One of the long-term goals in synthetic biology is the construction of large-scale gene networks to control and manipulate cells. Such networks often tweak natural regulatory mechanisms, or 'switches', in order to achieve the desired function. Regulatory mechanisms that involve RNA building blocks such as messenger RNA, microRNA and riboswitches have become increasingly prominent in this regard. Recent achievements include prototype mRNA sensors, logic circuits that respond to small molecule cues to affect cell fate, and cell-state classifier networks that identify physiological states using multiple microRNA inputs. This Review describes these and other results in RNA-based synthetic biology.
Looking for the pick of the bunch: high-throughput screening of producing microorganisms with biosensors
Engineering an inducible gene expression system for Bacillus subtilis from a strong constitutive promoter and a theophylline-activated synthetic riboswitch
Endogenous microRNA can be broadly exploited to regulate transgene expression according to tissue, lineage and differentiation state
Advances in biomaterial engineering have permitted the development of sophisticated drug-releasing materials with a biomimetic 3D support that allow a better control of the microenvironment of transplanted cells. Here is the latest research.