- Number 375 |
- November 5, 2012
Bioscriber, an online synthetic biology tutorial, goes live
How to explain synthetic biology to the masses? And how to link it to the DOE mission? This is what the DOE Joint Genome Institute and the Joint BioEnergy Institute sought to accomplish with Bioscriber, an online tutorial that debuted on October 13, 2012 at the Berkeley Lab Open House.
The initial phase of this educational module captures how information gleaned from organisms found in nature, bioprospecting, coupled with genome sequencing can lead to improved breakdown and conversion of plant biomass into an advanced, non-ethanol biofuel.
Open House participants, over 6,000 strong, had the opportunity to first conduct a hands-on enzyme assay choosing from a selection of a more than a dozen different fungal species to test the level of cellobiase—which breaks down cellobiose—the two glucose units obtained from cellulose-rich biomass. While samples incubated, participants clicked their way through Bioscriber that was hosted on several laptops. The results of the activity were then plotted so that the public could see the differential expression of the enzyme based on the habitat of the particular fungus.Feedback on the initial launch will provide guidance for future mobile-friendly releases of Bioscriber. Photos from the Berkeley Lab Open House can be viewed here: Berkeley Lab Open House.
[David Gilbert, 925.296.5643,