An expert in molecular biology, Jef Boeke, PhD, founded the Institute for Systems Genetics at NYU Langone Medical Center. Dr. Jef Boeke focuses on enhancing the future of modern genetic research through projects like Sc2.0. Dr. Boeke leads an international team with subteams in several European countries, notably the UK, Singapore, Australia and China. China has made a substantial investment in Sc2.0.
A yeast, Sc2.0 is the newest version of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and serves as the platform to create a synthetic genome. The S. cerevisiae genome consists of 16 linear chromosomes that hold information about gene content, genome organization, ribonucleic acid (RNA) splicing, chromosome stability and duplication, and other genome properties. The construction of Sc2.0 should help researchers develop methods for producing biofuels from agricultural products and by-products as well as help create solutions to societal issues related to substitutes for petroleum byproducts, bioremediation and energy consumption.
During the research-and-development process, researchers will use assays available on S. cerevisiae to build a comprehensive understanding of phenotypic differences. Of all the organisms, this type of yeast offers an abundance of past biological studies and big data on its behavior, making it an ideal choice for designing chromosomes.