Research Topic

Visualization and Control of Biological Processes

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Biological processes such as metabolism are the vital processes for any organism and these processes consist of numerous chemical reactions.

Regulation of biological processes occurs when any process is changed in rate or extent, for example in response to external stimulus. This Research Topic will ...

Biological processes such as metabolism are the vital processes for any organism and these processes consist of numerous chemical reactions.

Regulation of biological processes occurs when any process is changed in rate or extent, for example in response to external stimulus. This Research Topic will focus on various methods to monitor and control the biological processes in micro-organisms, particularly in photosynthetic micro-organisms and mammalian cells in the context of synthetic biology and metabolic engineering. Methods include novel analytical techniques such as mass spectrometry, optics, chemical and electronic sensors, bioreactors and microfluidics. All these methods provide either unprecedented experimental (temporal and spatial) resolution or novel ways to mimic biological processes in a natural environment or clinical setting. For example, the microfluidic chip has enabled single cell measurements on a daily routine. They can provide new insights on metabolism or serve as a fast way for end product detection. Novel bioreactor and chemostat tools in adaptive laboratory evolution have enabled systematic investigation of antibiotic drug resistance and identified its connection to enzyme mutation. Such tools can also be coupled with synthetic biological circuits to explore the limits of plasticity of metabolism to enable novel synthetic pathways which would be otherwise inaccessible. All these improvements will significantly sharpen our understanding of biological processes at various levels. Examples of control of biological processes also include genetic modification to include a metabolic pathway and/or engineered gene regulation and expression control with synthetic biological circuits. Recent developments in synthetic biology have also added a repertoire of novel controls e.g. optical and ultrasonic by fusing the genes of sensors from a foreign host to targeted organisms. Such developments have led to many research activities and questions in biology and chemistry. This Research Topic welcomes submissions relating to practical applications such synthesis of useful products, antibiotic drug resistance, optogenetic control of gene expression for bacteria or mammalian cells.


Keywords: metabolism, metabolic control, bioreactor, synthetic biology


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