A grant of £2.2M has been awarded for a collaboration between Oxford, Liverpool, Bristol, Southampton, and Birmingham universities; led by Professor Tom Brown. Ever larger pieces of DNA, such as genes and gene clusters, are required for Synthetic Biology, and making these can be a tedious and slows process. In this project they will analyse DNA made by modern ultra-high throughput chemical methods and optimise the process. They will also explore new ways to make large pieces of DNA.
See the BBSRC website for further information: http://bbsrc.ac.uk/news/policy/2015/150129-pr-business-secretary-40m-for-synbio.aspx
Prof. Tom Brown has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of a new Royal Society of Chemistry book series on chemical biology. The RSC Chemical Biology Book Series is intended to provide a series of high level research books on cutting-edge research at the interface of chemistry and biology. http://blogs.rsc.org/books/2014/06/03/entrepreneur-of-the-year-tom-brown-chemical-biology-books/
In a paper published in ChemComm, we show that a bulky triazole linkage formed by a click reaction between 3’-azide and 5’-cyclooctyne oligonucleotides is read through by reverse transcriptase, with potential applications in RNA isolation, amplification and sequencing.