Cell-free biotech will make for better products

May 8, 2017

Cell-free biotech will make for better products
http://www.Economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21721560-new-type-biological-engineering-should-speed-up-innovation-cell-free-biotech Gr8 screening, quickly making proteins from oligos HT @EmilyLeproust

“A typical recipe for making cell-free protoplasmic gloop is this. Take four litres of culture containing E. coli (a gut bacterium favoured by genetic engineers). Split the bacterial cells open by forcing them through a tiny valve at pressure, thus shredding their membranes and DNA, and liberating the ribosomes. Incubate the resulting mixture at 37°C for an hour, to activate enzymes called exonucleases that will eat up the fragmented DNA. Centrifuge, to separate the scraps of cell membrane and other detritus from the gloop that contains ribosomes. Dialyse to remove unwanted ions. Then stir in amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), sugar and an
energy-carrying molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to power the process. Finally, add a pinch of new DNA to taste, to tell the gloop which proteins it is supposed to produce.”