July 16-17, 2015 • New York Genome Center
4th Annual Sc2.0 and Synthetic Genomes Conference
NSF Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI), NYU Langone Medical Center and Nancy J Kelley + Associates
On July 16-17th 2015 scientists from around the world convened in New York City at the New York Genome Center to discuss progress in synthetic yeast genome engineering as well as a broader discussion of other genome engineering efforts, CRISPRs, designer nucleases, and synthetic biology. This meeting was co-sponsored by NSF Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI), NYU Langone Medical Center and Nancy J Kelley + Associates.
For the previous three years, the conference had focused on the ongoing Synthetic Yeast Genome Project (Sc2.0). Ambitious in its goal and spanning the disciplines of biology, engineering and computer science, the Synthetic Yeast Genome Project has garnered global attention as the world’s first synthetic, designer eukaryotic genome project. The Sc2.0 international consortium is building 16 designer synthetic chromosomes encompassing ~12 million base pairs of DNA.
In 2015 the conference expanded to include a focus on Synthetic Genomes and Engineering Biology. As a hot topic, the program included two panel discussions: “Genome Engineering and Society” and “What’s the Next Big Genome to be Synthesized?” as well as Keynote speakers, Natalay Kouprina from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Jim Haseloff, University of Cambridge. The meeting also featured panel speakers and demonstrations from the lab automation and DNA synthesis industries and a poster session.
Finally, there was an in-depth technical, gustatory and social analysis of yeast products of the liquid kind (coffee, beer and wine). For example, led by Dr. Troels Prahl, scientists at White Labs in partnership with bioinformatics colleagues at SGI such as Toby Richardson, are tackling the expansive genealogy of brewing yeasts to understand how these strains have evolved over time and how their gene content contributes to taste. Conference attendees had the unique opportunity to taste several beers for which the ‘genotype-phenotype’ relationship of the brewing yeast has been characterized.