.2205
A sensing array of radically coupled genetic ‘biopixels’
Prindle A et al. Nature(2012)481:39–44
Property rights in synthetic biology Week 12:
Wed May 1
Holly (Rai paper) ppt is here
+ Divya ppt is here
Synthetic biology: caught between property rights, the public domain, and the commons
Rai A, Boyle J. PLoS Biol. (2007)5(3):e58
PMID: 17355173
Preparing synthetic biology for the world
Moe-Behrens GH, Davis R, Haynes KA. Front Microbiol (2013) 4:5
doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2013.00005
Systems & Communities Week 13:
Wed May 8
Paula (Oritz paper) ppt is here
+ Gonzo (Prindle paper) ppt is here
Engineered cell-cell communication via DNA messaging
Ortiz ME, Endy D. JBE (2012) 6(1):16.
doi: 10.1186/1754-1611-6-16
Autonomous bacterial localization and gene expression based on nearby cell receptor density
Wu HC et al. Mol Syst Biol (2013) 9:636.
doi: 10.1038/msb.2012.71
Metabolic Engineering Week 14:
Wed May 15
before final presentations
no presentations this week (response record only if you've missed a different discussion this term) Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli using synthetic small regulatory RNAs Na D et al. Nat Biotechnol (2013) Jan 20.
doi: 10.1038/nbt.2461
Synthetic protein scaffolds provide modular control over metabolic fluxDueber JE et al. Nat Biotechnol (2009) 27(8):753-9.
doi: 10.1038/nbt.1557