29 October 2015

BLOG: Center Phd student guest blogger on PLOS Synbio


Konstantinos Vavitsas gives his take on artificial vanillin receptors that modulate transcription

PLOS Synbio publishes blog posts on specific synthetic biology research or issues impacting the field, written by researchers, for other researchers. 

Dept. Plant and Enviro Sciences Phd researcher, Konstantinos Vavitsas, has contributed with a review of a recently published article entitled "Engineering Transcriptional Regulator Effector Specificity Using Computational Design and In Vitro Rapid Prototyping: Developing a Vanillin Sensor". 

In the blog post, he explains that one thing absent in a heterologous pathway is substrate regulation: a molecular sensor that adjusts the abundance of the respective enzymes according to substrate availability.

He goes on to describe how a research group from the California Institute of Technology has addressed this issue by synthesizing a transcription regulation system that responds to vanillin. The review gives the reader a summary of the procedure used to engineer this. 

In his conclusion, Konstantinos gives synthetic biologists a take home message based on the research process presented in the reviewed article:

 "Plan rationally, but be prepared to embrace the chaos".

Read the blog here