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University of Groningen Forms Synthetic Biology Center

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of Groningen in the Netherlands plans to invest €2 million ($3.1 million) over the next five years in its newly created synthetic biology research center, the university said in a statement Thursday.
The Center for Synthetic Biology will have three main areas of focus: "cell factories" for producing pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, and proteins; systems for controlled drug delivery and new diagnostics; and biosensors and biochips based on biological components.
The CSB will have four synthetic biology sections, and will be supported by the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry, and the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute.
The university also plans to “launch an intensive recruitment campaign to attract top researchers,” and it plans to develop more outside relationships with academic and business partners as well.
Current participants in the CSB are biochemist Bert Poolman, molecular biologist Roel Bovenberg, microbiologist Lubbert Dijkhuizen, organic chemist Ben Feringa, physicist Jasper Knoester, and molecular microbiologist Arnold Driessen. Poolman also is director of the CSB.
The university said it is focusing on synthetic biology because it will be the “third technological revolution,” after the microchip and the discovery of the structure of DNA.

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