National Institute of Science and Technology Synthetic Biology

Biodiversity as a source for synthetic domestication and biotechnology, genetic regulation and engineering of useful specific traits

INCT-BioSyn was established and funded by the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology and Innovation. The flagship institutions are EMBRAPA, Fiocruz and Instituto Tecnológico Vale and will operate in close connection with the University of Brasília, University of Campinas and UMIP GenClima

Synthetic Spider Fiber

Technologies and experimental approaches used in this INCT are at different stages of maturity. The technologies of knowledge base, especially -omics sciences and bioinformatics are widely used by the community. Still, significant advances in these technologies are expected in the coming years. Currently, small circuits are being produced, but the automation of their production is still a major challenge. The same goes for the production of new genes and synthetic cells which are not yet widespread. 

Technologies and technological platforms

It is expected that the activity of INCT BioSyn will result in the development and mastering of several new technologies, technological platforms and products. All have great potential for incorporation by the biotechnology industry. 

The Synthetic Biology Platform, constituting an advanced and innovative interface, is based on the increasing nanomolecular repertoire available for the development of basic units, parts and functional biological circuits useful for multidisciplinary fields, including nanobiotechnology. The Genetic Function Engineering Platform is focusing on the enhancement of the form and efficacy of targeted introduction of genes into the genomes of interest. It will rely on the precise engineering of genomes and metabolic pathways of biological systems. The Applied Genetics Applications Platform represents the interface between the available knowledge and their practical applications.

Education and popularization of science

A strong emphasis is put on the training of human resources. Undergraduate, postgrad students and post-docs from different institutions will participate in all stages of the projects. Partnerships with school districts, directed to primary and secondary education will be established, as well as initiatives for popularization of synthetic biology in museums and social activities. Researchers from universities will be recruited to assist in the incorporation of synthetic biology in problem solving and the generation of classroom friendly solutions. The involvement of young researchers is a fundamental goal of the project.

Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity

Recombinant DNA is the foundation for the synthetic domestication of biodiversity traits. Studies involve synthetic biology mimicking specific traits production in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. This approach constitutes a sustainable and viable option for conservation and development of value-added processes and products from biodiversity.