Reverse engineering: turning Jurassic Park into reality

By Clarie Lo In 1990, the science fiction novel Jurassic Park was published. People were fascinated by the idea of constructing a theme park with dinosaurs freely roaming on the island. As a writer with a background in anthropology, Michael Crichton’s attempt in describing how these extinct creatures were cloned from DNA found in mosquitoesContinue reading Reverse engineering: turning Jurassic Park into reality

Engineering Bacteria to Mitigate Climate Change

By Ellie Fung When considering climate change mitigation, images of a forest of wind turbines overlooking expansive fields of solar panels and sleek electric cars whirring past towering green buildings often come to mind. After all, grand challenges necessitate grand solutions. However, interest has been growing recently in the manipulation of microbial metabolic systems forContinue reading “Engineering Bacteria to Mitigate Climate Change”

Bio-textiles: Synthetics, Science and Sustainability

By Yu Kiu Victor Chan There is no question that the textiles industry is highly unsustainable. Production and processing of common textiles, such as cotton, harms the environment by consuming enormous amounts of fresh water, as well as creating water pollution and increasing soil acidity. Depending on where the cotton is grown, one kilogram ofContinue reading “Bio-textiles: Synthetics, Science and Sustainability”

Applying Deep Learning Towards Cancer Prognosis

By Ayoush Srivastava The earliest record of cancer was found in a trauma surgery textbook from ancient Egypt; it described that for the disease, “there is no treatment” (ACS Medical Content, Editorial, and News Staff, 2014). Thousands of years later, cancer remains a formidable force, causing one-sixth of deaths across the globe (Zhu et al.,Continue reading “Applying Deep Learning Towards Cancer Prognosis”

An Investigation into the modern-day prosthetic

By Bishr Albadri Despite great progress in synthetic biology and prosthetic design, overcoming the detrimental effects associated with the loss of a limb remains a challenge. The repercussions of losing a limb are not sufficiently compensated by many of today’s prosthetics due to their locomotive restrictions. This review details the intricacies of applying a prostheticContinue reading “An Investigation into the modern-day prosthetic”

Genomic Imprinting: The Barrier to Same-Sex Reproduction?

By Lucy Hamer Parthenogenesis describes a natural form of reproduction which occurs without any male contribution. An embryo develops from spontaneous activation of an unfertilised egg cell which contains a complete set of somatic chromosomes from the mother. Another related mode of reproduction, gynogenesis, requires the presence of sperm to activate the egg but theContinue reading “Genomic Imprinting: The Barrier to Same-Sex Reproduction?”

Designing Biological Systems through Machine Learning

By Shirin Bamezai One of the most promising approaches to tackling global challenges in health and sustainability is biosystems design. Biosystems design is the purposeful manipulation of biological systems (from the nucleic acid level, to entire cells) through engineering principles, ideally within a “design-build-test-iterate (or deploy)” cycle (el Karoui, Hoyos-Flight and Fletcher, 2019). Constructing novelContinue reading “Designing Biological Systems through Machine Learning”


By Yu Kiu Victor Chan For years, blood donation has been vital for treating medical conditions such as anaemia, cancer and various blood disorders. It is also crucial for surgeries, alongside treating blood loss after childbirth (How blood is used, 2020). To serve these purposes, an adequate supply of safe blood and a stable baseContinue reading “ARTIFICIAL BLOOD: CURRENT DEVELOPMENT AND CHALLENGES”

How Synthetic Biology is Transforming Classical Gene and Engineered-Cell Based Therapy

By Shirin Bamezai Since the beginning of the post-genomic era, one of the areas of research that has been consistently pushing the frontiers of medicine is gene and engineered-cell therapy. Gene and cell therapy aim to treat diseases by introducing genetic material in cells that either repairs or enhances their genome in order to produceContinue reading “How Synthetic Biology is Transforming Classical Gene and Engineered-Cell Based Therapy”