"Plants can tell time even without a brain"

James Locke and Mark Greenwood (University of Cambridge) recently published their work on the coordination of circadian rhythms between different plant organs in PLOS Biology. This research paper has now been featured in The Conversation.

The article describes how the circadian timing in different plant organs is influenced both by local organ-specific input, as well as by inter-organ communication, allowing the expression of clock proteins to move through the plant in spatial waves.

Read more about the topic using the links above.

Building a CO2-concentrating mechanism

A new blog for the PLOS Synbio Community, written by Steven Burgess (former PDRA in one of the OpenPlant labs), describes the research of Alistair McCormack and colleagues on reconstructing an algal CO2-concentrating mechanism (CCM) into higher plants.

The work is part of an international collaboration that aims to test predictions that increasing the CO2 in plant leaves, with a system adapted from algae, will enhance photosynthetic performance, and water and nutrient use efficiency.

View the blog by Steven Burgess and the paper in the Journal of Experimental Botany.

[Closes 14 September 2018] Technologist in DNA packaging and delivery in Edinburgh

This position is within Prof Alistair Elfick lab, School of Engineering and UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology (

The Role:

An important underpinning technology for synthetic biology is the synthesis of DNA. Technology has now advanced to the point where it is possible to affordably construct very large constructs up to chromosome scale. An emergent bottleneck is the delivery of this into the cell. The Technologist will be actively involved in contributing to the standard development programme of the UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology (UK-CMSB), in collaboration with the National Physical Laboratory. They will be primarily responsible for delivering technologies to achieve the packaging and non-viral delivery of large DNA constructs into mammalian cells, with their reduction to practise as standard protocols. Their secondary role is the support of collaboration with academic and research staff and students of the UK-CMSB. The post holder will ensure that the development of UK-CMSB technology standards supports and keeps pace with the research requirements, liaising with industry, collaborators and users, advising and training staff and students.

Fixed term for 2 years

Grade 7

Closing date Sept 14th 2018

Vacancy reference  search for #044849

Contact for further information