Gene Synthesis: Process & Applications

Presenter: Krithika Vaidyanathan, Ph.D., Scientist I, Project Management, GENEWIZ

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This webinar focuses on Gene Synthesis and why it has become the most convenient alternative to cloning. Codon optimization, the advantages of Gene Synthesis over PCR Cloning, and GENEWIZ case studies on complex projects will all be explored in this presentation. Dr. Vaidyanathan will also be answering questions about Gene Synthesis and its various applications.

Metagenomics as a Window into the Microbial World: Medical Implications of the Gut Microbiome & Other Applications

Presenter: Gilead Kedem, M.D., Senior Bioinformatics Analyst, GENEWIZ

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Microbial communities abound everywhere and exert powerful effects on their surroundings. For example, variations in the gut microbiome—the trillions of bacteria in the human gut—are associated with disorders ranging from diabetes mellitus and obesity to inflammatory bowel disease to cancer.This webinar will describe how metagenomic sequencing and bioinformatics are being applied to a range of industries, including microbiome-based diagnostics and therapeutics, infectious disease diagnostics and agriculture.

Solving Forgotten Disorders: Gene Discovery for Cerebellar Malformations

Presenter: Kimberly Aldinger, PhD, Research Scientist at the Center for Integrative Brain Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute

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Next generation sequencing has revolutionized medical genetics, identifying the genetic causes for hundreds of disorders. One notable exception is cerebellar disorders, which have eluded gene discovery for several reasons: cerebellum is often not assessed in children with other diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorders, clinical and neuroimaging features of specific cerebellar malformations overlap considerably, and non-genetic causes of cerebellar damage, such as prenatal hemorrhage, often cannot be distinguished from likely genetic-caused cerebellar disruption. We are examining DNA from the largest collection of patients with cerebellar malformations using exome and genome sequencing together with cell-type specific RNA-sequencing of fetal cerebellum to identify the genetic causes for phenotypes with primary effects on cerebellar structure and function that are often overlooked.

Fine-tuning a Genetically Encoded Metabolite Biosensor for High-throughput Screening of Synthetic Yeast Cell Factories

Presenter: Thomas C. Williams, PhD, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

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The emerging field of synthetic genomics involves the redesign and construction of entire genomes. This approach to synthetic biology will enable an unparalleled understanding of minimal biological modules and genome organisation, as well as the construction of superior industrial strains. As part of the global ‘Yeast 2.0’ consortium, the Macquarie University team is contributing to the field of synthetic genomics by building chromosomes XIV and XVI of the synthetic Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome. A defining feature of the synthetic yeast genome is an inducible genome shuffling system that is facilitated by the flanking of every non-essential gene with Cre recombinase LoxP recognition sites. This Synthetic Chromosome Recombination and Modification by LoxP mediated Evolution (SCRaMbLE) system can facilitate deletion, inversion, duplication, and translocation events between LoxP sites upon Cre recombinase induction. After the synthetic yeast genome is complete, we will be able to generate millions of different versions that vary in genomic architecture and content using SCRaMbLE. The tools of systems biology can then be used to elucidate novel genome design principles that are common to SCRaMbLEd genomes with superior industrial properties.

Emerging Next-Generation Sequencing Technologies and Applications

Presneter: Chris Mozdzierz, PhD, Associate Manager, Next-Generation Sequencing, GENEWIZ

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The most cutting-edge and powerful NGS platforms on the market are revolutionizing the way scientists do genomics. The HiSeq X Series makes the $1000 genome a reality – this platform offers the most cost-effective approach for large genome sequencing, allowing researchers to expand their population genetic studies. The PacBio Sequel is the industry-leading platform for long read lengths, allowing researchers to completely close smaller bacterial genomes and greatly aids in larger genome assemblies and structural variant discovery. The 10X Genomics Chromium is a revolutionary platform that allows for cost-effective, true single-cell analysis of up to ~50K cells. This platform’s applications include gene expression analysis from mixed samples, variant phasing, and haplotyping. This presentation will focus on how the aforementioned platforms work, their detailed applications, and some new platforms on the horizon.

Genome-wide Synthetic Biology: From Pathways to Genomes

Presenter: Marc Güell, PhD, Wyss Institute Technology Development Fellow at Harvard University (George Church Lab)

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Advances in the first decade of 2000s enabled not only edits to genes but also to pathways. Synthetic biologists developed gene circuits to carry out sophisticated functions in cells such as synthesis of complex molecules (artemisinin, erythromycin, etc.), or biosensing. Technological advances in gene synthesis and genome engineering have radically upgraded the scope of synthetic biology applications. Gene synthesis costs have dropped exponentially, and genetic engineering has flourished with a powerful repertoire of new technologies, including MAGE and CRISPR/cas9. These new tools have enabled researchers to address genome-wide properties which alter an organism’s most fundamental features such as genetic code or transspecies differences.