Sex pheromones as a sustainable replacement for insecticides

Watch how The Olefine Project uses love instead of poison to protect plants from pest insects. One of the most promising alternatives to the harmful insecticides is called “mating disruption”, where small amounts of insect sex pheromones are released in the field to prevent the pest males from finding females. This way females do not get fertilized and can not lay eggs that develop into larvae eating the plants.

SinFonia: Introducing the element fluorine to the symphony of life

We created an animated short clip for the project SinFonia. The clip reflects the project’s aims and methods in an entertaining way with musical elements.

Materials containing the element fluorine (F) are extremely important in our modern world, with applications in electronics, healthcare, automotive and wearables. Currently these fluorochemicals are exclusively synthesized using chemical methods. SinFonia wants to change that by using synthetic biology. The project aims to engineer the bacterium Pseudomonas putida to do the job.

Short video series for the KLI (Konrad Lorenz Institute)

The series of 9 short videos produced for the KLI (Konrad Lorenz Institute) presents the work of their fellows. Listen to philosopher of biology Daniel Nicholson how he explains the basic ideas that lie at the heart of his current book project, which rethinks the nature of the organism.

For watching the other 8 clips of the series click here.

Synthetic biology vaccines for farm animals

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.

The Beast in Yeast: OPATHY

Our animation clip “The Beast in Yeast” adresses something that is not very well known: how yeast, such as Candida, can turn into dangerous pathogens.

Yeast infections are poorly understood, difficult to diagnose and are becoming increasingly frequent and serious, affecting over 300 million people worldwide. OPATHY (from Omics of PATHogenics Yeasts) is a European research training network that explores the potential of innovative technologies, including genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics, to study the interactions of yeasts that cause disease to humans. The OPATHIANS develop new diagnostic tools to monitor yeast infections in the clinic, supporting medical doctors and patients worldwide.

Plant Designer at Biodesign Here Now
London Design Festival 2018

From 15. – 23. September 2018, we joined Open Cell’s Biodesign Here Now for London Design Festival 2018. We showcased the aims, goals, and cutting-edge technologies used by two EC H2020 research projects (Newcotiana and Pharma-Factory) to allow tobacco plants to produce substances that are, in fact, healthy for you.

 

Walking around Open Cell we met other creators and filmed a series of interviews, to share our impressions of this vibrant space with you. Watch the clip portraying “Plant Designer” or go check out the whole playlist.

eForFuel: Fuel from Electricity and Co2

We produced a short clip for our EU funded project eForFuel, explaining what the project is all about, including our approaches and processes. The animation  is designed to be smooth, flowing and easy to understand.

 

eForFuel develops an industrial biotechnology solution that uses electricity and microorganisms to convert CO2 into hydrocarbon fuels, thus providing a sustainable replacement of fossil carbons. It uses the advantages of different disciplines to establish an efficient process, which sets the stage for a future environmentally, economically, and societally sustainable value chain to produce renewable chemicals and fuels.

Dr. Tobacco, the healthy breed!

Tobacco can become good for your health! This animation shows you how, by explaining the project aims of our EU funded project NEWCOTIANA.

 

Plant molecular farming is a young branch of biotechnology that works with engineered or specifically bred plants in order to produce cosmetic or pharmaceutical substances – including skin moisturizer, antibodies and vaccines. NEWCOTIANA is doing just that – and with plants you wouldn’t initially connect with health topics: tobacco. New Plant Breeding Techniques make it possible to create bio-factories out of tobacco plants, which will produce medical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

MycoSynVac feat. MC Grease (da disease)

Biofaction ventured into new territory to illustrate our project MycoSynVac. We’ve created an animated music video starring a pathogenic bacterium, MC Grease da Disease, A.K.A. Mycoplasma bovis, that causes diseases in cows. The video aims to raise awareness of the science and its societal ramifications in an unusual way.

 

Traditionally, bacterial vaccines are made from simply inactivated or attenuated pathogens, which are deployed to ‘train’ the immune system of the host. In many Mycoplasma species, however, these vaccines don’t work very well. MycoSynVac (funded by the European H2020 project) aims to develop novel types of vaccines to fight mycoplasma infections in farm animals. Its goal vaccine is not just a mere attenuated pathogen, but a reprogrammed organism that has to be, so to speak, ‘semi-infectious.’

Possible Tomorrows / Vienna Design Week

Possible Tomorrows – an exhibition during Vienna Design week 2016, produced by BIOFACTION. It introduced a selection of experimental and technical design applications hatched from the fields of biotechnology and synthetic biology.

 

Selected designers/artists contributed on the one hand speculative applications and ideas for the future, and on the other hand already tried and tested implementations for the design and material culture of tomorrow: Cement that is composed of microorganisms. Plants that not only bear fruit, but also grow textiles from their roots. What possibilities will the future bring? Will synthetic biology be the foundation of tomorrow’s industrial design? These and other questions were addressed in Possible Tomorrows.

The Berrymakers

We released a new documentary film about the international research and innovation project BACHBERRY that searched for valuable substances in plants, particularly berries, that could be beneficial for health and other useful applications. We travelled to the experimental Vavilov research station in St. Petersburg, Russia; visited the biochemical analysts at the Hutton Institute in Dundee, Scotland; compared color pigments at Chr Hansen in Montpellier, France; and talked to the researchers at the Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica in Lisbon, Portugal who test plant extracts on so-called “humanized yeast” to find cures for Alzheimer.

 

The film gives a clear idea why the discovery of useful substances and their genes is so important for human health and the bioeconomy and how these genes could be used to make these hardly available substances in larger quantities with the help of engineered microorganisms.

Synthetic Biology in Europe

Synthetic Biology is an emerging field in at the intersection of biotechnology, information technology and biochemistry with the aim to make biology easier to engineer. But what exactly are synthetic biologists doing? And who are the people behind the technology planing to design and engineer living material? This film takes you on a journey around Europe showing current developments in this field, portraying five outstanding projects – funded by the European Science Foundation – and the scientists that drive them.

 

The 30 minutes film was produced by Biofaction with financial support from the European Science Foundation.

Standardise Biology Science Kitchen Workshop

In this interactive workshop Biofaction invited participants to playfully explore basic standardisation principles in food biotechnology. Industrial processes were transferred to a kitchen make shift laboratory to re-produce modern food products.

Standardisation in Synthetic Biology

Synthetic biology is the attempt to convert biotechnology into a full engineering discipline. Compared to other engineering areas such as electronics or mechanics, however, the process of standardization of biological material is a tough challenge. One of the most important characteristics of every engineering field is the need for proper standards. In this short film we show: why standards are so important in synthetic biology, what should be standardized, who are the people driving this process, and what this all means for society and the environment.

 

The film was produced as part of the EC FP7 project ST-FLOW.

The XB1 Conference

A wrap up video of XB1, worlds first conference on Xenobiology.

Presentations of results from the World Wide Views on Biodiversity project.

WWVIEWS on Biodiversity

Produced for the World Wide Views on Biodiversity (WWViews) project, an international citizens consultation project about biodiversity protection, the videos provide balanced information about biodiversity and related policy options for the 3000+ WWViews participants.

WWVIEWS on Biodiversity EN 1 Intro

WWVIEWS on Biodiversity EN 2 Land

WWVIEWS on Biodiversity EN 3 Sea

WWVIEWS on Biodiversity EN 4 Benefit

Bio-Art documentary Trailer

The bioart documentary presents the growing art community that got inoculated by biotechnology, producing living and semi-living artefacts (biofacts). Biofaction is credited for seeding the initial idea of this documentary, which came out of the exhibition “synth-ethic“. We assisted director Robert Styblo and producers (Styblo TV, ORF, ARTE) on several occasions during the production process (scientific advice, art-science networking, post-prodution). The film was aired at Austrian TV station ORF 2 on October 31st 2011, and will be shown on ARTE this fall.

The SYNMOD Team

Here is another example of our work, a short animated film we have done for the scientific project SYNMOD, that searches for novel synthetic antibiotics. “Lame antibiotics are in fear of the superbug. How will we react in the face of the microbial superwarriors? Will the bugs take over or will we come up with novel antibiotics not found in nature? The SYNMOD Research Team has taken up this challenge. Their mission is complicated, but impossible is nothing…

Synth-Ethic trailer remastered

The following video shows a summary of the art-science exhibition synth-ethic that was opened during the Bio:Fiction Science, Art and Film Festival in Vienna in May 2011.