Build-A-Genome course goes global!

Our popular undergraduate course — Build A Genome (BAG) just opens its 2012 spring session. We welcome 15 students from Johns Hopkins University, 22 students from Loyola University Maryland, and 2 Chinese scholars who traveled across the world from Tianjin University. Dr. Wenzheng Zhang and Wei Liu, representing Dr. Yingjin Yuan of the Department of Chemical Engineering, will be taking the course at JHU and then will return to Tianjin University to set up and help teach “Build-A-Genome China” in the fall of 2012. It is hoped that Build-A-Genome China will become a casino online part of the regular curriculum for Chemical Engineering students, all of whom will there by be directly contributing to the International Sc2.0 project.  This will be the first international appearance of the Build-A-Genome course, facilitated by a web-enabled international database portal to the BioStudio / Build-A-Genome Database, developed by Dr. Giovanni Stracquadanio of JHU.

The new development of Build A Genome is an important component of a recent collaboration agreement on Synthetic Biology research and education between Johns Hopkins University and Tianjin University. Vice Provost for International Programs Pamela Cranston signed the agreement on behalf of Johns Hopkins University together with the President of Tianjin University, Dr. Jiajun Li in November, 2011.

Johns Hopkins’ Man-Made Yeast Go Global

Released: 12/5/2011 9:55 PM EST
Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine who recently reported the design and creation of a man-made yeast chromosome have now signed on some international collaborators at BGI, a genomics company headquartered in Beijing, China. The newly formed relationship brings together the Johns Hopkins project with some of the world’s experts in so-called next generation genome sequencing in an effort to speed the understanding of how genomes are built and organized and how they function.

“Next generation sequencing plays a key role in synthetic genomics, enabling large-scale processing with lower costs and higher efficiency,” says Jef Boeke, Ph.D., professor of molecular biology and genetics and director of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Basic Biomedical Science’s High Throughput Biology Center. “With BGI’s expertise in genome sequencing and bioinformatics,

we are confident we can make very rapid progress in the SC2.0 PROJECT to facilitate further studies of how synthetic genomes evolve.”

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BGI Announces Collaboration with Johns Hopkins University on Synthetic Yeast Project to Accelerate the Development of Synthetic Biology

November 14th, 2011, Shenzhen, China – BGI the world’s largest genomic organization and Johns Hopkins University (JHU), today signed a collaborative research agreement for the synthetic yeast project (SC2.0 PROJECT), an ambitious synthetic biology project which seeks to re-design and synthesize the yeast genome. This project was initiated by JHU and serves as part of JHU’s synthetic biology program.

In addition to the research collaboration of SC2.0 PROJECT, BGI’s researchers will have the opportunity to access the synthetic biology expertise of JHU. They can attend for internship the undergraduate course, “Build-A-Genome,” associated with the project at JHU. During the course, they can perform synthesis of segments of the synthetic yeast genome by themselves.

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“Synthetic” chromosome permits rapid, on-demand “evolution” of yeast

In the quest to understand genomes—how they’re built, how they’re organized and what makes them work—a team of Johns Hopkins researchers has engineered from scratch a computer-designed yeast chromosome and incorporated into their creation a new system that lets scientists intentionally rearrange the yeast’s genetic material. A report of their work appears September 14 as an Advance Online Publication in the journal Nature.

“We have created a research tool that not only lets us learn more about yeast biology and genome biology, but also holds out the possibility of someday designing genomes for specific purposes, like making new vaccines or medications,” says Jef D. Boeke, Ph.D., Sc.D., professor of molecular biology and genetics, and director of the High Throughput Biology Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

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Johns Hopkins center for China studies announced

A Chinese-American entrepreneur whose company recently unveiled plans to build a hybrid auto plant in Alabama has made a $10 million gift to The Johns Hopkins University to promote innovative new approaches to the study of China.

The gift from Benjamin Yeung and his wife, Rhea, will establish the Benjamin and Rhea Yeung Center for Collaborative China Studies.

The center’s role is to deepen the understanding between the United States and China through a unique collaboration among the various Johns Hopkins schools and academic programs. In the near term, Johns Hopkins envisions new academic and research initiatives funded through Yeung Center grants for collaborative projects across the institution; the proposal process is expected to begin next month. The Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies, run jointly in China by Johns Hopkins and Nanjing University, will be a natural host for some of this activity.

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