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The Key Laboratory of Synthetic Biology Commenced in Shanghai

January 11, 2009, the Key Laboratory of Synthetic Biology (KLSB) of Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) was commenced in Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology (SIPPE). Dozen of peer scientists of the field from other institutions and the KLSB members attended the opening ceremony. KLSB, reorganized from the Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, is the first laboratory of the kind in China. Currently it consists of 7 research groups including 12 principal investigators and about 70 graduate students. The Laboratory director is professor Guopin Zhao and the Academic Committee director is professor Shengli Yang.

As said by professor Zhao, KLSB aims at the cutting-edge research in synthetic biology to address global challenges in areas related to energy, human health and the environment. The research subjects include characterization and design of functional biological parts, processing systems and organisms, production of biomaterial and energy molecules through modification and synthesis of biosystems as well as innovation of synthetic biology technology. For example, the laboratory is interested in molecular design of biomass synthesis and energy plant, biological synthesis of pharmaceutical and chemical productss and others.

After opening ceremony, a symposium was presented about the research carried out in the laboratory. The presentations included the studies of Leptospirosis genomics, genome evolution of SARS corona virus, the specific genetic operating system in linear plasmids, metabolic pathway and regulation mechanism of actinomycete, genetic election and engineering of Clostridium acetobutylicum, enzyme structure and function, industrial application of enzyme engineering and other current researches.
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