This is a documentary about the design of novel vaccines using synthetic biology. Mycoplasmas are the smallest free-living microorganisms that lack a cell wall around their cell membrane, which makes them resistant to many of the common antibiotics. There is no effective vaccination against many Mycoplasmas that infect pets, humans and farm animals. The research project MycoSynVac seeks to combine extensive systems biology knowledge and cutting-edge synthetic biology methodologies in order to engineer a universal Mycoplasma chassis that can be deployed as single- or multi-vaccine in a range of animal hosts. The work done in this project may also become a stepping stone for other potential applications such as cell therapy, infectious lung disease treatment, etc.
Berries are known to produce a lot of substances with interesting properties, that could be utilized in medicine and industry. As some of these the berries are rare and hard to grow, the Bachberry project tried to transfer their genome into yeast and produce the desired substances there. The documentary visits one of the most important crop collections in Russia – the Vavilov Institute, as well as European project partners, to give an insight into the state of the art of biotechnology.
SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY IN EUROPE
The documentary was produced with financial support from the European Science Foundation.
The documentary shows a trip across Europe to the pioneers of synthetic biology, documenting the early days of the field. The film is showing five outstanding scientific projects in Europe, focussing not only on the science itself but also portraying the environment and the people that drive the field. Providing insights into the status quo of biotechnology at the date of production – offering future audiences a look back, when it all started…
Over the last 50 years, industrial seed production and legislation dramatically decreased the genetic diversity in agricultural crops in Europe. Diverseeds visited the places in the Middle East the center of origin of our most important food crops, tropical regions that still have a high level of genetic diversity in crops as well as scientists and institutions around the world, that try to preserve rare crops and seeds, for example in the arctic permafrost, for future breeding activities.
SYNBIOSAFE: SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY AND ITS SOCIAL AND ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS
The short film has been produced for SYNBIOSAFE.
Synthetic biology is the design and construction of new biological systems not found in nature. It aims at creating novel organisms for practical purposes. With many anticipated benefits and a high impact on society, the societal and ethical aspects of this discipline, as well as its possible risks, are becoming increasingly prominent. This film shows not only what synthetic biology is, but also what it could mean for our society, economy and the environment.