Due to developments in synthetic biology, genetically modified micro-organisms have received increasingly complex functions, such as the production of fuels and medicines. Since these genetically modified micro-organisms are now also aimed to survive outside the lab, it is important that safety can be guaranteed.
SafeChassis aims to develop a Genomically Recoded Organism for Pseudomonas putida, a microbe which is frequently used in industry. Engineering a new genetic code in P. putida is one of the mechanisms to safeguard growth outside of the lab or bioreactor, and will prevent horizontal transfer. In addition to developing these kinds of safe-by-design, genetic safeguards, this project will also develop new ways to assess environmental risks, both technical (such as improving metrics for escape frequencies) and broader, focusing on the so-called soft impacts, such as risk perception and societal views.
SafeChassis is led by Professor Vitor Martins dos Santos, chair Laboratory Systems & Synthetic Biology from Wageningen University & Research. For more information, click here.