Engineering Biology
Food & Agriculture Challenge:

Produce more food for a growing global population.

Improve the production and yield of meat from livestock and fish.

Engineering Biology Objectives & Technical Achievements

Increase food animal yield, such as increased litter size, faster reproduction, and faster development.

Engineering DNA Biomolecular Engineering Host Engineering Data Science

Modify animal/fish genomes to enhance production of growth hormones.

Delete genes/proteins that may restrict muscle mass (e.g., myostatin) which can also reduce fat content.

Modify fecundity genes to increase litter size.

Engineer synthetic proteins that promote growth hormone production.

Introduce heterologous gene cassettes (inducible promoter-gene-terminator) into genome that encodes synthetic protein promoting growth hormone production.

Model growth rate vs. hormone production/induction.

Reduce infectious and non-infectious disease in food animals, including alternatives to antibiotics.

Engineering DNA Biomolecular Engineering Host Engineering Data Science

Modify animal genomes to auto-induce vaccination to common pathogens.

Develop synthetic peptides or proteins that protect animals from common viral and bacterial diseases.

Introduce genes encoding synthetic peptides for disease resistance into genome of food animals to protect against common viral and bacterial disease.

Improve modeling of disease transmission to predict optimal husbandry conditions for preventing disease.

Engineer the rumen/livestock microbiome to improve digestion of feed for improved nutrient absorption and metabolism.

Engineering DNA Biomolecular Engineering Host Engineering Data Science

Introduce genes to increase or develop tunable populations of beneficial gut microbiota.

Develop enzymes that are efficient at breaking down complex carbohydrates at pH of cow rumen.

Introduce novel or synthetic digestive enzymes/pathways to increase digestible fiber into most abundant microbiome species that aid in digestion or eliminate/inactivate anti-nutritive substances.

Survey microbiome populations in cow rumen and identify most abundant species for manipulation.

Model microbiome establishment and interactions.

Last updated: June 19, 2019 Back