5 Amazing Applications of Gene Synthesis
Gene synthesis is emerging as a more efficient commercial gene production method than traditional molecular cloning. Its advantages include fast turn-around time, cost-effectiveness, and diverse gene profile productions. Moreover, chemical DNA production overcomes the typical challenges of molecular cloning, helping create versatile yet stable gene sequences and proteins to meet diverse research needs.
Consequently, gene synthesis and Custom Antibody companies offer chemical DNA services like cloning, recombinant expression, gene modification and design, and various downstream services. Besides revolutionizing the biotech industry, such services also precipitate other research fields crucial for human development and survival, including the fields below.
Virology and Vaccine Design
The discovery of prophylactic or preventative vaccines to curb infections is perhaps the most significant moment in human medical history. Thanks to vaccinations, future generations will likely not experience two dangerous infectious diseases, smallpox, and rinderpest, as the world health organization declared the two diseases officially eradicated.
However, new pathogens keep emerging, exposing humans to new diseases, like COVID-19 and other chronic infections. That is where gene synthesis comes, facilitating advanced research in virology and vaccination to create more potent, effective, and safe vaccines.
Although there are different types of vaccines, each vaccine features four primary components; an antigen, an adjuvant, a vector, and a preservative. Gene synthesis is instrumental in facilitating improvements to each of these components.
For starters, vaccines’ typical mode of action is imitating an infection, triggering an immune response without causing disease. They cause the conversion of specific effector cells into memory cells that prevent reinfection.
However, viral reactivation leading to chronic infection is a continuous challenge, as seen with Hepatitis C and Varicella-Zoster viruses. Consequently, vaccine research currently focuses on reconstituting virus-specific responses, and gene synthesis is at the heart of such research, supplying required recombinant proteins, antigens, and DNA.
Gene synthesis has also facilitated the production of synthetic DNA vaccines, improving DNA vaccine technology substantially. One research study into synthetic DNA vaccines shows enhanced human immune responses denoted by faster vaccine delivery and improved efficacy. Additionally, gene synthesis has revolutionized vaccine vectors (modified virus version) by enhancing vaccine vector design to improve vaccine performance and safety. Therefore, gene synthesis’ capacity to first-track vaccine development and facilitate enhancement holds immense promise for the biotech sub-industry.
Therapeutics are crucial not only in combating disease but also in pain relief and symptom management. Besides vaccine design, gene synthesis is also helpful in other therapeutics branches, including drug therapies and stem-cell therapies.
For starters, gene synthesis is core to drug discovery and development, facilitating the production of highly-functionalized molecules and target proteins for drug research and production. Pharmacological drugs’ mode of action in treatment entails targeting specific proteins to enhance, modify, or inhibit the latter’s function. Genetic synthesis facilitates the speedy production of the functionalized molecules and target proteins.
Gene therapy is another therapeutics branch where gene synthesis is helpful; gene therapy utilizes synthetic biology elements like molecular breeding to treat hereditary illnesses. Molecular breeding uses DNA manipulation to enhance desirable characteristics while suppressing undesirable genetic traits. Thanks to gene synthesis, advanced research on gene therapy is ongoing for genetic illnesses like cystic fibrosis and hemophilia.
Cancer cases are rising, with 2021 statistics showing that the US recorded 1.9 million new cancer diagnoses. Moreover, the 2019 cancer care’s national patient economic burden was $21.09 billion, excluding patients’ out-of-pocket costs.
While cancer remains a chronic illness lacking a cure, cancer research efforts hold hope for better and friendlier cancer therapies in the future. Cancer research is a laborious process that begins in the lab, and gene synthesis is crucial.
The research process focuses on cancer biomarkers and cancer cells’ signaling pathways to inhibit tumor progression. Therefore, recombinant DNA and gene sequences are helpful for cancer researchers during this stage. Also, immunotherapy is among the significant cancer treatment milestones achieved via cancer research. It utilizes synthetic promoters to enhance the body’s innate capacity to fight cancer. Moreover, one study shows that recombinant antibodies represent well over 30% of the biological proteins currently at the clinical trial phase for prospective cancer treatments.
The brain and the central and peripheral nervous systems regulate most other body systems, validating neuroscience’s research role in medicine. Among neuroscience research’s primary components is the impact of disease on the brain and the nervous system’s function, and gene synthesis helps facilitate such research.
According to one research study, DNA concentration is highest in the brain thanks to a higher DNA methylation (expression) rate. Synthetic gene expression is crucial in helping neuroscience researchers to investigate the signaling pathways of various neural genes and visualize such pathways to understand their effects. The results from such research are essential to understanding human behavior and other crucial components.
Plant Biology Research
Besides human therapeutics and medicine, gene synthesis also plays a role in plant biology research. Plants play an invaluable role in the ecosystem as a food and raw material source, and gene synthesis helps enhance crop production and yield.
For instance, plant biology research has led to agricultural genomics, which entails plant gene manipulation. Such manipulation helps facilitate new crop development with positive weather and typographical tolerance, and higher nutrient content.
Gene synthesis touches on medicine, nutrition, and food security, core components that support the human race’s survival. Its impact precipitates, touching the lives of people unaware of the technology. Thanks to its crucial role in human wellbeing and survival, the future is bright for gene synthesis.