Mar 17

Cell-free workshop

Hands-on workshop for the use of cell-free expression systems, funded by the University of Cambridge Synthetic Biology SRI. Two days of practical events and symposia. Invited speakers: Keith Pardee (University of Toronto) and Richard Kelwick (Imperial College). Events will be held at the University of Cambridge.

10:00 am10:00

Synthetic Biology for the Senses at Cambridge Science Festival

  • Downing Site

Plants and microbes make a wonderful variety of colours, scents, tastes and textures. OpenPlant is teaming up with the SAW Trust and Cambridge Synthetic Biology SRI to run Synthetic Biology for the Senses at the Cambridge Science Festival, an active and crafty stand where visitors can discover transcription and translation with our friendly robot, learn about the principles behind synthetic biology and how it is applied to make pigments, perfumes and flavorings, and create a synthetic flower to take home.

Come down and join the fun!

Cambridge and Norwich SynBio scientists willing to volunteer at the stand for a couple of hours, please contact me at

Nicotiana benthamiana by Aymeric Leveau (John Innes Centre) Shared on Norwich Research Park Image Library under CC BY 4.0

Nicotiana benthamiana by Aymeric Leveau (John Innes Centre)
Shared on Norwich Research Park Image Library under CC BY 4.0

9:00 am09:00

Norwich Single Cell Symposium

  • Earlham Institute (EI)

A day of talks and discussion on the development and application of new technologies to decode life at the single cell level.

This is an Earlham Institute Event. The following information is taken from their website where you can also register for this event:

Developments in single cell genomics technologies have enabled the dissection of biological processes in unprecedented detail, with broad ranging applications in the study of microbial genomics as well as plant and human health and disease. Technologies enabling the analysis of 100s-1000s of single cells in individual experiments are becoming routine, and the diversity of techniques available to analyse the genomes, epigenomes and transcriptomes of single cells continues to increase at pace.

The Norwich Single Cell Symposium aims to bring researchers curious about single cell genomics together with external speakers presenting advanced single cell research, to highlight the developing single cell capabilities available at Earlham Institute and to act as a platform to catalyse future development and application of single cell genomics approaches in the region.

This one-day event will feature talks from external and internal speakers, covering topics including:

  • Technology development in Single Cell Genomics
  • Single Cell Genomics in Developmental Biology
  • Single Cell Genomics in Health and Disease
  • Applications of Single Cell Genomics in Plant Sciences
  • Analysis of Single Cell Genomics Data
OpenPlant Forum 2017
Jul 26

OpenPlant Forum 2017

  • Downing College, University of Cambridge

OpenPlant Forum is an annual open meeting for plant synthetic biology organised by the OpenPlant partners: University of Cambridge, John Innes Centre and the Earlham Institute. Attendees from other organisations are welcome.

In 2017 the theme is fast and frugal engineering with biology. Join us to explore new ways of exploiting genetic tools, automation, open international exchange, DIY/maker approaches and more to develop globally accessible synthetic biology research and teaching resources. We will showcase the latest developments in plant synthetic biology from within OpenPlant and beyond, alongside outcomes from OpenPlant Fund, our seed funding scheme which has already supported almost 40 interdisciplinary projects led by early career researchers.

Registration is free to all but places are limited, please sign up early to ensure your space.

You can find more information on the Forum pages.

6:00 pm18:00

Café Synthetique

  • Panton Arms
Café Synthetique at the Panton Arms, Cambridge

Café Synthetique at the Panton Arms, Cambridge

Café Synthetique is the monthly meetup for the Cambridge synthetic biology community with informal talks, discussion and pub snacks. This month's theme is Biology as Technology. This months theme will focus on how biology is used as technology, with a particular focus on how we have and will continue to shape plant crops species. We have two excellent speakers whose work focuses on how technology has been and will be used to modify genes both for use as research tools in genetics and evolutionary biology, and also as a means of plant breeding. Free bar snacks and good conversation provided!

Biology as Technology: An Unexpected History of Innovation in Living Things
Dr Helen Anne-Curry, Department of History and Philosophy of Science.
Helen's current research considers the history of global conservation, in particular efforts made to preserve the genetic diversity of agricultural crop species through the practice of seed banking.

Breeding technology for better crops
Dr Alison Bentley, NIAB.
Alison has worked on a range of projects within NIAB’s flagship wheat pre-breeding programme, including research on characterising flowering time response and the exploitation of novel genetic diversity and genomics tools for wheat improvement. She has a strong interest in the genotype x environment interactions controlling complex traits and in the application of genomics in the breeding of high yielding, climate resilient cereals.

For more information and to RSVP, click here.

Panton Arms, Panton Street, Cambridge

8:00 pm20:00

Build a Biomakespace

  • Bay 13, Cambridge Biomedical Campus

A weekly meeting to plan for establishing a Biomakespace at the old MRC-LMB.

All welcome to discuss the space and what to put in it - particularly if you are keen to volunteer to help make it happen! 

How to find the Biomakespace
From the Addenbrookes roundabout head towards the hospital main entrance, on the right hand side at the zebra crossing you will see signs for IdeaSpace, follow these to the door at the bottom of the steps heading down from the road (street view - steps are to the right).
Call 07787445330 from the door, we will keep an eye out for people as well.

Volunteer with us
We particularly need people join the:
• Communications and Fundraising Team
• Lab Design Team
• Training and Outreach Team
• Governance Team

If you would like experience of founding and running a novel interdisciplinary biology innovation space in Cambridge then contact and visit for more information.