News from CRG
Scientists from the five-year EU funded project MycoSynVac report their findings and successes at a final meeting in Brussels. The project drew on cutting edge biotechnology to explore three important goals:
- TRANSFORM a living bacteria (Mycoplasma pneumoniae) into a vaccine chassis.
- APPLY this vaccine chassis against bacterial diseases in livestock animals.
- CONTRIBUTE to the reduction of antibiotics administered to farm animals.
The project consortium consisted of 8 partners (including universities, SMEs and a corporate partner) from 7 European countries, working hand-in-hand within a multi-facetted project that included new bioengineering and computational tools and methods, an ethical framework, and creative communication ventures. Researchers took part in internal risk assessment and ethics workshops, went out to meet interested members of the public at science cafés, and joined efforts to bring the project in a playful and educational manner to children and young adults. As well, the project was featured in the media of several European countries and was invited to present at a high-level conference in the European Parliament.
"Global challenges like antibiotic resistance are simply too big to tackle without investing in new ideas. Our work in re-engineering Mycoplasma is an example of the exciting opportunities cutting-edge synthetic biology techniques can offer to fight the overuse of antibiotics in pigs and cattle. As well as farm animals, our work may one day be used to combat human afflictions like pneumonia, which kills one in ten people that catch it in hospitals", said Luis Serrano, project leader and director of the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG).